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In the third Dixie Hemingway mystery (after 2007's Duplicity Dogged the Dachshund), Clement blends elements of cozy and thriller to produce an unusual and enjoyable hybrid. Pet-sitter Dixie, a former sheriff's deputy on leave after the death of her husband and daughter, finds a corpse in the gatehouse of a mansion, but leaves the body for someone else to find. Traumatized by having killed someone recently, Dixie wants nothing to do with homicide, but fate decrees otherwise. Her new client, a mysterious scientist wracked by pain, owns the mansion, and Dixie ends up caring for him and his pet iguana as she tries to solve the murder and juggle her conflicting feelings for heartthrob Lieutenant Guidry and seductive attorney Ethan Crane. Clement's deft hand with plot and characters is sure to delight readers. (Jan.)
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Despite the title, which suggests yet another cute kitty cozy, this first-rate debut is more dark than light. Set on Siesta Key, near Sarasota, Florida, the story features Dixie Hemingway, whose family tragedy drove her from the police force and into the bars. Still healing, Dixie is clean and working again, only this time as a pet sitter. When a dead man is found inside one of her client's homes, Dixie must get involved with police work again, this time as an outsider. Clement weaves interesting subplots into the story, such as the story of a young gay man who can't come out to his militant parents and Dixie's own struggles with the loss of her husband and daughter in a senseless accident. When Dixie finds another body--this time that of her client--she becomes of more than passing interest to the police. Despite the grim subject matter, Clement lifts the mood with descriptions of the cute pets Dixie tends each day. A nice mix of lite and dark. Jenny McLarin
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