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A Trail of Lies: Jazz Ramsey #3    by Kylie Logan Amazon.com order for
Trail of Lies
by Kylie Logan
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2021 (2021)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Kylie Logan's A Trail of Lies follows The Scent of Murder and The Secrets of Bones as the third in a mystery series starring Jazz Ramsey and her cadaver dog in training, Wally. Jazz lives in Cleveland, is administrative assistant at an all-girls school, St. Catherine's, and is in a relationship with Detective Nick Kolesov.

As A Trail of Lies opens, Nick is working long hours as part of a gang task force and is out of town. When his mother Kim, a raging alcoholic, calls in the middle of the night about a dead man in her backyard, Jazz reluctantly heads over there. There's no body to be found, but Kim insists that she killed someone!

Then the body of a middle-aged man, Dan Mansfield, is found a couple of miles from Kim's home, with a picture in his pocket of Kim and Nick. Dan served thirty years for murder and had recently been paroled. The picture brings the cops to Kim's door. Of course, that starts Jazz digging to find out what it's all about.

When her investigation brings Jazz close to a very dangerous ex-con, Nick is not happy with her, anxious for her safety - but she persists, despite threats, and follows leads to a shocking conclusion.

2nd Review by Rheta Van Winkle:

I love dogs. I was attracted to Kylie Logan's book, A Trail of Lies, by the picture of the cute dog on the cover, and I wasn't disappointed to learn about Wally's lessons in learning how to sniff out the residue of death, showing Jazz Ramsey where there had been a dead body. Jazz is crazy about Wally, but he's still young and not entirely dependable as a human remains detection dog, so when he tries to show her where a dead body had been in her boyfriend's motherís back yard, she doesn't believe him.

Jazz has been asked by Nick to check in on his mother Kim while he's on an assignment. He's a cop, currently working on a gang task force, so when Kim phones Jazz in the middle of the night saying that Nick is dead in her backyard and she killed him, Jazz is shocked. She knows that Kim is an alcoholic with a vivid imagination, but she races to Kim's house anyway, worried and scared. She finds Kim, drunk, delusional and terrified that she's going to be arrested and charged with murder. Kim changes her story once Jazz arrives and says it wasn't Nick whom she killed, but another man, and she didn't know who he was. He wanted to come into her house and she wouldn't let him. There is no body in the back yard, though, and no bloody knife or other weapon.

Over the next few days, Kim calls Jazz constantly, really trying her patience. Kim tells her the same story even when she's sober and continues to worry about being arrested. After a dead man is actually discovered in a nearby park, Jazz borrows an old, retired HRD dog whose nose is infallible and takes him to Kim's back yard, where he confirms Wally's find. Since Kim wouldn't have been able to transport the large, heavy dead man from her yard to the park, Jazz is sure that Kim wasn't involved. The plot thickens when two detectives come to Kim's house to ask her about a picture of her with baby Nick that was found in the dead man's pocket. They also have a morgue shot of him, and when Jazz sees it, she remembers seeing his photo in a pile of old prints on Kim's kitchen table. Of course she doesn't tell the detectives, but once she knows that Kim is lying about not knowing the man, Jazz begins to investigate. One piece of information leads to the next, all the way to the exciting conclusion of the book.

I enjoyed following the trail of lies as Jazz attempts to discover the truth about the events in Kim's back yard. Her feelings about Kim change as she learns more about past events and the people who might be able to help her discover the truth. The characters who lie all seem to have good reasons for their prevarications, the killer most of all, and Jazz learns that she has to put aside her preconceived ideas about the people she questions and suspects.

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