Dog Dish of Doom
Out next month is Dog Dish of Doom, the first “Agent to the Paws Mystery” starring a theatrical booking agent whose clients are animals.
It’s written by E.J. Copperman, who also writes the Asperger’s Mystery series and the Haunted Guesthouse series. Last year, he launched the Mysterious Detective series, in which a mystery writer’s fictional detective shows up at her door. (There are even more under his other name, Jeff Cohen.) This writer knows his mysteries, in other words, and he usually tosses in a good bit of welcome humor. This new series is no exception.
Dog Dish of Doom opens with Kay Powell trying to place her terrific new client, Bruno, as the new Sandy on Broadway in the Annie musical. The director likes him, but Bruno’s owners, a married couple, are terrible. Just when she’s about to finish the deal, the husband turns up dead — with his head in the dog’s water bowl.
There’s plenty of entertainment here for those who love animals, obviously, but also those who love behind-the-scenes stories. Kay grew up the daughter of a couple of old-school troupers, but she gave up being part of their act in favor of working with non-human performers. Between Bruno and her own pets, a dachshund and a greyhound, there’s plenty of adorable dog behavior described.
Copperman is good at description in general, setting the stage admirably for the various New York City settings, from Broadway to the Jersey suburbs. Most of the story takes place through conversation, among Kay, a Broadway director, his assistant, the police detective investigating the murder, the dead man’s wife, or her parents. Copperman also does a good job with their voices, although I admit some of my favorite chat comes when Kay is talking to her dogs.
Dog Dish of Doom is a pleasant start to a mystery series featuring an unusual career with plenty of appeal. (The publisher provided an advance digital review copy.)