One of Laguna Beach's best-known plastic surgeons may need a new leash on life. Unless he's just taking a very long nap on the bench outside Melinda Langston's Bow Wow Boutique . . .
Dr. O'Doggle continued to give us the silent treatment. Fluffy eyed him intently. I studied him too. Tova Randall wasn't my BFF, to say the least, but I didn't wish her boyfriend any bad luck.
My neighbor, Darby, relaxed her grip on Fluffy's leash. The big Afghan lunged toward Dr. O and knocked him over.
Tova's handsome hunk rolled off the bench and dropped with a thud at our feet.
Darby gasped. My stomach knotted. "No, no, no." I shook my head. "Not again."
I knelt down and shook his shoulders. "Dr. O'Doggle?" I grabbed his suit lapels and yelled, "Jack?"
No response. No, "I'm fine." No, "Stop yelling in my face." No, "Get your hands off me."
No, no, no.
I checked his throat for a pulse. Nothing. But he was still warm. My fingers brushed against something knotted around his throat, and I'm not talking about his tie. I pulled back his shirt for a better look. I sucked in a breath, my nose filled with a light female perfume I didn't recognize. A thin dog leash was wound tightly around his neck. Identical to the kind I sold at the shop.
This was not an accident.
"Is he . . .?" Darby asked softly.
I looked up at her. "Dead. No more late night walks for him."
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, with either an iced tea or a margarita. Visit them at sparkleabbey.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Plastic Surgeon Strangled I must admit, I’ve fallen in love with the pop culture based puns of the Pampered Pets Mysteries, but I also love how the title pun truly does tie into the mystery of the book. I hadn’t really thought about what the title of the fourth book might be hinting at, but when I realized that the murder victim in Yip/Tuck was a plastic surgeon, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t figured that out sooner. The plastic surgeon in question is Dr. Jack O’Doggle. He’s one of the most sought after plastic surgeons in the Laguna Beach, California, area. He also happens to be dating Tova, one of Melinda Langston’s enemies, but since Jack and Tova are constantly buying items in Mel’s shop, Bow Wow Boutique, she’s not complaining. However, one morning, Mel and her friend, Darcy, find Dr. Jack sitting on a bench outside of Bow Wow Boutique. Unfortunately, he’s not waiting for her to open her shop. Instead, he’s been strangled by a leash that Mel sells in her store. Despite warnings to stay out of it, Mel can’t help but take the murder personally and start looking into things. What secrets might Jack have been hiding that got him killed? And once again, we are off on a wild ride through the world of Laguna Beach as brought to life by the team of Sparkle Abbey. These books definitely feature the rich and slightly absurd, and that is one of their delights. Yet the comedy blends well with the mystery, where we get many good suspects and clues before Mel figures it all out. The characters walk that fine line between caricature and character, but it works for this series. A sub-plot here involves Mel looking for some help in her shop, and the two people she interviews prove to be two of the funniest characters. Yet they don’t seem completely wacky, which is a testament to that balance I mentioned earlier. Those who have been following the series know that the odd numbered books focus on Mel’s cousin Caro. The two are feuding over a broach, and that once again provides some amusement, although the development from the previous book doesn’t get as much play here as I was hoping for. The book seems a little on the thin side. This is certainly the shortest in the series so far. However, I think anything else added would have felt just like what it would have been – padding, which makes this worth noting only in passing. This is a satisfying mystery just as it is. This book was set during the early part of December, so the references to Christmas were an added bonus as far as I was concerned. I do love that holiday, after all. This is a fun tale that kept me turning pages until I reached the end. Yip/Tuck is the kind of book that will make you forget everything else going on in your world. And isn’t that what reading is really all about?
Title: Yip/Tuck - Pampered Pets Mystery Book 4 Author: Sparkle Abbey Published: 6-10-13 Publisher: Belle Books Pages: 152 Genre: Mystery, Thrillers and Suspense Sub Genre: Cozy Mystery; Animals; Action & Adventure; Amateur Sleuths ISBN: 9781611943139 ASIN: B00D6RNSFI Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley My Rating: 5 Stars . . Melinda Langston, owner of Bow Wow Boutique and her cousin Caroline Lamont, a pet therapist use to be friendly, but competitive when they were younger, but now they have an ugly broach and a much loved grandmother between them. Their grandmother promised the broach to her favorite granddaughter, the problem was she referred to each as her favorite and failed to specify in her will was to receive the broach. Over time it has become a game of one-upmanship between them where each steals it back from the other. This is a running sub-story through the series thus far. In the fourth book of the series we have Melinda and her friend Darby walking towards their shops when they see Dr. Jack O'Doogle sitting on the bench in front of the Bow Wow Boutique. Not wanting to seem rude they call out a greeting, but receiving no reply. Fluffy breaks away from Darby and knocks the renowned plastic surgeon off the bench. Melinda kneels down to help him and when she checks for a pulse she finds a thin leash just like the ones she sells in her shop wrapped around his neck. Detective Malone and her Gray, her boyfriend both tell her to stay out of the investigation, but she ignores them. While investigating on her own both she and her assistant are arrested in their undies and in danger from a killer. That is just this tip of the iceberg. Be prepared to laugh your way through this mystery. Both the animals and humans in this story are full of personality. I must admit I thought I pampered my cats, but never so much as Melinda's customers. To me the animals steal the show, but Betty is definitely a close second. You will want to visit with Melinda and her friends often. My rating is 5 stars.
I can't wait for their next book.
Pampered Pets Mystery #4) The Pampered Pets Mystery are over the top fun with pet owners spoiling their animals. They also are about two cousins from Texas who now live in L.A. area. Melinda Langston owns a pet store with designer pet clothes while her cousin Carolina Lamont is a pet therapist. They are fighting over a pin that their grandma left her favorite granddaughter. Which of course they believe they both are. So they are always stealing it from each other. Yip/Tuck is Melinda starting out with the pin, but not for long. It is also her turn to find a dead body and get in the way of homicide Detective Malone. The cousins keep finding dead bodies and seem to take turns every other book. They also want to find answers and clear their friends from being murder suspects. The books are fun. They are a cozy mystery I would guess you could say. I have enjoyed reading them. I did guess where one part of the story was going to go before they discovered the secret. But I did not guess on who the murder was till close to the end. Melinda owns Bow Wow Boutique and is hosting a designer show for pets after work for certain customers to come. She hears Tova fighting with her boyfriend Dr. Jack O'Doggle because he can't meet her at the store. He did buy her petKiki a present today over the phone for kiki to makeup for a fight they had. The next morning Darby and Melinda were out walking their dogs and when they got to their businesses they see Dr. O'Doggle sitting on a bench in front of Bow Wow. When he doesn't answer them one of the dogs goes up to sniff and knocks him off the bench. He does not move or make a sound. Melinda thinks he is dead she bends over to check and can't find a pulse but does see a leash around his neck. Melinda calls Detective Malone he is plugged into her cell. He tells Melinda to stay out of his way. But she does not listen to well to him or her boyfriend. Melinda does find answers along the way. Melinda also hired a new person to work a few hours a day. Betty is a hoot. Brings lots of laughs and fun with her. If you like animals, funny stories and characters with their over the top personality and mystery these books would be right up your funny bone. They are also clean reads. I look forward to the next Pampered Pets mystery. I was given this ebook to read and asked to give honest review of it when finished by Netgalley. Published May 29th 2013 by Bell Bridge Books 150 pages ISBN:9781611942