Underdog: A Melanie Travis Mystery, by Laurien Berenson is a wonderful second book. Her first mystery had a few minor flaws, but was a lovely story. This second book is a huge step forward. The things that had irked me in the first book weren’t there, and the storyline was just as compelling and interesting as the first book.
The Melanie Travis series is about a schoolteacher single mom (with a 4-5 year old son) who is pulled into investigating deaths in the dog show circuit by her Standard Poodle breeding aunt. They do a wonderful job of showing you the intrigues in the show circuit, and the best (and worst) features of several breeds.
The first book irked me by insinuating that parenting itself isn’t a challenge, you must have something else to keep your mind busy. It also had a few minor realism flaws (babysitter available with a 10 minute warning), but the story was good enough to allow one to overlook the minor annoyances. The second (and third – Dog Eat Dog) don’t have those annoyances, and continue to have the amusing and intriguing storylines.
I’m going to be requesting the rest of the series through my library!