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18 April 2014

Softcover Severn House, 2011.

I was introduced to this author in 1990 when her first book (A New Leash On Death) appeared. A friend recommended it and I’ve been buying them ever since. However in late 2007 after All Shots, there appeared to be no more. I looked until late 2010, and found that she was now writing another series (that I didn’t like) with her daughter, sighed, and guessed that this was it. Until a couple of months ao when I was on-line chasing up something else and discovered that there was another in the ‘Dog Lovers’ series that had come out in 2011 and that I’d never known about. I pounced. Got a copy, read it happily and am now about to add a short review to this history but I am also puzzled. For twenty years Conant’s books appeared, first from Charter/Diamond, and then from Berkley Prime Crime, this one is from Severn, and the copy I received is printed by Lightening Source. Did Berkley decide that the books weren’t selling well enough? Did they have a falling-out? I never saw this one advertised and hence knew nothing about it. And while I’m delighted to have found and added it to my permanent library, does this mean that I have to go on line and search for the next in the series if there is a next every year from now on because otherwise I won’t know about it? I will if I have to because I really do love the series, but I wish Berkley had struck to publishing, and advertising them so I don’t have to waste my time searching. I -and probably many other readers prefer it that way.

And on Brute Strength. In between writing about dogs and caring for her other three malamutes and her cat, Tracker, and being married to Steve, a vet, Holly is also a filter for people wanting to adopt rescued malamutes. Too many of the people are unsuitable and rejection doesn’t make those rejected like you; or so Holly is doscovering. She has begun to receive threatening obscene phone calls, and then finds that two others of the rescue group are getting those as well. Someone Holly recently met and liked, dies in an odd car crash, and a member of her dog club then dies from an unexplained illness. And of course, Holly, prone to get involved, becomes interested in all three events particularly when it starts to look as if her cousin may be in danger. The twists and turns of that are, as usual with this author, very well handled, with great characters, wonderful dogs, and nope, I didn’t see the main villain coming until almost at the end. This book was well up to the series standard, and if it was Berkley that let the author go, I can only wonder at someone’s judgement. It will be a pain, but I’ll be watching for the next and really hoping that there is one. Recommended.

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