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    Review of CHOW DOWN by Laurien Berenson (see her website)

    A MELANIE TRAVIS MYSTERY

    Kensington Books, September 2006

    Melanie Travers can't quite bear to disappoint her son when he enters her poodle in a pet food competition and she becomes a finalist, but she doesn't really want to win. Which makes her completely unlike the other finalists. Every one of them seems intent on winning at any cost. When one of the contestants (the owner, not the pet) falls to his death on the stairs of the pet food company, Melanie finds herself in the familiar position of having to investigate what might be an accident but certainly looks like--murder.

    Investigating crime is far from Melanie's major job, however. Although school may be out for the summer, she's still getting adjusted to her recent marriage, putting up with relatives urging her to start producing more children, showing her standard poodle at dog shows, and jumping through the many hoops that the contest judges have set up.

    Author Laurien Berenson ( See more BooksForABuck.com reviews of mysteries by Berenson) continues her Melanie Travis series with another look into the world of dog shows, and the unusual and colorful people who make these shows their life. These characters, especially Melanie, her aunt Peg, and gay groomer Terry bring the story to life and keep the reader interested as Melanie puts herself in dangerous situations to discover exactly what happened to the unpleasant Larry--and whether she just might be the next to fall victim.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 11/08/06

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