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Once Bitten (Melanie Travis Series #8)

Once Bitten (Melanie Travis Series #8)

3.3 3
by Laurien Berenson

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With her former fiancé off finding himself and their wedding plans kaput, Melanie Travis figures the only ring she'll be seeing in the near future is one where she's showing her prized poodles. But at least somebody still believes in happily ever after: her brother Frank is about to tie the knot with his true love, Bertie Kennedy. With scant knowledge of


With her former fiancé off finding himself and their wedding plans kaput, Melanie Travis figures the only ring she'll be seeing in the near future is one where she's showing her prized poodles. But at least somebody still believes in happily ever after: her brother Frank is about to tie the knot with his true love, Bertie Kennedy. With scant knowledge of tulle, favors, or cocktail hors d'oeuvres, Melanie is content to leave the nuptial arrangements to Sara Bentley, a fellow dog-handler moonlighting as a wedding coordinator. But when Sara vanishes without a trace, a panicked Bertie gives Melanie a choice: either pinch-hit for Sara1or find out where she is.

Opting for the latter, Melanie begins sniffing around into Sara's past—and unearths far more trouble than she bargained for when Sara's cottage burns to the gorund and a woman's body is found in the rubble. There are plenty of people who might have reason to want Sara dead—from Maris Kincaid, a disgruntled dog groomer; to Debra Silver,a competitor whose dog had been poisoned a decade ago; to Josh Bennett, her embittered ex-boyfriend. Even Sara's own family seems oddly unconcerned about her disappearance...but are the blue-blooded Bentleys cold-blooded enough to kill one of their own?

What became of Sara isn't the only mystery on Melanie's hands. For some reason, her ex-husband has resurfaced and is following her around like a lovesick puppy. Bob can't possibly want to rekindle their old relationship...or does he?

Melanie soon realizes that despite the best-laid plans, anything can happen, from a rekindled romance to high-spirited canine hijinks to a surprise human pregnancy. And when it comes to Sara Bentley, nothing is certain—except that it's up to Melanie to stop a murderer in his—or her—tracks.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In her eighth doggedly endearing adventure in sleuthing, Melanie Travis is anticipating her brother Frank's impending nuptials to beautiful dog-handler Bertie Kennedy while reflecting over the defection of her fianc?, Sam, who (in last year's Unleashed) suddenly announced he wasn't ready for marriage and went off to find himself. Bertie has hired an old friend, Sara Bentley, to plan her wedding, despite Sara's dubious reputation as a poor little rich girl who flits from one job to another. When Sara disappears soon after taking on the job, Bertie insists that Melanie help find her. As if Melanie doesn't have enough headaches, her ex-husband, Bob Travis, has suddenly reappeared, without his young wife, and is acting like he wants Melanie back. As Melanie delves into Sara's background, she realizes that most of Sara's friends and family aren't that concerned about her. Then a dead body turns up in a fire in the guest cottage where Sara lived on her mother's estate. Is it Sara? If not, then who is it, and where is Sara? The plot takes some surprising twists as Melanie digs deeper into Sara's life, trying to unearth the truth. Balancing an entertaining mystery puzzle with Melanie's attempt to resolve her feelings for her ex-husband and her decamped fianc?, Berenson rounds out the story with the lore of the dog-show world her readers expect. (Sept. 4) FYI: With this title, the publisher has initiated a brighter, bolder jacket design for the series that can only help sales. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Series sleuth Melanie Travis (Unleashed), a teacher and dog handler, goes in search of the sometime wedding consultant she recommended to her brother and his fianc e. The consultant apparently vanishes in the midst of preparations, but when her cottage burns down, a woman's body is found. For all collections. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The dust jacket says it all: a pair of dogs driving off in a car with a Just Married placard. Although the impending nuptials technically involve humans-Connecticut private-school tutor Melanie Travis's brother Frank and his fiancee Alberta Kennedy-Melanie has much less to say about them than about her fearsome Aunt Peg, Bertie's wedding planner Sara Bentley, or just about anybody else who has to do with showing dogs. But self-absorbed, irresponsible Sara, doing her best to provide dramatic competition for Melanie's favorite species, disappears just when the wedding plans should be going into overdrive, and Melanie, enlisted as her aide in order to help her get over the departure of her lover Sam Driver (Unleashed, 2000), soon finds that Sara's lack of experience as a wedding planner is balanced by lots of other experience she's had, most of it unpleasant. When Sara's New Canaan cottage burns down with a body inside, Melanie assumes the dead woman is Sara-until she finds out that Sara's ordered flowers since her disappearance and phoned Bertie since the fire. What gives? Though Bertie offers to keep Melanie's unwelcome ex-husband Bob-back in town bereft of his voting-age second wife-off Melanie's back if she joins the investigation, veterans of Berenson's first seven adventures won't expect miracles of detection. Though Melanie neither identifies the forgettable killer nor even figures out why Aunt Peg is acting so suspiciously nice, her Standard Poodle, Faith, takes Winners Bitch, Best of Breed, and Best of Opposite Sex.

Product Details

Publication date:
Melanie Travis Series , #8
Product dimensions:
5.74(w) x 8.59(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Laurien Berenson is author of the delightful Melanie Travis canine cozy mystery series, including Jingle Bell Bark and Best in Show. She has a degree in psychology from Vassar College and has been married for almost twenty-five years. She lives in Georgia with her husband, her son, six dogs, and two Welsh ponies.

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Once Bitten (Melanie Travis Series #8) 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love books by this author and have read several of them in paperback. I have been waiting for a new book to come out so when I saw the July 2013 publication date I bought it immediately only to realize I read this book a few years ago. It had a different cover.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Life is finally come together for dog show owner Melanie Travis. Even though she was supposed to be getting married during Christmas, she has come to grips that this is not going to happen. Her fiancé left for an unspecified time to find himself. She is delighted that her brother is getting married to Bertie, another person involved dog shows, in six weeks but she is horrified that her ex husband is going to be around for the same month and a half trying to win her back.

When Bertie¿s wedding planner Sara disappears leaving behind an ominous note, she asks Melanie for help in tracking down the missing woman. Before they can get very far in their inquiries, Sara¿s cottage burns down, which leaves behind the remains of a skeleton that can only be identified by dental records. When Melanie and company learn that arson caused the fire and that Sara remains alive though still out of sight, the group increases their efforts to find answers.

ONCE BITTEN, like the rest of the Melanie Travis mysteries, takes readers into the colorful and exciting world of dog competitions. Long time fans of this amateur sleuth series will be ecstatic that Faith finally won enough shows to be considered Champion by the AKC. Laurien Berenson has written another fine work in this delightful mystery series.

Harriet Klausner

Anonymous More than 1 year ago