When Lady, the therapy dog at a Manhattan private institution for autistic adults, mysteriously vanishes, P.I. Rachel Alexander and her therapy pit bull Dash are hired by Venus White, manager of the institution, to replace her. Working with the residents is both heart-breaking and rewarding.
Aside from tracking the missing Lady, Venus wants Rachel to investigate the death of the institutions co-owner, Harry Dietrich, who had a suspiciously fatal collision with a bike.
Rachel mildly resents Venuss manipulations, but because she is making breakthroughs with some of the residents, she agrees to investigate. She discovers that Venus is even more secretive than she had imagined and that Harrys killer has made Venus his next target.
LADY VANISHES is an involving, heartwarming mystery. Benjamin can spin a whodunit with the best of them. Her knowledge of therapy dogs is an added bonus. Only the most hard-hearted of people will not be touched by this tale. (Sep., 276 pp., $23.95)