Author Diana Orgain has once again served up a light-hearted dog mystery featuring the Wine and Bark bar and its Yappy Hour regulars.
In this, the second “Yappy” mystery, the Wine and Bark has more going on than an agility trial. Doggie Day magazine is considering a feature on the bar. A new pet-oriented business, Kitty Corner, is opening up nearby. Yappy Hour regular Yolanda has started a business making designer chicken-themed purses. Bar owner Rachel Patterson has come down with a case of food poisoning that lands her in the hospital. Sister Maggie is about to set sail on a new job as bursar on a cruise ship headed for the Mexican Riviera.
Rachel asks Maggie to take her place at a tasting of Verdant Vines wines she may buy. As Maggie and Hendrick, the owner of Verdant Vines, negotiate prices, two customers come in. Yolanda and her Yorkie Beepo are regulars. She introduces Fran, who has recently opened the chicken-themed store, the Chic Chickie. It quickly becomes clear that Hendrick and Fran have a soured romance in their past.
Growls & Nips
In the face of Fran’s biting comments about their relationship, Hendrick tucks tail and runs. Yolanda’s efforts to persuade Fran that they should merge their chicken-themed businesses turns into an argument.
The following morning, Yolanda drags the reluctant Maggie over to the Chic Chickie. They were supposed to be visiting Rachel in the hospital. Yolanda is convinced she can get Fran to agree to a partnership. They find the store unlocked and empty — except for Fran’s corpse in the back room.
This, of course, is just the beginning. Maggie calls in Pacific Cove Police Officer Brad Brooks,whom she has been dating — along with the owner of the restaurant next door to the bar. To protect Yolanda, who had publicly argued violently with Fran the afternoon before her murder, Maggie withholds information and runs her own investigation.
Dog mystery mayhem
There are more red herrings than you’d find at a Scandinavian cat adoption center. Orgain’s Round Up Crew series — the first of which was Yappy Hour — is part silliness, part classic cozy dog mystery material. This is a perfect book to read and share around the dog park.