Monday, December 27, 2021

Short Story Review: Project Dogway by Sparkle Abbey (Pampered Pets Mysteries Short Story)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Fun quickly mystery with characters we love
Cons: None for me
The Bottom Line:
Fundraiser murder
Cousins tracking down killer
Short but works for fans

Dogging a Killer

I completely enjoyed the Pampered Pets Mysteries by the writing team of Sparkle Abbey, so when I saw they were releasing a short story they had written, I knew I had to read it.  Project Dogway” may be short, but it will still please fans of the series.

Cousins Caro Lamont and Mel Langston are both in attendance at a dog fashion show fundraiser to help raise awareness for heartworm (in dogs, that is).  Mel’s boutique is providing fashion for the dogs that are walking the catwalk, er dogwalk, for the show.  However, the show ends early when Phil Tawney drops dead after eating some shellfish.  While Caro searches for Phil’s missing award-winning beagle, Mel attempts to comfort the not quite grieving almost ex-wife.  Will they wind up gathering the clues needed to catch the killer?

If you aren’t familiar with the series, Caro and Mel starred in alternating books.  They rarely interacted as they were feuding, although that seemed to be dying down in the last couple of books.  We don’t find out for sure when this story takes place in the middle of the series, but the cousins are definitely still going at it.  While they are both in the same event and even in the same room, they don’t speak.  Yet they both still manage to solve the crime.  The cousins take turns as the focus in alternating chapters, so we still get to see how they both reach the right conclusion.

Yes, this is a short story.  It took me about 45 minutes to read it.  Yes, this is a short story with chapters.  They allow us to easily switch points of view between the cousins.  It worked perfectly here.

Fans of the series looking for appearances from all the regulars will be disappointed.  Outside of Caro and Mel, we only see Detective Judd Malone, although one other character gets a few mentions.  There just isn’t time to see two sets of main characters and solve a murder here.

Yes, we do solve the murder.  The authors do a good job of working together to provide clues to both cousins so they can both figure it out with boring us with lots of repetition.

Of course, there’s the humor.  This series takes place in the world of over-the-top pet owners in Laguna Beach, California.  This creates some characters and situations that are fun to read about.

If you’ve been missing the series like I have, “Project Dogway” is a pleasant chance to revisit a couple of friends.  If you are new to the characters, this story is a good way to sample the fun of the full series.  It will make you want to dive in for more.

Enjoy the full-length Pampered Pets Mysteries.

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