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Jingle Bell Bark Mass Market Paperback – Oct 1 2005


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington; Reprint edition (Oct. 1 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157566786X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1575667867
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 136 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #565,765 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In Berenson's delightful holiday romp, the 11th entry in her popular canine cozy series (Best in Show, etc.), trainer Melanie Travis investigates the suspicious death of her eight-year-old son's school-bus driver, the personable and reliable Henry Pruitt. Melanie rescues the victim's two golden retrievers and takes them to the kennel run by her bossy Aunt Peg, who's keen to learn what really happened to Henry. As Melanie delves into Henry's background, his two disagreeable and greedy daughters arrive on the scene with the outrageous idea of selling the pair of aging dogs on eBay. Preparing for an important dog show, trying to find time for her fiancé and dealing with her ex-husband further complicate Melanie's busy life. Oh, and then there's Christmas. Despite all the demands, Melanie manages to hang the wreath, decorate the tree, finish the shopping and collar a murderer. As ever, the author provides a captivating behind-the-scenes look at the world of show dogs.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“Delightful…As ever, the author provides a captivating behind-the-scenes look at the world of show dogs.”
Publishers Weekly
 
“Melanie Travis is a terrific character.”
RT Book Reviews --This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 31 reviews
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Strong writing, great character March 12 2005
By booksforabuck - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Melanie Travis has enough to do over the holiday season without worrying about murder. She has a son to shop for, an expecting sister-in-law, a poodle to prepare for all-important showings, a girlfriend to straighten out on buying a respectable dog, and a relationship to get right. When the favorite schoolbus driver is found dead, all Melanie intends to do is make sure his dogs get a proper home. But getting the dogs the right home gets complicated when the driver's daughters roll into town--intent on putting the dogs up for auction (because one of their parents' was a champion, the daughters assumes that the dogs must be highly valuable). The only way Melanie's Aunt Peg figures to get rid of the daughters is to solve the mystery herself. Of course, Aunt Peg's way of solving mysteries turns out to involve a lot of sending Melanie out to do the work.

Author Laurien Berenson does an excellent job combining an interesting character with humor and mystery. Melanie, with her relationship issues, and her obsession with her standard poodles draws the reader in largely because she is a typical suburban mom--caught between a job, her child, and a hobby that demands so much of her time. In Berenson books, the mystery plays second fiddle--it isn't that it isn't being worked on, it's just that the mystery has to come after Melanie takes care of her son and her poodles.

In JINGLE BELL BARK, Berenson makes the combination click. I've enjoyed a number of other novels in this series, but BARK seems to put togther the combination of character, humor, and strong writing even better than the earlier novels. Berenson's writing hooks the reader early and keeps us involved with the story.

I have no hesitation in recommending JINGLE BELL BARK to anyone looking for a light mystery.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
delightful amateur sleuth Sept. 1 2004
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
In Greenwich, Connecticut, Melanie Travis is a special needs tutor at the posh private Howard Academy. She enjoys her work there, but her passion is showing and breeding French Poodles. Her son Davy enthusiastically helps her with the canines when he can. When she takes her son to the school bus, Melanie is surprised that Henry the long time driver has been replaced by Annie. She visits Henry to see if he is okay only to learn that he recently died from a heart attack.

Melanie sees Golden Retrievers inside of Henry's home so feeling compassion and not wanting the dogs to mourn alone, she takes them to her Aunt Peg, a professional breeder and canine lover. The two female relatives learn through the grapevine that Henry was poisoned. His two daughters arrive planning to sell their father's animal companions on E-bay. They also refuse to leave town until their father's killer is caught. Peg wants these coldhearted adult children be gone so she investigates the homicide to expedite their departure, not realizing the danger her decision poses to her and her niece.

JINGLE BELL BARK is a delightful tale that amateur sleuth fans will enjoy especially the canine caper crowd. Laurien Berenson enables readers to glimpse inside the world of dogs through the loving way aunt and niece nurture their beloved barking family members. The audience, like Peg, will find it impossible to determine who the killer is because suspects abound with motives and opportunities. This leads to a surprising climax as Peg and Melanie try to take a bite out of crime before they are nipped permanently.

Harriet Klausner
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Best Yet! Sept. 13 2004
By Poodleland - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I have read all of the Melanie Travis mysteries, and this is definitely the best one yet! It's written with Ms Berenson's usual humor and knowledge of her subject matter. Those who love showing dogs, especially Poodles, and a good light-hearted mystery will enjoy this book immensely. Can't wait for the next addition to the series.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A light and fluffy mystery in the best Melanie Travis tradition Jan. 27 2009
By N. Wallach - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is a time when normal people are getting ready for the holidays; decorate their houses; bring in the tree; do their shopping; and in general engage in all kinds of fun activities. In the case of Melanie Travis and her world, this is also a time to solve murder mysteries!

In this case, it is really not her fault. First of all, all she notices is that her son's school bus driver is replaced with a surly teenager and then she finds out that he died. It's only later that she discovers that he was murdered. And even then, she is not really involved until her Aunt Peg gets her deeply involved in investigating the murder. Would it surprise anyone who reads this series to learn that the bus driver is a dog lover and that Melanie's involvement owes as much to the dogs as anything else?

In addition to the murder mystery, there is the normal advancement of the Travis story with developments in her relationship with Sam Driver (now, again, her fiancée); her ex-husband, Bob; her aunt; and her sister in law - Bertie - and their brand new baby girl. We also follow her dog show participation as she gets closer to having Faith established as a champion.

All those are fun and good reasons for reading the mystery, but how good was they mystery? Well, I can tell you that I was not sure of whom the murderer was until they revealed themselves. And only then did I realize that the author left a great, big, juicy, clue right there in plain sight that I should have picked up on immediately. In other words, this was a very enjoyable book and one that makes for great beach or airplane reading. Recommended!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Better than expected Jan. 10 2008
By Charles Bradley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ho, hum. Another unmarried female amateur detective with a hobby or job I'm going to
hear all about and a kid I can watch grow up because it's a series mystery. Well,
it's better than I expected.

I came in at number 11 of the series, but it was good enough that I'll hunt down
earlier volumes and perhaps read the whole series. It was good enough for two or three
more per year, but not good enough to tackle them one right after another. The mystery
part was fairly weak, but the characters were interesting. I found myself not wondering
"who dunit?" but rather "what will so-and-so do next?"

The dog and dog show portion of the story was also interesting. I like dogs but not dog
shows and I found the dog show and preparation scenes interesting. When the investigator
is a cook, I try some of the recipes, but I can not tell you if the dog tips are good or not.

There is a fair amount of humor here; not the laugh out loud kind, but rather the smile or
chuckle kind. The humor is about the interactions of the characters and the business or
busyness of living. I expect there will be similar smiles in the other books of the series,
rather than the same jokes repeated each time.

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