Four Dog’s Sake
A Mae December Mystery
By Lia Farrell
e-book version (tradepaper back also)
set in Rosedale, Tennessee
Lia Farrell’s “Four Dog’s Sake” begins with a widower dying of congestive heart failure giving his massage therapist a necklace with a garnet cabochon pendant. The therapist is Brooke Piper and this clearly foreshadows the forthcoming unrest in the senior’s estate.
We are then introduced to Maeve Malone December who runs a boarding kennel on her restored farmhouse property and breeds “porgies” a corgi/pug. Not only does she keep pretty busy caring for the dogs, but she’s attending a barrie class with her pregnant friend, Tammy, in order to get in shape for her approaching wedding to Rose County Sheriff Ben Bradley. We learn that Mae was going to marry Tammy’s husband’s brother, Noah, but the young songwriter died in a car accident. Before he died, the couple invested in this wonderful farmhouse. Mae’s artistic drive seemed to die with Noah. From that point on, she began to walk a different path, though not one of her choosing. Case in point, while walking one of her boarding dogs, Mae stumbled upon the body of her neighbor, Ruby Mead. This discovery landed her as a suspect, but when the evidence landed someone else in the guilty department, Mae was named a consultant for the sheriff’s office. That experience is what brought Ben and Mae together. When Ben learns he has a five year old son, Mae accepts the new relationship.
When Mae’s neighbor, Dr. Lucy Ingram learns that a 41-year-old diabetic who she cared for at Rose County General dies shortly after, intuition steers both Mae and Lucy on the case. They can’t formally take it, so they help Ben and Chief Detective Wayne Nichols unofficially in gathering information. They are a good fit in the team of Dory Clarkson, Cam Gomez, George Phelps and Rob Fuller.
Now comes the hard work, pulling together all their facts to find out if Chester Willis’ death was premeditated felony murder. Beginning with the suspects closest to the alleged victim, that would be his stockbroker brother, Rick, who stands to inherit both his and his brother’s portion of his dying father’s estate; Rick’s snobbish girlfriend, Meredith Flynn, or Brooke, the massage therapist who is getting a little something in Mr. Willis’ will.
Four Dog’s Sake was well written and no easy task. The authors clearly stated when another point of view was given. There was no trying to figure out who’s head you were in. The storyline’s progression was paced appropriately never slowing down. You could easily relate to the characters and were concerned about their well being and their abilities. You really didn’t know the guilty party until the very end.
Four and a half puppies out of five
Sunday, May 22, 2016
About the authors: Lia Farrell is the nom de plume for a mother/daughter duo of writers. Mom Lyn Farquhar and Daughter Lisa Fitzsimmons have been collaborating on the Mae December mystery series for four years. One Dog Too Many was released November 15, 2013. They are currently working with editors Jennifer and Catherine at Camel Press on other books in the series.