BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Bea Reviews The Deadly Dog Show by Jerold Last with a Giveaway

Publisher: Jerold Last
Series: Roger and Suzanne South American Mystery Series #6
Format Read: Kindle
Source: the author in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: July 20, 2013
Buying Links: Amazon*
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from the author:

The sixth book in the popular Roger and Suzanne mystery series finds Roger and Bruce hired to go undercover impersonating the owner and handler of a Champion German Shorthaired Pointer named Juliet to investigate certain irregularities that might be occurring at dog shows in California. To complicate this case the bodies of dead judges start popping up and Suzanne picks up a mysterious stalker sending her most unwelcome gifts. Throw in drug cartels and corrupt cops and it sounds like a typical job for our detective couple.
The Deadly Dog Show can be read as a stand-alone novel.

Bea's Thoughts:

A mystery revolving around dog shows was practically irresistible seeing as how I'm a sucker for animal stories. While I'm more of a cat person, I enjoy reading about dogs and I knew basically nothing about the breed featured in the book, German Short-haired Pointers. The breed name was often shortened to GSP in the book which I invariably read as GPS. Yeah, just a little confusing. Sometimes my brain is not cooperative. :D

Last was a new to me author. His style is heavy on description, detail, and exposition. It's not an action driven story though there is some action near the end. I didn't mind the lack of action but the pace of the story was slow and all the details, particularly the non-stop and irrelevant details of the food the characters ate, had a tendency to bog down the story. There were numerous proofreading errors, an abrupt POV change in the epilogue from third person POV to omniscient, and a cringe-inducing misuse of the Southern expression 'ya'll' when the location shifts to western Texas.

The actual mystery did keep me guessing as did the subplot and related mysteries. I guessed certain elements but not the big picture nor the parties responsible. Despite the editing problems and the slow pace, I was engaged in the story. I wanted to see what would happen and if Roger, with occasional help from his wife Suzanne, and his employees, Bruce and Vincent, could solve the mystery they were hired to unravel. I particularly enjoyed Bruce the former SEAL who is now a full-time nanny, semi-pro dog show handler, and occasional private investigator. He was interesting, a jack-of-all-trades, level-headed, intelligent, and relatable. Roger was also smart, as well as a devoted family man and not afraid to work hard. He sticks to his job, never giving up even when threatened, until his mission is accomplished. "The Deadly Dog Show" isn't tightly written but it is engaging and I learned quite a bit about the proper way to show a dog and dog show politics. Any book that can keep me reading and teach me something is one worth reading. 

About the Author ~

The author is a Professor of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the University of California’s Medical School at Davis, near Sacramento in Northern California. Jerry writes mystery stories that follow the cozy conventions of no graphic sex and no cussing but feature tougher protagonists and darker worlds than most cozies. Jerry knows the real world of dog shows from his own experience and that of his wife, Elaine, who breeds and shows prize-winning German Shorthair Pointer dogs. The cover photo is the author’s own dog Jolie (Grand Champion V. D. Nacht’s Classic Beaujolais, SH). Elaine provided technical advice for The Deadly Dog Show and editing for all of his books.

Find Jerold Online:

Amazon Author Page:  

Twitter: @Jerold Last

The author is giving away an e-copy of his short story, "The Dog With No Name".  No purchase necessary. Please read my Giveaway Policy. VOID where prohibited.

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  1. I might find it interesting reading this and comparing it to the old dog show books I grew up on - Albert Payson Terhune's collie books, and S.P.Meeker's stories of several breeds.
    Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

    1. It's very different from Terhune. I'm not familiar with Meeker's writing.

    2. Patti: Among other things that have changed since Lad and Lassie's days, dog shows are very different now. In the Terhune era all dog shows were benched. The dogs stood around on benches (long low tables designed for exhibiting dogs) and were available all day to be seen by spectators. This is arguably harder on the dogs, but there are still a few shows in the USA run in this format, including some of the bigger ones like Golden Gate. Most dog shows now feature the competition in the ring, but that's it for the formal part unless the dogs win the breed competition and advance to the next level. Owners and breeders may hang around to let visitors see their dogs away from the judging, but that's optional. You would certainly get a look at a different world than Lassie's in this book.

  2. I don't care if it's a scary, deadly, frightening dog...please don't let the dog die.

    1. Happily, no dogs die or are even injured in this story.

  3. I love books that feature animals too. My preference is also cats, but I do love a good dog story as well.

  4. Thank you for replying, Mr. Last. I've seen some dog shows televised in the past couple of decades, and it's obvious the crowds are too big to allow the old 'bench' style thing with crowds wandering through the prep area.
    I'm thinking more of the things like syndicated dogs under professional handling (there were the pros in Terhune's day; one of his stories involved a dog escaping the pro's site & heading home), the judging, health care standards at the arenas, other behaviors. So it would behoove me to get hold of the book.

  5. GPS, lol, I probably would have done the same ;)

    1. I actually encountered this problem in the next book in the series, Hunter Down, scheduled for release this summer. Both GSPs (the dogs) and GPS units play critical roles in the plot. Hopefully they won't ever share the same sentence!!!

  6. I like the dog show connection. My dad does agility with his Shelties so I've spent a lot of time with him here and sometimes we run into the "pretty dog" show people. It's an interesting and frequently crazy world so I can see it being an excellent setting for a murder mystery.

  7. This promises to be a fabulous read.


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