This fourth installment in Baxter's Reigning Cats and Dogs series is a wonderful read. Once again Dr. Jessica Popper, veterinarian and amateur sleuth extraordinaire, ends up in the middle of a murder mystery -- and this one implicates her best friend, fellow vet Suzanne Fox.

When wine heiress Cassandra Thorndike is found murdered at home, all evidence seems to point to her fiance's ex-wife, Suzanne. Jessica knows that her friend didn't do it, but it looks bad that Suzanne lied to police about being at the house on the day of the murder. Determined to help Suzanne, Jessica soon finds herself at the center of a mystery that involves wine, kinky photographs, dessert recipes and more flirtatious banter with reporter Forester Sloan.

Between caring for pets, trying to sort out her feelings for her live-in boyfriend Nick and piecing together the pieces of a murder, Jessica has her hands full. Baxter skillfully keeps the mystery humming along as she further develops Jessica's personal life and those of her friends. Jessica continues to be an attractive and capable sleuth, and the animals in the story provide not only charm but also comic relief in between the more suspenseful portions of the book. (May, 365 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Stephanie Schneider