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Dogs Don't Lie: a Pru Marlowe Pet Noir    by Clea Simon order for
Dogs Don't Lie
by Clea Simon
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2011 (2011)
Hardcover, Softcover
* * *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Animal behaviorist Pru Marlowe dropped out of school just before getting her degree, but she has something even degreed animal behaviorists don't have. She can talk to animals and they talk to her.

Talking and listening to animals tips the scale for the overworked and sleep-deprived student. After a hospitalization she leaves the city and returns to her hometown in the Berkshires. Her mother died shortly after her return and she now lives in her childhood home. Pru works as a dog walker and animal trainer and is often called in by the town vet.

Pru finds her best customer, Charles (a computer programmer) dead and alone with his pit bull rescue, Lily. Lily's covered in blood. Pru crates her and calls the police. They seem to think they have an open and closed case. Dog kills owner. Pru sets out to prove they're wrong. But if she manages to free Lily from the pound, she might be the next suspect.

Poor Lily, who was just beginning to believe she'd found her forever home, is taken away to the city pound. She is too traumatized to give Pru any helpful information on the murderer. Talking to animals isn't like talking to people. They don't lie, but their perceptions are filtered through their animal soul. Sometimes all Pru can make out are feelings, as happens with the broken hearted pit bull.

Pru's cat Wallis is her best friend and sidekick. Wallis is helping Pru learn to manage her new gift. She relies on his insight, but Wallis' tart comments and cryptic references are sometimes puzzling when Pru needs answers.

I enjoyed the first installment of the Pru Marlowe Pet Noir mysteries. Pru is not perfect, as her small town neighbors are unlikely to forget, but she's feisty and her willingness to help her animal clients makes her one of the more likeable heroines in today's cozies. Clea Simon is writing three mystery series involving animals. I can't wait to try the others.

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