Saturday, May 2, 2009


by Judi McCoy
New American Library/Penguin
375 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014
ISBN: 9780451226310
Paperback, 336 pages, $6.99
Genre: Mystery

Ellie Engleman is committed to making her own way in life sans pantyhose and power suits. The first thing Ellie does after her divorce is rescue a dog from the shelter to replace the one she had to give up when she married. Ellie’s delighted to learn she can communicate with her dog and that he is the reincarnate of her former dog, who was hit by a car. She begins her own dog-walking business, where she finds herself harassed by two other dog walkers unhappy with the competition. Ellie discovers the dead body of one of her clients and quickly becomes the number-one suspect of sexy Sam Ryder, a wise-cracking detective who can’t seem to convince Ellie to stay out of his investigation. But Ellie is anxious to find her murdered client’s kidnapped dog, a Westminster champion, while clearing her name, and nothing’s going to stop her. Not even the sizzling chemistry between her and Sam Ryder.

Hounding the Pavement, the first book in the Dog Walker Mystery series, is simply delightful. Ellie is a refreshing character, a size-16 woman finished with compromising her wants and needs and determined to live life on her own terms. Dog lovers will identify with Ellie’s love for these furry creatures and will appreciate that this author is donating all royalties to Best Friends Animal Society. Readers will be entertained by the conversations Ellie has with not only her dog but other dogs who choose to converse with her. The plot is interesting and moves at a fast pace, with plenty of red herrings thrown into the mix to provide a good mystery. Excellent debut to this series.

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