Dog-Gone Dead by Jackie Layton

Title: Dog-Gone Dead (A Low Country Dog Walker Mystery #2)

Author: Jackie Layton

Published on: 26 June 2020

Genre: Cozy Mystery

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Rating: 4 out of 5.

Dog-Gone Dead is the second book in Jackie Layton’s Low Country Dog Walker Mystery series.

This book can be read as a standalone but it is preferred to start with book #1 so that the reader would get a clear picture of the theme and the characters.

The first book ends with Andi Grace Scott discovering a shocking truth about Peter Roth (a victim in book #1). Peter Roth left his estate – Richard Rice Plantation to Andi Grace. Juliet, Andi Grace’s best friend, promises to help AG set up a nice B&B at the location. Andi Grace gives up her dream of becoming an investigative journalist and plans to start a shelter for dogs.

In Dog-Gone Dead, Juliet and Andi Grace are on their way to meet Nate (Andi Grace’s brother) at the plantation. They are supposed to get mulch from Nate but instead of mulch, they find Corey Lane dead. Nate is nowhere to be seen. They call the emergency services and before help could arrive, Nate walks in dizzily. He’s concussed and the last thing he remembers is someone plonking him on the head with a shovel.

Corey was murdered using Nate’s landscaping tools so without any doubt, Nate becomes the main suspect in the murder case. When Nate is nursing his concussion at the lock-up, Andi Grace goes in search of the real killer.

Having read the first book in this series – Bite the Dust, I must say I am really happy to see Andi Grace adjusting to her new life. It might have been shocking to hear of Peter Roth’s involvement in the accident that lead to her parent’s death but Andi Grace has recovered from it.

Juliet is managing the B&B very well. Dylan, whom we last saw in the first book, helps Ag with the dogs and the barn. Meanwhile, Lacey Jane, Andi Grace’s sister, has left her job at the cafe and is now studying to be a lawyer. Marc, the handsome neighbour and Andi Grace’s love interest, has restarted his career as an attorney. We also see Griffin, Juliet’s brother, coming back to town and helping the girls set up the B&B.

The victim, Corey Lane, was a womanizer. He was married to Andi Grace’s childhood friend Erin. Soon after the murder and Nate’s arrest, Erin becomes hostile and rude. Erin makes sure to let Andi Grace know the amateur sleuth is not welcome anywhere near her.

The clues are plenty and lead Andi Grace and her sleuthing friends on a wrong path many a time. The local sheriff and his deputy warn Andi Grace not to interfere in their investigation. But Andi Grace never takes no for an answer. She wants to prove her little brother’s innocence.

Andi Grace works as a dog walker and her love for the furry babies knows no limit. In this story, we see AG introducing Griffin and Juliet to their pet soulmates. 😀 In the previous book, Ag made sure Marc stuck with Chubbs. Looks like Andi Grace is a doggy matchmaker. 😀

The victim was cheating on his wife so it is obvious Erin (the wife) becomes the main suspect – in Andi Grace’s list of suspects. Red herrings are plenty and sure to throw the readers on the wrong track.

I had a little trouble remembering the names of the Sheriff and the deputy. Wade and Wayne – Wayne (Sheriff) sometimes goes by his first name, which kinda lead to the confusion. There are plenty of characters – most of them have already made their appearance in the first book. The suspense is a little low when compared to that in the previous book.

The identity of the killer was a little surprising. I did not expect them to be the perp – after all, they did help the amateur sleuths gain clues. I was expecting to see a little romance between Marc and Andi Grace. They are drawn to each other so I hope to see them as a couple in the next book. They make a good pair – sleuthing or otherwise.

Dog-Gone Dead by Jackie Layton is a well-written and entertaining story with plenty of cuddly fur babies and a murder mystery to keep one on their toes.

There’s a giveaway for this blog tour. Details are here.

Many thanks to Lori for the blog tour invite.

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