Desperate Housedogs (Pampered Pets Mystery Series #1)

Desperate Housedogs (Pampered Pets Mystery Series #1)

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 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.

Detective Judd Malone scanned my living room, his baby blues taking in my overstuffed couch, easy chairs and crowded bookshelves. My cats, Thelma and Louise, perched in the window sill, replete with tuna. Each opened an eye and then, unimpressed, went back to their beauty sleep. Dogbert climbed from his doggie bed, trotted over for a sniff, but then also dismissed Malone and went back to his nap.

"Can I get you something to drink?" I asked. Some hospitality is automatic. Even when you have an unannounced guest. Even a guest who might arrest you.

He shook his head and continued his scan.

"Well, then. What can I help you with, Detective?"

"I understand you visited Kevin Blackstone today?"

"Yes, I did. I'm the behavioral counselor for his German shepherds. What about Kevin?"

I had a really bad feeling about this. Malone arched a brow. "Kevin Blackstone is dead."

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.)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781611940503
Publisher: BelleBooks
Publication date: 10/11/2011
Series: Pampered Pets Mystery Series , #1
Pages: 202
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

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Desperate Housedogs: Special Large-Size Review Edition 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 72 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
Anonymous 10 months ago
what a fun book to read. it stumped me on who killed him and why. great mystery
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
rkchr on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was OK. The characters (dog & people) were kind of interesting. But the first person thing with the main character did seem to lead to a lot of redundancy in this book.... she kept going on and on about the same things.
KristinSchadler More than 1 year ago
Loved this book. Loved all the quirky dogs and their owners and all their secrets. Loved the mystery...didn't figure out the bad guy until Caro did. Loved the twists in the plot...not everyone is what they seem.
CK119 More than 1 year ago
Desperate Housedogs by Sparkle Abbey is a fun filled, light mystery story. Carolina AKA Caro is a pet psychologist in Laguna Beach CA; many of her clients in the exclusive gated community of Ruby Point. Her cousin Melinda AKA Mel also lives in Laguna Beach and owns a doggie boutique. The two have a dispute going about ownership of a brooch left by their grandmother and keep “stealing” it from each other adding some light humor to the mystery story. Caro’s client, Kevin, calls her because his dogs are barking constantly at the back door and he sees nothing out there. When he and Caro let them out they discover the gate is open and off they go on a chase to catch the dogs. The normally friendly dogs corner and bite a landscaper while they are on the loose. Caro gets them back to a calm state and goes on with her day. As she prepares her dinner she learns from Detective Judd Malone that they believe she was the last person to see Kevin alive. Caro can’t resist asking questions and is doing a bit of her own investigating even after several reminders from Detective Malone to let the police handle the matter. Eventually retired film star, Diana, is arrested and sets herself up in the jail, holding interviews and promoting her Fur Ball charity auction that is coming up soon. Do the police have the real killer or he or she still out there? I enjoyed this story but it is probably not for very serious mystery readers. There is a lot of silly, fun scenes as both Detective Malone and Caro try to unravel what is going on. There are a lot of characters who become suspects in Caro’s mind but are they what they seem? Caro’s character is realistic; I really can see someone doing the things she does. Some of the characters are just way out there though I think I have met some of them. I give this book a 5 of 5 stars. I did enjoy and while I was suspicious of the person behind the murder I could not see a motive until the end; this was very well written and the end was a surprise to me.
Carstairs38 More than 1 year 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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