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Begging for Trouble: A Dog Walker Mystery
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2011
Judi McCoy's Dog Walker Mysteries have me hooked. "Begging for Trouble" is just another example of Mrs. McCoy's genius with character development, plot twists and turns, and humor--- mainly provided by Ellie's adorable dog, Rudy, and his pals. I read the entire book in one sitting, and was completely surprised with the ending. Now, I have to wait until August for her next installment of the series, "Till Death Do Us Bark." I wonder what the cause of death will be in this book?
I'm putting myself on the waiting list today!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 6, 2011
Judi McCoy's Dog Walker series just keeps getting better. This is the best one yet, and I can't wait for the next one!! Madame Orzo is precious - the human AND four legged personalities are very well developed. Keep them coming!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon April 6, 2011
"Begging for Trouble" is the fourth in Judi McCoy's Dog Walker mysteries. Ellie Engleman is a professional dog-walker who is dating NYPD detective Sam Ryder. The story opens with Ellie and Sam attending the opening night of one of her client's shows at a Manhattan hot spot. Rob Chesney, whose stage name is Bobbi Doll, is a female impersonator and his show is full of songs, dances, and jokes. Soon the laughs turn to screams when one of the dancers Art Pearson, a.k.a. Carmella Sunday, is stabbed and Rob is found holding the murder weapon. Sam brings Rob to the police station, but Ellie takes custody of the only witness to the murder - Rob's tiny "poohuahua" Bitsy.

While Ellie has solved several previous murder cases, Sam thinks she is "inept and a danger" to herself. Even though Ellie thinks she is falling in love with Sam, she refuses to let Rob and Bitsy down. She's soon following up on clues and questioning some of the other dancers in Rob's show and getting much closer to the truth through her investigation than Sam would like to admit.

We soon learn that Ellie has a secret weapon in conducting her own investigations -her Yorkipoo partner Rudy. Ellie has a psychic link to dogs and is able to communicate with Rudy and with the dogs she walks for her clients. Unfortunately for Ellie, witness Bitsy is traumatized by what she saw and isn't "talking". Ellie is still determined to prove Rob's innocence if not for his sake then for the sake of Bitsy who misses Rob terribly.

Ellie is an extremely likeable character. She's loyal to her human and canine clients and keeps her sense of humor even when put in difficult situations. You may be skeptical of the premise of Ellie and the dogs communicating to solve the murder, but give this mystery a chance! Ellie's conversations with the pets come across as fun and believable, and not forced or corny. In fact, the interaction between Ellie and her wise-cracking dog Rudy is one of the highlights of the book. Rudy sees humans for what they really are, good or bad, and isn't afraid to "speak" his mind. He's not happy about the attention Ellie pays to Sam and has plenty of sarcastic nicknames for him such as "Detective Doofus" and "Detective Demento".

While Ellie is light-hearted and open and easy to like, Sam is a little more gruff and reserved. I like that some of the chapters are told from Sam's point a view, which helps the reader get to know Sam a little better. Although not much information is given about the murder in these chapters, insight is given into how much Sam cares about Ellie. While Ellie is sometimes unsure of Sam's feelings about her, the readers get some inside information through Sam's thoughts and conversations, and this helps make him a more likeable character.

The character of Ellie and the author's sense of humor remind me of Joanne Pence's Angie Amalfi series. However, this book is unique due to Ellie's special ability to communicate with dogs. A few cases of strong language and the heat level of some of the romantic scenes between Ellie and Sam are a little unexpected in a cozy, but "Begging for Trouble" is a great choice for dog lovers and others who enjoy a fun, whimsical read.

This review was originally written for the "Season for Romance" E-Zine. The book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2011
I enjoyed this fourth installment of the Dog Walker series. I wish I could converse with my dogs the way Ellie does with her furry charges! The dogs provide comic relief...Rudy as always has plenty to say, especially about Detective Doofus (Ellie's man, Sam) but the other dogs chime in with humorous comments as well. Ellie DOES talk to the dogs a lot, but I would, too!

I have to say that wee Bitsy's (she's a poohuahua) adoration of a Great Dane was a hoot. Having Bitsy witness the murder was a great twist, which one would expect would make finding the murderer a piece of cake...Ellie asks, Bitsy tells. But no -- Bitsy's traumatized so it takes time, gentle prodding, a trip to a VERY interesting pet psychic and more to get information from the little one.

I read a review on another site that mentioned Ellie's snooping/butting in the investigation, asking Sam for information; they found it intrusive and disrespectful of Sam. I've read a lot of "cozies" and that "independent investigation" is a big part of the genre, so I didn't have a problem with it. If anything, I was a little surprised Ellie didn't try harder to get info from the cops via Sam.

If I had any problem with the book, it's that I would have loved more about the club and the drag show! I hope we get to see more of "Bobbi-Rob" in future books.

With the little teaser at the end of the book, I can tell that Ellie's weekend in the Hamptons with Rudy, Viv and Mr. T is going to be one fun ride. Bring it on, Judi!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Our sleuth, Ellie makes her living being a New York City dog walker. She has an unique ability for this job in that she is able to 'speak' and understand her pet clients. Naturally, she forges a friendship of sorts with her client's people.

Ellie has one client whose person is having an 'opening night' and gives Ellie four tickets to join the celebration, the person not the client. After a glittering evening there is a scream and once again off Ellie is on the scent of the crime.

This book is quite a good murder mystery. I know that it appears a chick's cozy from the cover, but I hope that won't stop the male mystery readers from exploring it. Especially if you enjoy laughing.

I'm looking forward to Ms. McCoy's next "Till Death Do Us Bark."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2011
The Dog Walker Mysteries are wonderful, and can hardly wait for the next book. Begging for Trouble is so exciting as is the whole series. The dogs have such unique personalities, and the characters are great. I hope this series will continue for a long, long time. I can't wait to hear what will be coming next.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
In Manhattan professional dog walker Ellie Engleman loves canines who worship her as she has the uncanny ability to telepathically talk with her animal clients. Her boyfriend NYPD detective Sam Ryder adores her but pleads with her to stay out of homicide investigations; her other skill (see Death in Show).

One of her favorite customers Rob Cheaney (owned by Bitsy the Poodle-Chihuahua) gives tickets to Ellie to attend the opening of his newest transvestite show. She drags Sam with her though he is uncomfortable attending the show. During the performance, a harrowing scream from backstage occurs. Sam rushes to the location of the scream to find Rob holding scissors while kneeling over the corpse of one of the performers. Sam arrests Rob while Ellie takes Bitsy home with her. Knowing she has solved cases before, Rob begs Ellie to investigate while Sam tells her to stay out of the inquiry though he believes she will sniff around. Ellie plans to interrogate gently the mixed-breed eye witness.

Readers will enjoy this magical whodunit as Ellie and her K9 corps work the case together through mental intelligent connections. The whimsical entertaining story line is lighthearted fun with a linear mystery at its anchor yet character driven by the detecting dogs especially the walker's significant other Rudy, the heroine and "Detective Doofus".

Harriet Klausner
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2011
This is my favorite dogwalker story so far. Ellie and Rudy are a kick.
Sam came through and I am rooting for him. I enjoyed the story
and the romance was the best yet. Keep up the good work Judi.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 17, 2011
i am new to the judi mccoy stories. i am also an avid mystery reader. i didn't expect to find new mysteries that would hold my interest again. oops! here thay are....judi mccoy has a way of bringing the characters to life. the mysteries are just that until the end of the story, then you go wow..never thought of that. i've read every one of the 'dog-walker' series. not one of them disappointed me. they just get better and better. can't wait for the next one in the series...'til death do us bark'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 19, 2011
I really like how Ellie always finds herself garnering information being at the right place at the wrong time. This was a good mystery that kept me on toes and turning the pages. It was fun spending time with Ellie and her angst at doing what's right for Rob and for Sam. This was the best book thus far and I can't wait to read the next one in this entertaining series.
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