Dogged Pursuit

Dogged Pursuit

4.2 10
by Lee Charles Kelley

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In this suspenseful fifth book in our wonderful series created by veteran dog trainer Lee Charles Kelley, a clever kennel owner, his lady love, and his loyal canines must solve their most disturbing mystery yet!

It's October in Maine and ex–cop/criminologist turned dog trainer Jack Field and his fiancée, Chief State Medical Examiner Dr. Jamie Cutter,

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In this suspenseful fifth book in our wonderful series created by veteran dog trainer Lee Charles Kelley, a clever kennel owner, his lady love, and his loyal canines must solve their most disturbing mystery yet!

It's October in Maine and ex–cop/criminologist turned dog trainer Jack Field and his fiancée, Chief State Medical Examiner Dr. Jamie Cutter, are getting married in a few weeks. But fate puts a wrench in their plans when the police find a young woman's body in a secluded lake. Jamie asks Jack, who's been appointed her civilian advisor, to come to the scene. Seeing the body sparks a memory of a case Jack studied while taking a seminar at the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit. He suspects the death is the work of a serial killer and as the mystery unfolds, it becomes clear that suspects abound, including a sleazy private detective, a well–respected botanist, recruits in the upper echelons of the FBI, and even the wealthy husband of Jack's ex–girlfriend. Add an adorable Dalmatian named Daisy and a wedding ceremony like no other you've ever seen, and you've got Kelley's most touching, heartbreaking, suspenseful, and downright hilarious book yet!

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Editorial Reviews

Roundtable Reviews
“I loved this book!”
“The best book yet by Lee Charles Kelley.”
“The fun starts almost on the first page ...There’s action a-plenty, and lots of humor.”
“[A] cohesive, fun group of books to read.”
Mystery Lovers Book News
“Filled with quirky characters, devoted canines and a plot full of twists, this is a great read for dog lovers.”

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Avon Mystery Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.80(d)

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Read an Excerpt

Dogged Pursuit

By Lee Kelley

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Lee Kelley
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060732296

Chapter One

The body was bloated, glistening with lake water, and had a grotesque, waxy appearance, blotched gray and white. I'd never seen anything like it and hoped I never would again. It lay naked on the landward edge of the dock and stank to high heaven -- an awful combination of the sick smell of dead flesh and the sodden perfume of fish, algae, and lake water.

I had parked about fifty yards away and was glad I'd had the foresight to buy a pack of menthols before making the drive up 104. I opened the cellophane wrapper with trembling hands -- praying this monstrosity wasn't Jen -- took out one of the cigarettes, broke it apart, then wedged the pieces, with the factory-cut ends first, into my nostrils.

There were six State Police divers in black wetsuits, having a mug-up (Maine-speak for a coffee break) by the boat ramp, off-wind from the corpse. Why six divers, I wondered.

And, God, I hope that isn't Jen.

Jamie was kneeling next to the body and had her back to me. I couldn't tell if she'd heard me drive up or not, though I assumed she hadn't or she would have turned to greet me.

Five crime scene analysts were hard at work, including a photographer I knew by her first name, Gretchen. She was a pretty, statuesque black woman about Jamie's height(Jamie's 5'11"), who once had a crush on me. Four uniformed troopers and two detectives were also on hand. They were standing around not doing much except trying to ignore the smell.

A trooper came over to stop me but a detective said, "That's okay, Congressman Schiff. He's official."

I wondered at the trooper's odd title, then recognized the other man. "Hey, Sinclair. How's it going?"

Jamie turned and looked up at me, shielding her eyes.

"Well, other than the smell," said Sinclair, "I guess I'm okay. How about you?"

Jamie interrupted our reunion with a loud, happy laugh. "What the hell have you got in your nose, Jack?"

I shrugged, feeling silly. "It's an old cop trick."

She stood up, casually dusted off one knee, and laughed some more. She was wearing chinos and a maroon turtleneck sweater under a barn jacket the color of brown mustard. Her dark chestnut hair, which she usually wore long, had been cut recently to shoulder length. She said it would look better with her wedding dress. I didn't see the need and was still having trouble getting used to the change.

"Can you breathe like that?" she asked, smiling.

"A little, though I can still smell the body."

She sighed, and tilted her head toward the corpse. "Yeah, it's pretty bad. It could be a lot worse, though."

I wondered how. And hoped it wasn't Jen. I said, "Any idea yet on how long she's been in the water?"

She shook her head. "Not pinpoint. My guess is probably since late spring."

I breathed a sigh of relief. Good, it wasn't Jen.

"Could be even longer," she said. "Some of the fatty tissue has converted to adipocere, and it takes at least five months for that to happen. It also keeps the smell down."

I nodded as if I knew what she was talking about. Or as if I agreed about the smell. "Any ID?"

"Nope. She's a Jane Doe for now."

"Tough break," I said, then looked at the uniformed cop -- who was staring at me. "So, you're a congressman and a cop?"

He gave me a sour look and started to say something but Sinclair interrupted him with a snort. "Nah, his parents played a mean trick on him. Congressman's his first name."

He stuck out his hand. "Glad to meet you, Detective Field. I've heard a lot about you. And call me Dave."

"Okay. And call me Jack. I'm not really a detective anymore, no matter what my fiancee thinks. So, you never thought of going down to the courthouse to have it changed?"

He gave a resigned shrug. "Wouldn't make much difference now. People'd still razz me about what it used to be."

"Yeah," I said, backing upwind of the body, toward the far end of the dock, "but you could at least upgrade yourself. You could be Senator Schiff. Or Governor."

"Good idea, Jack," said Sinclair, elbowing Schiff. "I think I'll start calling myself Pope Sinclair."

"See what I mean?" muttered Schiff.

Jamie said, "Jack, now what are you doing?"

"The breeze . . ." I said, walking a few more steps away. "I want to get upwind of the body." I looked out at the water, which was lit by the late afternoon sun. I noticed a bright spot in the middle of a densely wooded area across the lake, thinking at first it was an autumn leaf fluttering in the breeze, but then it moved deliberately, like someone adjusting a car mirror, and I knew it was sunlight reflecting off glass.

Jamie sighed. "You really are a wimp about this."

"What?" I turned. "You mean the smell? It isn't that. Well, it isn't just that. The thing is, I don't want it getting into my clothes, not to mention my hair and beard. It's going to drive the dogs nuts if they pick it up on me when I get back to the kennel. Haven't you ever worked on a floater before?"

She gave me a pointed look, then gave the slightest tilt of her head toward the rest of the law enforcement personnel. I guess she didn't want them thinking she was a novice.

"Sorry," I said. "Any idea yet on the cause of death?"

"I'm not sure. There are some marks on her chest. They could be knife wounds, they could be postmortem bites from the fish in the lake." The breeze kicked up and she crinkled her nose. "Got any more cigarettes? And is your stress level about the wedding so bad that you've taken up smoking?"


Excerpted from Dogged Pursuit by Lee Kelley Copyright © 2006 by Lee Kelley. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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