Mystery fans and dog lovers alike will enjoy Peggy Rothschild’s A Deadly Bone to Pick, the first in a new cozy mystery series featuring former police officer-turned-dog trainer Molly Madison.
Looking for a fresh start after the death of her husband, Molly makes a cross-country move to California. With her loyal golden retriever, Harlow, at her side, Molly hopes to heal and put down roots in the coastal town of Pier Point. On her first day there, she befriends a slobbery Saint Berdoodle (named Noodle) and volunteers to train him after learning that his owner can’t properly care for him. But when her new charge digs up a severed hand on the beach, Molly quickly goes from new kid on the block to murder suspect.
Readers will enjoy Rothschild’s fast-paced and well-plotted mystery, especially its small beach community setting. In Pier Point, the locals keep tabs on their neighbors, and everyone has a secret to hide. The town is filled with memorable characters, including Miguel Vasquez, the handsome detective investigating the murder, and Ava, Molly’s precocious 8-year-old neighbor who’s in need of tips for both training her dog and making friends her own age.
Molly’s lessons to other Pier Point residents and their dogs blend seamlessly into the central mystery, and animal lovers will appreciate seeing the reality of loving and living with pets depicted on the page. Rothschild shows that while it’s easy to love our dogs, they can also be a lot of work: There’s no sleeping in for Molly, not when Harlow needs to be let outside or fed. A Deadly Bone to Pick is a satisfying debut that will leave readers eager for more adventures with Molly and her canine companions.