Reviewer: Lori Graham
Title: The Fashion Hound Murders - 5th in the Mystery Shopper series
Author: Elaine Viets
Publisher: Obsidian (Penguin)
Release Date: November 2009
Genre/Sub-genre: Mystery Romance
Year/Setting: Current/ St. Louis Missouri
Overall Rating: 3.5
Sexual Content Rating: None
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None
Violent Content Rating: Minimal
Elaine's Website/Blog: www.elaineviets.com
Josie is a single mom who supports her daughter by being a mystery shopper. Her boss has received a new job that he passes along to her that has Josie feeling a little odd. Their new assignment is to check out pet shops and ask questions about where they get their puppies and if they have the certificates to prove it.
Doesnít sound too difficult until she hits upon an employee at one of those stores who wants to talk with her after hours. Josie agrees to come back and talk to her. Later that night, she drives up to see the woman coming out of the store, and as she walks toward Josieís car, she is run down. That starts Josie down a path she hasnít anticipated because a man she is interested in gets drawn into the murder investigation and a man she isnít interested in has a friend who she is sure is running a puppy mill.
Elaine Viets introduces some great characters with The Fashion Hound Murders and brings a lot of humor and caring to a touchy subject. Puppy mills are a serious problem in this country and I applaud her for the way she deals with the topic and brings attention to the plight of these animals.
While she is bringing the reader into the topic, she introduces them to a family life. Josie is a strong single mom with many of the issues society today deals with. Josie would like romance in her life but wants to make sure they fit in the environment with her daughter. She wants the best for her little girl which is why she is willing to sacrifice things in order to get her daughter into a private school and even buys a cat.
The comedy, romance and humor are all tied up quite nicely in the end.
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