Monday, March 23, 2009

Hounding The Pavement - Judy McCoy

Hounding The Pavement
A Dog Walker Mystery
Judi McCoy


Fresh from a nasty divorce, Ellie Engleman visits the ASPCA to adopt a dog. Most people talk to animals. It’s pretty surprising when one talks to you. That’s what happens while she’s standing in front the ranks of cages. She hears a dog talking to her, telling her that he’s the reincarnation of her previous pet. After making sure it’s not a practical joke, Ellie accepts her new talent and brings Rudy home. In a roundabout way, these events lead her to her new, dream job: dog walker.

Life as a dog walker in Manhattan is interesting. So many people do so many crazy things that no one thinks twice about the dog walker carrying on a one-sided conversation with her charges. Collecting her group for the morning walk, Ellie arrives at Professor Albright’s apartment. The dogs balk and tell her something’s not right. Using her key, as usual, Ellie finds the door blocked by the Professor’s body. After notifying the proper people, Ellie immediately begins to search for Buddy, the Professor’s AKC champion bichon. The police are clearly more interested in the dead human body than the missing dog, so Ellie decides to look for him with the help of her canine friends.

This is the first in a new and inventive series. The author handles Ellie’s gift in a fairly matter-of-fact way so that it never becomes too cutesy or paranormal. The focus here is on the dogs and the mystery. Each dog, naturally, has its own personality, which will make complete sense to any animal lover. Ellie is a fun character. She’s devoted to the dogs, but she’s still human enough to be a little attracted to the lead detective on the case, Sam Ryder. The mystery starts quickly and the breezy writing style keeps the story flowing very well. There’s already another installment in the pipeline, so it’ll be interesting to see where things go from here.

Rating: 7
March 2009
ISBN# 978-0-451-22631-0 (paperback)


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