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A Nose for Justice    by Rita Mae Brown order for
Nose for Justice
by Rita Mae Brown
Order:  USA  Can
Ballantine, 2011 (2010)
Hardcover, Paperback, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

A Nose for Justice starts off a new series by Rita Mae Brown. Known for her English-speaking four-legged characters, Brown introduces two new ones King, a German Shepherd mix; and Baxter, a wire-haired Dachshund. They add a good deal of comment as well as noses for ferreting out dead bodies.

Magdelena, better known as Jeep, is a former member of a group of women who ferried planes during WWII.(These women have finally been recognized and given medals but are still denied veterans' benefits.) Mags, named for her great-aunt Magdelena, arrives with Baxter at Jeep's ranch to seek solace and a domicile. Her business suffered along with Wall Street in the downturn and Mags is stone broke.

The chief worries in Jeep's life are the water rights in Nevada. Jeep, an octogenarian, owns a good deal of the rights in her county, having long ago foreseen the need to conserve. Big complexes are planned that would use up the little water naturally available in desert country.

When a water pump belonging to the large water company is blown up, concern deepens. And then the dogs bring home finger bones a Russian who died many years ago has been unearthed and Mags takes on the task of trying to identify him. But when a local goes missing and his body is found by King and Baxter, things become much more serious.

A few pages are taken up by what apparently gives Brown cause for concern the scarcity of water for the region and what is not being to done to conserve what is there. Very, very interesting and took my head to Nevada to wonder how the citizens will rally to do what is best for the area. These pages also make one wonder what is being done in our own states mine is Pennsylvania. The need for conservation is now not in the distant future.

All in all, a good mystery by a writer with many plaudits to her name. I like Jeep very much. An old, cantankerous woman who fights for what she feels needs a fight. And the dogs are a cute diversion and are used to keep the story cohesive. A Nose for Justice is well worth the read.

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