This first novel in Baxter's Reigning Cats and Dogs series features a charmingly humorous voice, clue-providing pets and a romantic subplot that adds substance to main character Jessica Popper.

Long Island's PR king has been murdered, and mobile vet Jessica's canine companions Max and Lou find the body. Before you can say bow-wow-wow, curious Jessica has turned up more suspects than ticks on a hound dog.

Complicating matters, Jessica needs private investigator Nick's help, even though she's recently ended their four-year romance. They still have feelings for each other, but will the handsome cop on the case ruin any chances Nick and Jessica have of reigniting the spark?

Baxter's writing is clean— she's funny without being fussy. Along with lovable Jessica and her menagerie, the author has created a subtle yet creepy antagonist whose unmasking is as intense as it is surprising. (Feb., 400 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Cindy Harrison