Fans of Laurien Berenson’s long-running Melanie Travis canine mysteries will be thrilled with Peg and Rose Solve a Murder, the first entry in a new spinoff series featuring Melanie’s engaging aunts, Peg Turnbull and Rose Donovan.
Peg and Rose are not friends. They’re sisters-in-law, linked by their love for Peg’s late husband, Max, who was Rose’s brother. After 40 years of fighting, Rose shocks Peg with an olive branch: an invitation to join the local bridge club as partners. Peg and Rose are surprised to find that they can enjoy each other’s company, but just as they begin to build a tentative friendship, a member of their bridge club is killed. As the newest members, the sisters-in-law are considered suspects. To clear their names, they must work together to solve the murder—before another is committed.
Readers don’t need to be familiar with the rules of bridge to enjoy Peg and Rose Solve a Murder; the actual gameplay takes up very little space, with the bulk of the story devoted to introducing Peg and Rose to new readers and, of course, solving the mystery. Fans of the Melanie Travis series are already very familiar with these sisters-in-law, and in Peg and Rose Solve a Murder, they stand on their own as capable, witty women who are more than up to the task of crime-solving. Berenson’s fans will also enjoy seeing Peg in action as a dog breeder, owner and show judge, as her passion for poodles features heavily in the book.
While Peg and Rose work together to clear their names, they must also come to terms with decades of infighting, grudges and hurt feelings. When the women finally begin to trust each other, readers can see a great friendship starting to blossom—one that will hopefully form the backbone of this new cozy series.