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    Review of THE DOGFATHER by Susan Conant


    Berkley Prime Crime, February 2003

    Mobster Enzio Guarini loves dogs. So when his new puppy doesn't behave, he sends his henchmen out to bring him Holly Winter, dog trainer and fellow dog lover. Holly knows enough about the mob, and about Guarini's reputation, to accept the job, but when one of Guarini's assistants is killed during a training session, Holly knows she's in over her head. And Guarini's attempts to help her, including intimidating an A.K.C. judge and possibly blowing up her car, let her know that she's in trouble. Of course, for Holly, trouble is a given. As if the mob weren't bad enough, she's got hostile FBI agents camped out front and an ex-boyfriend who seems to want to reconnect but somehow keeps missing.

    Author Susan Conant writes a funny and entertaining mystery. The dogs are well integrated and are real dogs (not super-dogs who talk, solve mysteries by themselves, and otherwise dominate the story). Holly continually uses her dog training insights to 'help' her deal with people, adding to the humor but also increasing Holly's depth of personality. Of course, her problems with boyfriends, the FBI, and the mob increase the author's sympathy for Holly as she tries to figure out the right thing to do.

    Conant's writing is funny and highly readable. THE DOGFATHER is perfect light reading, a cute mystery, and will appeal even to readers who don't care much about dogs (dog fans will love it).

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 3/19/03

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