Desperate Housedogs

Desperate Housedogs

3.8 66
by Sparkle Abbey

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In posh Laguna Beach, murder has gone to the dogs. When Caro Lamont, former psychologist turned pet therapist makes a house call to help Kevin Blackstone with his two misbehaving German Shepherd dogs, she expects frantic dogs, she expects a frantic dog owner, she even expects frantic neighbors. What she doesn't expect is that two hours later the police will find


In posh Laguna Beach, murder has gone to the dogs. When Caro Lamont, former psychologist turned pet therapist makes a house call to help Kevin Blackstone with his two misbehaving German Shepherd dogs, she expects frantic dogs, she expects a frantic dog owner, she even expects frantic neighbors. What she doesn't expect is that two hours later the police will find Kevin dead, his dogs impounded; and that as the last person to see Kevin alive (well, except for the killer) she is suddenly a person of interest, at least according to Homicide Detective Judd Malone.

Sparkle Abbey is the pseudonym of two mystery authors (Mary Lee Woods and Anita Carter). They are friends and neighbors as well as co-writers of the Pampered Pets Mystery Series. The pen name was created by combining the names of their rescue pets - Sparkle (Mary Lee's cat) and Abbey (Anita's dog). They reside in central Iowa, but if they could write anywhere, you would find them on the beach with their laptops and depending on the time of day either an iced tea or a margarita.) Visit the authors at

Product Details

BelleBooks Inc.
Publication date:
Pampered Pets Mysteries , #1
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Barnes & Noble
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File size:
2 MB

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Desperate Housedogs: Special Large-Size Review Edition 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 67 reviews.
TJW1950 More than 1 year ago
I'm lucky enough to have read the advance reading copy and found it to be a light-hearted mystery with a likeable cast of characters set in wonderful Laguna Beach where pets are pampered and people are passionate about their four-legged family members. There's an excentric here and there and a pet pschologist who ends up solving a murder. The authors voice is clear with a bit of wry humor. I recommend this book if you like an quick enjoyable read. Can't wait for the next book in the series by Sparkle Abbey!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had a lot of fun reading this one. Four paws way up!!
Rockport_rocker More than 1 year ago
Delightful cozy mystery with strong characters and a well developed plot. And DOGS!!! I look forward to seeing more of Caro, Detective Malone and Sam. Only time will tell, but the battle between Caro and Mel over the ugly, but valuable, broach from their grandmothers provides lots of opportunity for future interaction and humor. Sometimes in cozy mysteries, I wonder why the protagonist gets involved in the investigation, but liked Kevin so I wanted Caro to address his murder.
fuzzmom More than 1 year ago
Caro and her cousin Mel both think that they were grandma "Tillie" Matilda Montgomery's favorite granddaughter. That explains the horrible brooch they keep stealing from each other. Perfectly clear..right? Well that's only the first thing that will take some explaining, some amateur detective work and some deduction to clear up. Caro is the owner of the PAWS clinic, Professional Animal Wellness Specialist Clinic, in Laguna Beach. She caters to an upscale clientele that has issues with their dogs that they need help with. First a client dies right after Cara was with him. Turns out it was murder! Ruby Point, an exclusive gated community has lots of secrets. Detective Judd Malone wants Caro to keep her nose out of those secrets and his murder investigation! Let's just say our ex-beauty queen, southern gal has not learned to let things go. Not just Grandma's brooch! A great, funny romp! I won't spoil it for you. I know you will love the lighthearted mayhem too. These are people I'd like to know more about!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Okay, but not a reread for me. Author does keep more than one story line: one personal and one professional to the main character. Not a particulary devious plot. 212 pages long with a preview of another story.
BuriedUnderBooks More than 1 year ago
In a light-hearted tip of the hat to the excesses of the very rich, Sparkle Abbey (actually two authors writing as one) introduces Caro Lamont, human therapist turned pet behavioral counselor living in Laguna Beach, California, whose clients are pampered pooches with “issues”. Unfortunately for Caro, she becomes a suspect when the owner of a pair of agitated German Shepherds is found murdered soon after she made a house call to try to calm the dogs. The victim lived in a gated community so the list of potential suspects is very limited—or so everyone thinks. Detective Judd Malone lends a touch of potential romance to the mix but said romance is likely to go nowhere when Caro is incapable of keeping her nose out of the investigation. Meanwhile, Caro is determined to find out what secrets residents of the community are hiding and doesn’t hesitate to butt in, especially when her best friend is arrested for the murder. (I did wonder, though, why behaviorist Caro doesn’t quickly catch on to the unusual nervousness of so many of her four-legged clients.) An amusing side story is the ongoing feud between Caro and her cousin, Mel, over a piece of jewelry left to “my favorite granddaughter”. Since both think they were Grandma’s favorite, both claim the brooch and resort to inventive snatch-and-run antics to possess it. This tends to ratchet up the hostilities but, at the same time, Caro and Mel are clearly bound by blood. Desperate Housedogs is an entertaining romp but there is far too much attention paid to Caro’s and Mel’s backgrounds as Texas beauty pageant queens and the authors make a lot of assumptions about Southerners and Texas while clearly not knowing much about either. Also, solving the mystery is a bit difficult for the reader because critical information doesn’t appear until near the end of the book. I’m intrigued, though, by the plan for one half of the author team to write each book with one of the cousins featured in each. I’ll be reading the next book to see how things are with Mel.
Meli_Green More than 1 year ago
The title drew me in, finished it because I hate to leave a book unread. While I wanted to like this book, animal murder mystery I just couldn’t. The main character Caro was flat to me, she was developed very little and I just couldn’t connect with her. I had a similar problem with all the characters not enough about them to be interested really if they lived or died. And Judd Malone the detective, come on, no romance there at all, just so much left unsaid it made me sad. The idea behind the book was original and it definitely was a light read. I am just sad it didn’t pull me in as much as I wanted.
rhonda1111RL More than 1 year ago
Review:Desperate Housedogs by Sparkle Abbey 5 STARS I enjoyed Carolina Lamont who counsil dogs and their owners. She goes to their homes and helps train and figure out dogs bad behaviors. She also has a feud with her cousin their grandmother left a pin to her favorite grandaughter with gems in it. They both think they should own it and go after it in serious way. They are fun to watch. One customer that Carolina had was Kevin and his two dogs. after she left his house he was murdered. Detective Judd Malone questioned her they think she was last one to see Kevin. She realized the next day that her pin might have been lost their so she snuck back in and searched Kevin's house till she found where he put it. She actually picked up a book and took it with her that had everyones names in it with a code after each name. Caroline started to try and figure out the codes in the book that she copied before giving it to Detective Malone. Detective Malone kept telling her to leave it alone and let them do their job. Caroline could not stop and she found a lot of secrets that Kevin had written down in code. It was a good detective book. Had lots of dogs and told a little about each breed. Caroline seems like a real person with good and bad habits and history with families. I would love to read more stories with her in it and Detective Malone. I was given this ebook to read in exchange for honest review from Netgalley. 12/01/2012 PUB Bell Bridge Books
Carstairs38 3 months ago
You’ll Be Desperate to Finish This Book Okay, I confess, I wasn’t at all interested in the Pampered Pets Mysteries based solely on the pen name used by the authors. Sparkle Abbey? But then I met the two lovely ladies behind the pen name and learned about the origin of the name – their own pets. They were so charming and lovely that I had to give their books a try, so I bought Desperate Housedogs, the first in the series. I won’t admit how long it’s been sitting in my TBR pile, but I finally dusted it off and gave it a chance. Carolina “Caro” Lamont is a Texas transplant living in Laguna Beach, California. She runs a pet therapist business, which really means she works with pet owners to identify the reason for a pet’s bad behavior and comes up with ways for the owner to train the pet to behave better. Caro has worked with Kevin Blackstone and his two German Shepherds in the past, but she is surprised when Kevin calls her up saying her dogs just won’t stop barking. She heads over to his house in an exclusive gated community and spends some time trying to figure out what has upset the dogs. Two hours after leaving Kevin, the police find him murdered. Suddenly, Caro is a person of interest, and she must find a way to clear herself. Does the dogs’ behavior have anything to do with Kevin’s death? The book did start out a little slowly, establishing characters and some of their backstory before we truly got into the twists and turns of the mystery, but once the mystery got started it was a lot of fun. I wasn’t sure what was going on until we reached the very end, but once we reached the end, it all made sense given the twists and clues we’d had along the way. The characters are strong. They are a bit over the top, but it works in this book. Their personalities are all different enough that it is easy to keep them straight. I definitely see room for the series regulars to grow as the series progresses, and I can’t wait to see what happens to them. The characters being a bit over the top is definitely on purpose. This book is filled with humor, and these characters go a long way toward providing that. The way they react to things is much of the fun of the book, in fact. Caro’s first person narration also provides some great smiles and laughs along the way. While this is part of the series, it’s a non-traditional series. The books alternate between Caro and her cousin Mel. Mel really only gets a cameo here along with multiple mentions from Caro. I’m looking forward to setting to know Mel in the next book in the series, which I actually bought the same time I bought this book. So learn from my mistake. If you haven’t started this fun series yet, don’t put it off another day. You’ll be through Desperate Housedogs before you know it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thanks for a great new series to read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was an easy and great reaf ?
coramdeo540 More than 1 year ago
Get Fluffy Sparkle Abbey Book Summary: In DESPERATE HOUSEDOGS, pet therapist Caro finds her client (the human one) dead. What did his two German Shepherds witness and how can Caro track down the killer? In GET FLUFFY, Caro's cousin, Melinda, the owner of a fancy pet boutique and spa, feuds with one of the snarkiest divas in town: Mona, whose pampered pup lives the life of a canine princess. When Mona is found dead, Mel is a prime suspect. Can she clear her name or will her career go to the dogs? Book 3: Kitty Kitty Bang Bang. "A mystery worth barking about." - Linda O. Johnson, author of THE MORE THE TERRIER, Berkley Prime Crime Yes, Melinda was feuding with the queen of Laguna Beach dog-loving divas, Mona. But Mel never expected Mona to end up dead. I stumbled through the doorway into a mini-palace fit for a movie star. Fluffy's palace. A white sheepskin rug in front of her personal fireplace, a king-sized sleigh bed and a dressing screen (why a dog needed a dressing screen was beyond me). Fresh, filtered water dripped into her Wedgewood doggie bowl. It was also a disaster. Fluffy's wardrobe was strewn throughout the room, draped precariously on the bed, and hanging out of open drawers. While Mona had an obscene amount of photos, Fluffy had her own slew of trophies and ribbons. All of them haphazardly tossed about. The room looked like it had been ransacked.Fluffy disappeared behind the disheveled bed. Her tail stopped wagging and she whined softly. Mona was sprawled on the floor as if posing for a men's magazine. It was almost picture-perfect, except for the blood matting her five-hundred-dollar haircut and the gold statue stuck in her head. I hesitantly moved closer. Fluffy nuzzled Mona's cheek. When she didn't move, Fluffy pawed her shoulder, still whining. "I don't think she's getting up, girl," I said softly. Mona was deader than a stuffed poodle. Review: When I first started reading this book (these books) I struggled to get into them. Than like a lighting bolt I was into it. I had the same thing happen during the second book. Now I NEED TO READ all of the them!!!! The language is salty at times. They are rather tame in comparison to most mainstream mysteries and the stories are just fantastic!! The Laguna Beach lifestyle is not for me, however it is fun to read about the people. The pampered pet & dog children is a bit over the top and yet it is funny. I love my pets but do not take them everywhere. The characters are rich in personality and the authors show repeatedly not to judge a book by it’s cover when it comes to preconceived ideas about who people are. The background on the characters is the best. I love that now (not when I started mind you) that the stories go from Caro to Mel and back again. That keeps things fresh and fun. Especially Grandma’s broach. All around the mystery is not the only exciting thing in these books. I would like to thank Net Galley and Bell Bridge Books or allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.
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With 214 pages it was a little cutiey. No emotions from the poeple in the story. Kinda dry, just state the facts and nothing but facts.
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Didn't capture my imagination. Ok for one reading, not two.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pretty predictable but some fun characters. I'll give this author another shot.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Light reading. But fun.
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