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    Review of HOT DOG by Laurien Berenson (see her website)


    Kensington Books, September 2002

    Melanie Travis's life has changed. Sam, the boyfriend who deserted her on her way to the alter, is back in her life and anxious to start where he left off. Bob, her ex-husband, is doing everything he can to be a good father to their child, and her poodle puppy wins her first champion point. But things are a long way from perfect. A beautiful reporter has decided that Melanie's ability to stumble over bodies everywhere she goes is a sure ticket to T.V. stardom. And someone begins harrassing Melanie with phone calls and even break-ins. Gradually Melanie has to confront the fact that someone is obsessed with her and means her no good.

    Author Laurien Berenson (see more reviews of novels by this author) delivers a perky single mother (of a seven year-old son and two standard poodle daughters) with a nose for mystery and a personal life that never seems to go quite right. Melanie is a wonderfully developed character--smart and sympathetic with her assorted family and male attachments (both ex and current). Fans of the series will be delighted to see how Eve (her younger dog) is growing up and catch up on Aunt Peg's latest outrageous plan.

    HOT DOG isn't the standard Melanie Travis mystery. There is a surprising lack of dead bodies (pity the poor reporter). This time, the threat is more subtle--and more personal. Berenson's smooth writing is engaging and clever.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 10/30/02

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