Brute Strength (A Dog Lover's Mystery) and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Brute Strength (A Dog Lover's Mystery) Paperback – April 1, 2012


See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback, April 1, 2012
$2.95 $2.86
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"

"Last One Home" by Debbie Macomber
A wonderful novel of perseverance, and an exciting journey through life’s challenges. This is Debbie Macomber at the height of her talents. See more

Editorial Reviews

Review

Kirkus Reviews (08/15/2011):

Malamutes rule—at least in the life of one amateur sleuth.

When she's not solving murders, Holly Winter is a Dog's Life columnist, a dog trainer and an investigator for Malamute adoption. Finding the right home for a Malamute is not easy, and Holly must tactfully tell many applicants that a Malamute is not for them. Some of them don't take rejection well, as she learns when she and others start getting nasty phone calls. One solace is her new friend Vanessa Jones, who's just moved in nearby with her Malamute, her internist son Hatch, her depressed daughter Avery and her hypochondriac father Tom. Holly invites all of them, including Hatch's fiancée Fiona, to dinner, where they meet her father Buck and her stepmother Gabrielle and enjoy a fine meal before a car crash kills Fiona on the way home. Although Holly (All Shots, 2007, etc.) wonders if her death was really accidental, she and her veterinarian husband Steve are distracted from following up her suspicions by many other concerns, from hiding her stepmother's cosmetic treatments from her dog-obsessed father to tracking down the source of a threatening series of phone calls. Even as the surprises escalate, Holly remains too involved in the world of dogs to realize her life is in danger.

The thin mystery takes second place to loads of information about dogs certain to appeal to those who love them.



Publishers Weekly
For her leisurely 19th Dog Lover's mystery featuring Cambridge, Mass., "dog trainer and dog writer" Holly Hunter (after 2007's All Shots), Conant takes a cue from her protagonist's love for Jane Austen by contrasting the fraught world of human relationships with Holly's expertise in the canine realm. On the personal front, Holly tries to help a new friend and neighbor, Vanessa Jones, deal with the death of her son's fiancee in a car crash; find a new mate for her newly single friend and fellow dog owner, Rita; and preserve the marriage between her temperamental father, Buck, and her stepmother, Gabrielle. Meanwhile, Holly's job screening applications for the adoption of rescued Alaskan sled dogs has earned her enemies, including a threatening anonymous caller. The story's lack of urgency and focus may deter newcomers, but series fans should enjoy spending time with familiar characters, the warm humor, and the dog lore.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Series: A Dog Lover's Mystery (Book 19)
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Severn House Trade Paperback (April 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847513514
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847513519
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,634,706 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I was born in the Merrimack Valley of Massachusetts. The best friends of my childhood were pointers named Stuffy and Nonny. I had imaginary companions as well: a cat named Thirsty Melirsty Medrinkable, a family of dogs, and parents called Mommy and Daddy Suh. Thirsty and the dog family slowly faded away. The Suhs, however, perished suddenly; they ate fish guts and died. My career as a mystery writer thus began in early childhood: I invented animals, and I killed off fictional human beings.

Now, many decades later, I live just outside Boston. My husband is a clinical psychologist with a private practice in Cambridge. Our daughter, Jessica, who is also my coauthor, lives in New Hampshire with her husband and their young son. My husband and I have an Alaskan malamute, Django (pronounced 'Jango') and two Chartreux cats, Kansas City (K.C.) and Shadow Celeste. The malamutes in my Holly Winter books are composites, but the cats in Scratch the Surface, Edith and Brigitte, are portraits of my own Chartreux.

Customer Reviews

I was a little worried because ... well, it's been awhile.
Dr. Cathy Goodwin
As a dog lover/owner, hearing about Holly's dogs combined with the mystery made it a highly enjoyable read.
P. Hardilek
Really enjoyed reading it and loved the dogs and characters.
The Husband

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By J & L Rigod on May 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read mystery novels because I enjoy the characters, development of the clues, and eventually the solving of the crime. In this case I read "Brute Strength" because of the quality of the storytelling. That it happens to be a murder mystery also just adds the extra to my enjoyment.

Holly Winters and family are Dog people. The same can be said of myself and family. Holly has a refreshing look at life and the world that seems to parallel my own. Holly's sense of humor, the way her family is constructed, even how Holly cares about her tenant/friend makes her a person I wish was not just a character in a book.

The story was compelling and even if there hadn't been a mystery in it, I would have lovingly followed this book to the end. The mystery was a good mystery and it held up to the solution strongly. I loved the tie in with great literature.

I hope to discover more books from Ms. Conant in the near future.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By tamborine on June 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Another great Holly Winter novel! Very funny, with an interesting mystery at its heart. I'm not generally a "cozy" mystery reader, but years ago happened to read the first Dog Lover's Mystery, and became hooked. The characters seem like real people and, especially over the course of the entire series, you come to love them (especially the dogs!). Although obviously targeted at dog lovers, even non-dog people will be entertained while painlessly learning a lot about our canine companions.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Debra M. Eldredge on June 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dedicated fans of Holly Winter and her Malamutes have been waiting for another book & this one easily fulfills all of our desires.
Susan Conant weaves her tales of mayhem carefully throughout this book - giving you an interesting cast of potential villains. Her insights on Cambridge (Massachusetts that is), dog training and dogs mingle nicely with some fascinating family dynamics and occasional comic relief.
For anyone interested in dogs, dog training or specifically simply fans of Malamutes, this book is almost required reading - as are all the others in this great series.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen M. Majcher on May 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Brilliant, hilarious, complex and poignant, the inimitable Holly Winter is back. Author Susan Conant delights yet again with another of her sophisticated canine murder mysteries. While you don't have to be a "dog person" to enjoy the series, or even have read them all from the first delightful episode, if you are, and have, you will be utterly charmed with this latest tour de force. Oh, we have missed you Holly! We are so glad you're back with dogs in tow (er, at perfect heel). If you are looking for a great read, a compelling mystery and some laugh out loud humor, you've found it. Best in Show. High in Trial. Another blue ribbon for my favorite author.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Cathy Goodwin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover
When I saw that another Holly Winter novel was coming, after a long absence, I immediately knew I would have to read it. I've read every Holly Winter book since the first. Somehow the author's other series - the chef and the cat series - just don't have the same appeal.

I was a little worried because ... well, it's been awhile. Is Susan Conant bored with Holly? And now that Holly's married, will she maintain her spark and her independent streak?
Besides, Conant has a new publisher - Severn House. Some authors lose quality when they change publishers, making me wonder if their editors were responsible for at least part of the quality.

Not to worry! Conant wisely opted to continue the series as before, fleshing out some characters who had been in the background, such as Holly's "moose" father and charming stepmother. She lets her characters move on to new romances, graduations and lives. She moves them into the 21st century: Holly now has a blog and everybody has cell phones.

It's pretty obvious what's happening in this novel, although there's a red herring or two along the way. There's a subplot that's suspenseful. As before, you do have to suspend your disbelief about Holly's ability to earn a living as a dog writer; true, she was given her house and she has rental income, but Cambridge isn't cheap and neither is dog obedience. Even successful vets like Steve don't earn big incomes.

But it IS plausible and who wouldn't love Holly? I'm afraid she'd just look at my dog, shake her head and say, "Some dogs just weren't made for obedience." And then she'd bring out a home-made liver treat, thus eliciting a perfect "sit."
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Schwartz on April 21, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book was a breath of fresh air for me. It's been awhile since M. Conant has written a Holly Winter mystery, and I have missed Holly, Steve, Rowdy, Kimi and Sammy. Not to mention all the other wonderful characters, both human and canine in this series. This book is an excellent return after a few years hiatus. The story is great, the people and dogs are wonderful, and the mystery interesting enough to keep you reading. I love this series because it is a series that is custom-written for dog-lovers like me. I love Holly's take on life and on people's foibles. She compares everything to dogs and living and training dogs, and that's not such a bad thing. I personally think that canines and their way of thinking and interacting with each other is not a bad way to be at all. At least you always know where you are with a dog. They don't play mind games, or plot murder of their own species. What a lot of fun this series is, and I really do enjoy it.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?