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To Collar a Killer [NOOK Book]


In this delightful and witty third 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 sinister mystery yet!

One of Maine kennel owner Jack Field's favourite pastimes is spending quality time with a fun-loving pooch--which is why he's playing fetch with a Corgi named Tipper instead of mingling at a July 4th shindig. But when Tipper returns with a bloodstained boating cap...

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To Collar a Killer

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In this delightful and witty third 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 sinister mystery yet!

One of Maine kennel owner Jack Field's favourite pastimes is spending quality time with a fun-loving pooch--which is why he's playing fetch with a Corgi named Tipper instead of mingling at a July 4th shindig. But when Tipper returns with a bloodstained boating cap in his teeth, the ex-New York cop decides to investigate...and finds an anonymous dead body clutching the tennis ball Jack tossed away moments before. The local law think Jack's the killer, since he had the opportunity and, as it turns out, a motive. Even his loyal and lovely fiancée, sometime medical examiner Dr. Jamie Cutter, is troubled by evidence that contradicts Jack's tale. Someone's going to great lengths to frame Jack Field, and he's determined to find out why--even though everyone, from a powerful tycoon to a Miami drug lord to a whole passel of professional killers, is equally determined to see him doggoned dead!

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Editorial Reviews

Shirley Rousseau Murphy
“Smart and witty, fast-paced . . . the best of mysteries a la canine.”
Romantic TimesBOOKclub
"A very clever canine caper."
Kevin Behan
“This is not only a great mystery novel, it should also be sold in every pet store in America.”
Delia Ephron
Praise for A Nose for Murder:“This is the most perfect book...the mystery is beautifully written, fast-paced and engrossing. What could be better?”
Rendezvous Magazine
“A terrific story with equally terrific characters...don’t miss this one.”
Romantic Times BOOKclub
“A very clever canine caper.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061754166
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/13/2009
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 363,722
  • File size: 518 KB

Meet the Author

Lee Charles Kelley is a successful New York dog trainer whose critiques of the alpha theory and operant conditioning have made him a controversial figure in the dog world. The author of five previous novels featuring Jack Field—Dogged Pursuit, 'Twas the Bite Before Christmas, To Collar a Killer, Murder Unleashed, and A Nose for Murder—Mr. Kelley lives on the island of Manhattan with a Dalmatian named Fred.

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First Chapter

To Collar a Killer

Chapter One

I was bored out of my skull but couldn't go anywhere until Jamie came back with the boat, so I was sitting in a wooden lawn chair at the far end of Zita Earl's backyard, drinking a Sam Adams, and playing a game of fetch with a red-and-white Welsh Pembroke corgi named Tipper. I didn't hold the dog's name against her; she'd been named by our hostess -- Jamie's aunt Zita (I suspect after an invisible childhood friend) -- and there was nothing either the dog or I could do about it now.

I did blame myself, however, for having no one to relate to but a four-legged critter. Jamie had asked me earlier -- after we'd finished our grilled lobster and corn on the cob, and after we'd beat everyone else there at badminton for the sixth time -- if I wanted to go with her to pick up her father, Jonas, and his wife, Laurie, so they could come watch the fireworks with us from the comfort of Aunt Zita's private island; supposedly the best spot in the State of Maine to spend the Fourth of July. But I'd gotten myself embroiled -- as usual -- in a heated discussion about dogs; this time with Dale Summerhays, the crazy old bird who runs the Mid-Coast Animal Rescue League.

"We're sponsoring a mandatory spay/neuter bill in the state legislature again this year, Jack," Dale said, swirling the ice in her gin and tonic. "I hope you'll help get it passed."

I tilted my head and was about tell her what she could do with her damn bill when Jamie read my mind and stopped me.

"Jack?" She put a hand on my knee. "Did I tell you that Aunt Zita has offered to let us get married here? On her island?"

She had a glass of Perrier and lime in one hand. She was wearing white short-shorts -- which nicely accented the tan of her legs -- and a faded denim cowboy shirt with pearl buttons, over one of my old navy blue NYPD T-shirts. Her long, dark chestnut hair was held back by a turquoise bandeau, which heightened the loveliness of her brown eyes. It also matched her earrings.

"I think it would be a wonderful place for the ceremony." She twirled the Tiffany engagement ring on her finger and gazed out at the harbor and the far-off lighthouse at Pemaquid Point. Then she sighed, looked down, and stabbed at her drink with a plastic straw. "If we ever do get married, that is."

I looked at Dale. "We haven't set the date yet." Then I put my hand on the back of Jamie's long, lovely neck and said, "It would be wonderful, honey. In the summer. Just perfect. But what if we want to get married in February?"

"In February? Why would we get married in February?"

"I think he means on Valentine's Day," Dale said. "Don't you, Jack?" She brushed a few wisps of gray hair away from her sharp, aquiline face. Her watery blue eyes sparkled.

Jamie ahhed and said, "Jack Field, that is so romantic."

I agreed with her; it was romantic. "Plus, your divorce was fi- nalized in February and I proposed to you in February. It just seems to me that one year is the perfect amount of time to wait, all things considered." I didn't tell her it would also give me another seven months or so to adjust to the idea of being married. Not just to Jamie, to anyone.

Dale took a sip of gin and tonic. She wore a beige linen shift and a straw hat with a coral ribbon. She kept her dark glasses on even though the sun had gone behind some clouds, causing the wind to kick up a little. The green canvas umbrella over our table flapped noisily, and the loose folds of my Hawaiian-style summer shirt -- decorated with the old red and brown Schlitz beer logo -- fluttered around my torso.

Jamie put down her drink and said, "Well, I think I'd better go pick up Dad and Laurie now. Want to come along?"

"Sure," I said.

"At any rate, Jack, about that bill," Dale looked at me, shading her eyes as I stood up, "I hope you'll have everyone who comes to your kennel sign one of our petitions."

"Well, the problem is, I don't actually believe in -- "

"Of course he will," Jamie said, putting an arm around my shoulder, and a hand over my mouth. She gave me a warning look. "Won't you, Jack?"

I took her hand away. "No, I won't. Frankly, I think the whole practice of spaying and neutering dogs is barbaric and inhumane."

"How can you say that?" Dale was outraged. "Surely, as a dog trainer you know that dogs are much easier to control, not to mention healthier, when they've been -- "

"What, castrated? Surgically mutilated?"

"Oh, I see. It's a male macho thing."

"The hell it is." I sat down. "And in my experience -- "

"Jack -- " Jamie tugged at the back of my shirt.

" -- dogs have fewer behavioral problems -- honey, let me finish-- and live happier, healthier, and longer lives -- "

"How can you say that?" Dale said.

" -- when their healthy sex organs are left intact!"

"Jack, we really should get going."

"Nonsense! What about ovarian and prostate cancer?"

"What about cancer of the liver? You want to cut out a dog's liver on the off chance he might get cancer one day?" Jamie walked a few steps away. "Jack? I'm leaving?"

"Oh, you're impossible. The shelters are full of unwanted animals and all you can think about is your own damn testicles."

"You know, if you're so worried about overpopulation -- and who isn't -- then why not call for mandatory vasectomies?"

"Vasec -- "

"It doesn't interfere with the dog's natural hormonal development and it's much less invasive."

To Collar a Killer. Copyright © by Lee Kelley. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2006

    You'll love the characters!

    Once you pick up 'To Collar a Killer' you won't want to put it down. When you finish the book you'll want to read all Lee Charles Kelley's books. The plot is great, Jack & Jamie are fun loving, the humor will have you smiling, the mystery is great and the information about dogs is top rate!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2005

    To Collar A Killer

    Jack Field is a dog genius. Any questions you may have, he has the answers. He thought, when he retired as a NYC cop and bought a kennel in Maine, that the rough life was gone. He is proven wrong when a man is found dead. Worse yet, Jack is the prime suspect! ....................................... The person framing Jack is doing a good job too. For this case goes from Maine to a San Diego drug lord. But they apparently did not know who they were messing with. ...................................... ***** Very clever! The author had me guessing for a long while. Dog lovers (the tips really do work!) or not, if you like mysteries, you will love this one. *****

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2009

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    Posted March 25, 2012

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