As always, Melanie Travis's life is a hectic one. Her ex-husband, Bob, has decided to buy their son, Davey, a pony; her former fiancé Sam has finally "found himself" and wants her back; and she's about to show Eve, her poodle puppy. Now, her Aunt Peg has been given a champion dachshund to auction off for charity and she wants Melanie to dog-sit Dox! Both are incensed that someone would auction off the puppy, and Melanie becomes even more infuriated when she learns that Dox is being used as a pawn in a messy divorce.

Melanie's mind turns to other things when she is doubly stalked. First, a pair of reporters follows her everywhere, for they believe that where Melanie goes, murder follows and they want a scoop. Then someone starts breaking into her house and playing nasty tricks. As the break-ins escalate and Dox is dognapped, Melanie's determined to clear things up, but she doesn't realize her own life is on the line…

Although the mystery is slow to unravel, HOT DOG is an enjoyable read peopled with amiable characters—Melanie and company are cozy mystery favorites. As always, Ms. Berenson includes many fascinating facts about dogs for the reader's enlightenment and entertainment. (Sep., 288 pp., $22.00)

Reviewed by: 
Toby Bromberg