In Dial Meow for Murder by Bethany Blake, Daphne Templeton, a dog walker and sitter with a Ph.D. in philosophy, goes to the house of Lillian Flynt for the Fur-Ever Friends Pet Rescue annual fundraiser. Daphne’s veterinarian sister, Piper, is frustrated because Miss Flynt, who is the organizer, isn’t to be found. Further, the power is out, requiring the use of many candles, and in addition, Miss Flynt’s prize-winning black Persian cat managed to escape the house. As Daphne stares at the house, she spies a figure in the window, making her go inside and seek out her mother. Her mother, the top realtor in Sylvan Creek, is preparing the house to show it to a potential buyer and enlists Daphne to help with straightening things up. But as Daphne enters the bathroom, she spies the body of Miss Flynt in the bathtub, with a CD player inside. The woman has been electrocuted.
Knowing that her mother and sister are potential suspects, Daphne does some investigating, with her overly dignified pal, the basset hound Socrates, at her side. Detective Jonathan Black tries to keep her out of trouble, but Daphne doesn’t listen. Worried about Miss Flynt’s cat, Tinkleston, Daphne makes another trip to the house, where the ferocious cat leaves her covered with scratches but gets captured in the end after all. With all her meddling with evidence, Daphne feels she has to get to the bottom of things herself.
Dial Meow for Murder is a strong, enjoyable mystery that equals the book before it, Death by Chocolate Lab in its strength. The storyline had a lot of fun details, especially related to the animals whom Daphne interacts with. Further, I appreciated the details of the mystery plot.
The characters in Dial Meow for Murder are what really bring the book to life. Daphne has a very free spirit, while her sister, Piper, is straight- laced but another lover of animals. The animals give a lot of joy to the book, especially Socrates, who makes me smile every time he comes on the scene. I also enjoyed being reunited with Artie, the one-eared chihuahua we met in the previous book and whom Detective Jonathan has taken on. Even Tinkleston the cat grew on me.
Elise Arsenault performs the audio edition of this book and does an excellent job of filling the book with energy and realism. She gives strong depth to her performance and good expressions. She plays the role of Daphne in a very believable fashion, making the book highly enjoyable.
I had a good time listening to Dial Meow for Murder. The book had a great plot with lots of creativity in its execution. The characters, both human and animal added to its special flavor. I give the book five stars!
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