When one of Quilla Day's valued customers turns up missing, the gourmet doggie shop owner is convinced that foul play is involved -- especially when she sees a body along her jogging path. The police think she's a card shy of a full deck, and undercover agent Denton Manning has his doubts as well. But a potent attraction may compel him to help conduct a private investigation.

As a romance novel, Poarch's book falters slightly. But the author's approach to humor and mystery is a saving grace. The attraction between Quilla and Denton is, at best, minimal and is similar to a slow burning.

Quilla's personality seems to dominate because she is the more upbeat and quirky character. Despite Quilla's and Denton's differences, Poarch shows that they compliment one another as the novel nears the end. This is the answer for those looking for mystery with a hint of romance. (Jan., 352 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
T.L. Burton