Dogs Don't Lie
by Clea Simon
3 stars - worth reading
I'm a sucker for animal mysteries. Sometimes they turn out to be good and sometimes, well...
This one is definitely worth reading for animal lovers and those among you that are fond of what are known as "cozy mysteries." Cozy meaning that the main character is usually a woman, the book is full of quirky characters, and there are no particularly violent scenes. Just something nice to hunker down with on a rainy day.
Pru Marlowe, the main character, is an animal communicator. Yes, she can hear the thoughts of animals. I've seen that trick before in other books and was a bit put off, but in this book, the gimmick works.
The big mystery is that one of her training clients has been murdered and it sure looks like the dog did it. But Pru knows otherwise. The dog, Lily, is a rescued bit bull. Pru arrives on the scene of the crime and can tell that Lily's bloody muzzle is from trying to revive her master and her apparent aggressive behavior is really only her trying to get away from Pru and back to her master's side.
And we are underway. As in all mysteries of this ilk, Pru is flawed enough so as not to be an intimidating female presence, and attractive enough to provide for flirtations from the local males.
The author does a good job of throwing out lots of clues and false starts and the ending is not only plausible, but satisfying.
Yes, her communication with her cat, Wallis, is a bit over the top, but I loved the snippets of thoughts sent to her by other animals like Frank the ferret and Bitsy the Bichon. Fun stuff. I enjoyed it enough that I would read another Pru Marlowe mystery.