The Puppy Who Knew Too Much
(A Dog Club Mystery)
by V.M. Burns
The Puppy Who Knew Too Much (A Dog Club Mystery)
2nd in Series
Lyrical Underground (February 12, 2019)
Paperback: 190 pages
Digital ASIN: B07D233MVK
Lilly Echosby and her toy poodle Aggie find a fresh start in Chattanooga, Tennessee, spoiled by the scent of murder . . .
Having solved the shooting death of her cheating husband, Lilly’s left behind the drama of Lighthouse Dunes, Indiana, to start over in the hometown of her best friend, Scarlett “Dixie” Jefferson. As she gets settled in her new rented house, Lilly gives Aggie, short for Agatha Christie, her own fresh start by enrolling her in the Eastern Tennessee Dog Club, where Dixie is a trainer.
But drama seems to hound Lilly like a persistent stray. Her cranky new neighbor appears unfamiliar with Southern hospitality and complains that Aggie barks too much and digs up his prized tulips. But what the poodle actually unearths is the buried body of a mysterious man who claimed ownership of the lost golden retriever Lilly recently rescued. Now it’s up to Lilly and Dixie to try to muzzle another murderer . . .
5 Stars: I really enjoyed this second book in the Dog Club Mystery series. I loved the first one, and I enjoyed this one as much or more. Lilly Echosby is a recently widowed CPA who’s just moved from Indiana to Chattanooga, Tennessee with her toy poodle, Aggie (short for Agatha). The first book in this series has her in the middle of a divorce, but when her husband is killed, she becomes a widow instead. I recommend you read the first book as it gives you a great introduction to the main characters as well as being a great story.
Lilly is staying in an extended stay hotel, but really wants to find a house to rent. When she and her best friend Dixie are out together, she has the opportunity to rent a nice house practically drop right in her lap. She rents from an older woman who has been tasked by her son to rent his house for him as he has business out of town. A disagreeable neighbor manages to infuriate her quickly, which causes her to get a bit physical with him at a neighbourhood meeting, but she’s told no one can get along with him so not to worry about it. She is also looking for a job, and a great temp. position at a local museum is available, so she is ready to start her new life. When Aggie, finds a dead body on their morning walk, Lilly becomes the main suspect.
This is when the book gets fun. With her new co-workers taking her under their wing, her daughter and new boyfriend coming for a visit, and Dixie, the fast talking southern belle, the story moves quickly. Lilly, Stephanie and Dixie decide that the only way to clear Lilly is to investigate themselves just like they did to find Lilly’s husband’s murderer. The story is well plotted and executed with strong and sassy leading female characters, twists and turns, a few suspects but no clear motives. All this keeps the reader turning the pages to follow the clues and see whodunnit. With a great cast of secondary characters including all the dogs (five in this story), plus a possible romantic interest for Lilly, this is a fun, fast read! I highly recommend this one. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.
Interview with V.M. Burns
When did you write your first book, whether published or not?
I started my first book in 2006. It took five years before I finished it. I spent years on revisions and rewrites and then tossed that book out and started over from scratch with the same basic characters/premise in 2012. That book became my thesis for my MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. I finished the book in 2015 when I graduated and then rewrote/revised it again. It was finally published in 2018. That book was TRAVELLIN’ SHOES, the first book in the RJ Franklin Mystery Series.
When did you realize you wanted to be a writer? Were there other things you thought you would become?
For as long as I can remember, I thought about ideas for books and movies. I used to call it, “my imaginings.” If I finished a book or movie that I enjoyed, I imagined what came next in the sequel. If I didn’t like a book, I imagined a different ending. I was an adult before I realized this wasn’t something everyone did. Eventually, I got tired of wishing or “imagining” ideas for books and not seeing them published and decided to try writing them. It wasn’t until I actually started writing books that I thought about making it a career. I spent many years as a corporate training manager and thought that was how I would spend my life.
Where do you get your ideas or inspiration for your books?
I find inspiration and ideas everywhere. All of my books have a bit of me in each one. In my Mystery Bookshop Mystery Series, Samantha Washington dreamed of opening a mystery bookshop and writing British historic cozy mysteries, because that’s my dream. The RJ Franklin Mystery Series includes a lot about the church, singing in the choir, and soul food because I grew up in that environment. The Dog Club Mystery Series features a woman who becomes involved with poodles, joins a dog club and competes with her poodles in dog agility and obedience, which are all things that I have done in my lifetime.
What does your day look like when you are writing?
I do most of my writing at night and on weekends. I set a goal to write between 7,500 – 10,000 words per week. I try to write 1,000-1,500 words per night. If I don’t hit my daily word target, then I strive to make that up on the weekends. I turned one of the bedrooms in my house into a home office where I sit and write with my dogs.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I love reading cozy mysteries and lately I enjoy cooking. I love to find recipes on Pinterest and cook. Readers have commented there are a lot of references to food in my books. That’s because just like my protagonists, I enjoy cooking and eating.
About the Author: V.M. Burns was born in Northwestern Indiana and spent many years in Southwestern Michigan on the Lake Michigan shoreline. She is a lover of dogs, British historic cozies, and scones with clotted cream. After many years in the Midwest, she went in search of milder winters and currently lives in Eastern Tennessee with her poodles. Her debut novel, The Plot is Murder was nominated for a 2017 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Valerie is a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and a lifetime member of Sisters in Crime. Readers can learn more by visiting her website at vmburns.com