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To Collar a Killer    by Lee Charles Kelley order for
To Collar a Killer
by Lee Charles Kelley
Order:  USA  Can
Avon, 2004 (2004)

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* *   Reviewed by Theresa Ichino

Jack Field, retired New York detective, is now a phenomenally successful dog trainer living contentedly in Maine. He has a job he loves, a beautiful new fiancée, a foster son, two well-adjusted dogs, and a myriad of clients. His friends are less numerous, but the ones he has are true blue.

Unfortunately, he also has a habit of stumbling into murders. This time, the cheerful little corgi with whom he is playing catch urgently demands his attention. He follows her to the corpse of a man Jack does not know – but the victim is clutching Tipper's ball in his hand! Jack soon realizes that an unknown but determined enemy is pulling strings most effectively. He finds himself the chief suspect in the murder, with local authorities as well as the F.B.I. dogging his trail.

Despite his avowed desire to avoid being pulled into crime-solving, Jack must sleuth on his own behalf, especially as other bodies pile up. With very able help from his fiancée Jamie (a state medical examiner) and Lou Kelso, lawyer and private detective, Jack worries at a tangled and intricate web.

To Collar a Killer is entertaining, with lots of tidbits for a dog-lover like me. The plot is rather far-fetched, and the conclusion relies heavily on everything going right in a rather complicated set-up arranged by Jack and his friends. However, I do love an ending where the villain is well and truly trapped.

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