Hot Dog

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Ninth in the Melanie Travis Mystery Series

“When it comes to Melanie’s love life, feast or famine is apparently the order of the day. First, there’s ex-husband, Bob, who having been bumped to purely platonic status, seems intent on over compensating by presenting their son Davey with a pony. Then there’s former fiance Sam. He’s finally “found” himself, and in the process has discovered that he wants Melanie back. The question is, does she still want him?

In an effort to escape tail-chasing males, Melanie opts to track down the elusive owner of an adorable Dachshund puppy that’s about to be put on the block at a charity auction. Aunt Peg proclaims it an outrage that anyone would be uncaring enough to sell off a helpless animal to the highest bidder, and Melanie agrees wholeheartedly. She and Davey are more than willing to take little Dox in as a temporary boarder. But the more she discovers about the pup’s background, the messier things get.

It seems the little dog is part of a divorced couple’s emotional tug-of-war. Marian Firth who bred Dox, is certainly concerned for his welfare. Unfortunately, her vindictive ex-husband George won custody–and is going out of his way to use the animal as ammunition. George knows that donating the dog to the auction will hurt Marian–and only he can rescind the offer.

As if tiptoeing through the minefield of a broken marriage isn’t enough, there’s also Melanie’s new stalker to deal with. The obvious pair is pesky local cable television reporter Jill Prescottwho figures that Melanie’s nose for trouble will lead her to the next Big Story. That’s annoying but what truly frightening is the presence of someone stealthier and far more sinister. Someone who’s gotten into Melanie’s house, someone who’s stolen her wallet, and let her dogs loose. Someone who’s dognapped Dox.

Melanie’s determined to clear things up as soon as possible, but new suspects keep coming out of the woodwork, including Phil, the dog-sitting client with a penchant for “watching” and a pair of Bichon breeders who are furious with Melanie over a favor gone awry. As things grow more desperate–and dangerous–it’s beginning to look like Melanie’s life may be the next thing up for auction…”

Published by Kensington Books

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"If you're a dog aficionado, HOT DOG is the book for you."
-- I Love a Mystery

"Berenson develops a depth to her characters and skillfully intertwines an accurate account of the dog show worls along with mysterious happenings. And just when you think you have things figured out, Berenson manipulates the plot into another twist and turn."
-- The Plain Dealer

"Berenson's insights and knowledge of the world of show dogs are a must...and Melanie's Poodles are as lovable and real as the story's human characters."
-- Publishers Weekly