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Once Bitten Hardcover – Sep 1 2001

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington (Sept. 1 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1575666774
  • ISBN-13: 978-1575666778
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14.6 x 2.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,887,473 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In her eighth doggedly endearing adventure in sleuthing, Melanie Travis is anticipating her brother Frank's impending nuptials to beautiful dog-handler Bertie Kennedy while reflecting over the defection of her fianc‚, Sam, who (in last year's Unleashed) suddenly announced he wasn't ready for marriage and went off to find himself. Bertie has hired an old friend, Sara Bentley, to plan her wedding, despite Sara's dubious reputation as a poor little rich girl who flits from one job to another. When Sara disappears soon after taking on the job, Bertie insists that Melanie help find her. As if Melanie doesn't have enough headaches, her ex-husband, Bob Travis, has suddenly reappeared, without his young wife, and is acting like he wants Melanie back. As Melanie delves into Sara's background, she realizes that most of Sara's friends and family aren't that concerned about her. Then a dead body turns up in a fire in the guest cottage where Sara lived on her mother's estate. Is it Sara? If not, then who is it, and where is Sara? The plot takes some surprising twists as Melanie digs deeper into Sara's life, trying to unearth the truth. Balancing an entertaining mystery puzzle with Melanie's attempt to resolve her feelings for her ex-husband and her decamped fianc‚, Berenson rounds out the story with the lore of the dog-show world her readers expect. (Sept. 4)bolder jacket design for the series that can only help sales.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Series sleuth Melanie Travis (Unleashed), a teacher and dog handler, goes in search of the sometime wedding consultant she recommended to her brother and his fianc?e. The consultant apparently vanishes in the midst of preparations, but when her cottage burns down, a woman's body is found. For all collections.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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By A Customer on Nov. 16 2001
Format: Hardcover
If you read the previous Melanie Travis mystery, Unleashed, and you are like me, you were likely disappointed to see Melanie's fiance Sam take off for an undetermined time following his ex-wife's murder for reflection and what-not. Berenson, however, appeases us in Once Bitten by fulfilling the promise of a wedding -- that of Melanie's brother Frank.
While she is happy to see her brother maturing into a responsible businessman and committing himself to dog trainer/knockout Bertie Kennedy, Melanie is still nursing the wounds of her breakup. When Bertie's flighty wedding planner, part-time trainer Sara, mysteriously disappears, Melanie finds there is no time left to cry over spilt engagements when Bertie pleads with her to find Sara...and help plan a wedding while she's doing that.
Berenson injects quite a dose of romance in this installment when in the midst of all this chaos, ex-husband Bob returns to town, clearly bitten by the reconciliation bug. I have to admit, Melanie's divided loyalties between maintaining a stable home life for son Davey (who is ecstatic to have his father so close) and yearning for her missing true love made for better suspense than the actual mystery, the disappearance and even more bizarre reappearance of Sara, a character I came to like less and less as the story progressed.
I have enjoyed the Melanie Travis series since its inception, but with Once Bitten I fear Berenson may be hitting her stride. However, the weaknesses detected in the actual mystery (the aforementioned Sara and her conflicts with her even less likable parents...Melanie herself admits she can't stand them) are bolstered by the compelling subplot. I certainly hope for the next book the mystery will be a bit meatier (no pun intended).
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Format: Hardcover
Melanie Travis tries to deal with her disappearing fiance when her future sister-in-law's wedding planner, Sara, also disappears and Melanie's ex-husband suddenly reappears and wants to play in Melanie's life. Melanie settles for sleuthing to find the missing Sara--only to discover that plenty of people want her to stay missing. They just might get their wish when Sara's house burns down and a woman's body is found inside.
What's best about this novel is the dogs. Melanie shows her standard poodle Faith and is working on 'finishing' her, i.e., achieving champion rank. When Melanie goes to the dogs, ONCE BITTEN goes well indeed. When Melanie fixates on men, I was tempted to roll my eyes--I mean, get on with it.
The mystery plays a third fiddle to Melanie's dog problems and her men problems. Fortunately, she doesn't have to do much to solve it.
Author Laurien Berenson's light tone, her wonderful descriptions of the dog shows and of dog people, and of the relationship between Melanie, her son, her aunt, her dogs, and her future sister-in-law make ONCE BITTEN a pleasure to read despite its flaws.
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Format: Hardcover
In the latest Melanie Travis mystery, her fiance Sam has gone off to find himself after the death of this exwife and former friend, leaving Melanie in the lurch. On the bright side, her brother Frank is about the marry Bertie, dog handler and friend of Melanie. Faith finally gets her second and final major, finishing her championship(her daughter Eve looks like a winner also). In the midst of all this, Bertie wants Mel to help with her wedding plans. She's hired a flakey dog groomer/handler/rich kid to do all the arrangements, so Mel wonders why. Then, ex husband Bob shows up six weeks before the wedding, newly divorced from his very young bride, looking to get back together with Mel. Then the wedding planner disappears and her cottage on her mother's estate burns down. A young woman's body is found in the ruins. Is it Sara the wedding planner? Who burned the cottage? Mel is determined to find out. This is the best of all her mysteries. Ms. Berenson has a gift for giving the reader a good mystery and not losing the dog show background. This book will appeal to readers who have no idea what is involved in the dog world, the characters and mystery are that good. I learn a little more with each book. Hopefully, Mel's trip to the obedience ring as a spectator will lead her in that direction also.
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