Monday, April 20, 2015

Book Review/Giveaway: The Deadly Dog Show by Jerold Last


The sixth book in the popular Roger and Suzanne mystery series finds Roger and Bruce hired to go undercover impersonating the owner and handler of a Champion German Shorthaired Pointer named Juliet to investigate certain irregularities that might be occurring at dog shows in California. To complicate this case the bodies of dead judges start popping up and Suzanne picks up a mysterious stalker sending her most unwelcome gifts. Throw in drug cartels and corrupt cops and it sounds like a typical job for our detective couple.

The Deadly Dog Show can be read as a stand-alone novel.


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REVIEW

To properly fit into the dog show world, Roger and Bruce needed to know (or at least be able to learn) a lot about dogs.  That seems like a 'duh' statement, doesn't it?  But there's a lot more to it than simply loving dogs and having them as furry members of the family.  (My family does both.  We have six dogs (Sneakers the grandmama, her son Mac, her daughter Selena, two of Selena's sons - Dante and Dice, and her daughter - Caramel.)

I probably would not fit in on the dog show circuit.  The (forgive the term) 'cattiness' of the owners in relation to how their dogs place in the various contests would probably lead to me using a string of 'colorful metaphors' which would also do me out of the cozy mystery genre.

But R&B (Roger & Bruce) are quick learners and Bruce even worked with dogs during his time with the Navy SEALs, so that no doubt helped.  For the rest of us, Last used exposition to try and bring us up to speed on the shop talk.  And it worked somewhat.  I now understand more about showing dogs so when my kids ask me, "Why'd they do that," next time we watch the Westminster Kennel Club Show on tv, I might actually have an answer!  I've also seen this 'shop talk issue' handled by a mini-glossary of terms at the front or back of a book.

Once Roger actually had the job and they got on the show circuit, things really started to pop.  I liked the side story of Suzanne's uneasy feelings of being watched and actually did a fist-pump when she resolved the situation with a poem.  And I totally missed the boat (or would that be the plane) on Victor returning to San Francisco, CA from San Francisco de Texas.  I bought the local LEO's story hook, line and sinker and would probably wind up a greasy spot on the baggage sorting room's floor.

With some books, I say the author does a fine job of weaving various threads of the story together.  With Deadly Dog Show, Last takes cuttings from various story shoots and grafts the bits together, taking this work to a whole 'nother level.  (Gee, can I throw anything else into that metaphor gumbo?)

Bottom line?

Points against:  bit of a slow start due to the necessary exposition.

Points for:   - I loved the relationships amongst the quadrumvirate of major characters (Roger, Suzanne, Bruce and Victor).
-I confess that this is the first cozy I've read by a male author.  And I always give 'extra points' for expanding boundaries.
-I get positively giddy when the 'bad guy' (or gal) gets nailed because they underestimated the protagonist.

The Deadly Dog Show is both entertaining and educational.  If you are an animal lover, this book should be on your TBR list.  The rest of the 'Roger and Suzanne' books are going on my TBR list by the end of the day.

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AUTHOR INFORMATION




The author is a Professor of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the University of California’s Medical School at Davis, near Sacramento in Northern California. Jerry writes mystery stories that follow the cozy conventions of no graphic sex and no cussing but feature tougher protagonists and darker worlds than most cozies. Jerry knows the real world of dog shows from his own experience and that of his wife, Elaine, who breeds and shows prize-winning German Shorthair Pointer dogs. The cover photo is the author’s own dog Jolie (Grand Champion V. D. Nacht’s Classic Beaujolais, SH). Elaine provided technical advice for The Deadly Dog Show and editing for all of his books.

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GIVEAWAY!!!!

Easy-peasy.  Leave a comment  below about your favorite dog breed (or animal species if you are not a dog aficionado).  One will be chosen at random on Monday April 27 to receive an e-copy of The Deadly Dog Show.

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Click the logo above to go to the tour page, where you can find more reviews as well as guest posts, interviews and giveaways!  You can also apply to become a reviewer for Great Escapes!

(Disclosure:  I received an e-copy of this book from the author and publisher via Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.)

19 comments:

  1. I like your blog! My favorite breed is Doxy and Jack Russell Terrier...Obviously I am partial, these are the breeds of my two beloved senior fur babies :-)

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    1. Thank you, Lisa! Doxy is for Dachshund? All of our dogs are mutts. :O) The grandmama has Chow somewhere in her lineage.

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  2. I meant to give you a pic of my two precious fur babies..One of my very first blog posts..
    http://lisacomperry.blogspot.com/2010/11/simon.html
    lcomperry@yahoo.com

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  3. Thank you, Lu Ann, for a wonderful review and a chance to start my day with several good chuckles.

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    1. You're so welcome, Jerry! I enjoyed getting to know Roger, Suzanne and the rest of their family and crew and look forward to our next 'meeting'. :O)

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    2. LuAnn: The "coziest" novel after The Deadly Dog Show in my not so cozy Roger and Suzanne series is probably The Origin of Murder, the novel immediately following the one you read in the series. It's free from Kindle Unlimited if you have a membership (the entire series is free from KU). Would you like a review copy of the Origin of Murder? If yes, I'll need an e-mail address.

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    3. Hi Jerry. DH has KU, so I can probably get them through him. But before I thought of that, I sent you my email in a message to your FB page. Time for more coffee!

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  4. Rhodesian Ridgebacks furever! Thank you for the giveaway.
    denannduvall(at)gmail(dot)com

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    Replies
    1. That is a beautiful breed, Denise!

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    2. Congratulations, Denise, you have won the drawing! I will pass your info along to the tour co-ordinator. Sorry for the late response, we had a family emergency this last week.

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  5. LuAnn, a great review! My all time favorite dog breed is the Golden Retriever. Our home has 4 amazing, superbly trained Golden service dogs. I can't imagine our home or my life, without them (especially my boy, Skittles). servedogmom@yahoo.com

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  6. I'm rather partial to the mongrel or mutt. Good thing too because that is what we tend to find ourselves living with.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com


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  7. Stopping by from the #atozchallenge 2015! Thanks for visiting me. Congratulations on making it past the first half of the challenge.
    Great post. I'm following you on your listed social media sites.
    J @JLenniDorner

    Excellent review.

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  8. Thanks so much, JL! I've hit a couple snags this year, but life happens, eh? I'm still going to be at that finish line!

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