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Gone With the Woof (A Melanie Travis Mystery) Hardcover – August 27, 2013

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Product Details

  • Series: A Melanie Travis Mystery (Book 16)
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington (August 27, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0758284527
  • ISBN-13: 978-0758284525
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #354,698 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Aunt Peg decides Melanie is taking her stay-at-home mom role too seriously and volunteers her to help Judge Edward March, a famous dog breeder, write his memoirs. Irascible March wants to do a tell-all about his many affairs rather than exploring the world of show dogs. When March’s son is killed in a hit and run, police suspect Edward, as the son had replaced the father in his business. March asks for Melanie’s help, and she talks to his former lovers as well as to the son’s jilted, pregnant girlfriend, only to realize that there is a plethora of possible motives and suspects. Meanwhile, there are the dogs—a two-year-old, a new puppy—and the prospect of dog shows on the horizon. Berenson’s canine frame story will have dog lovers’ tails wagging, and it doesn’t detract from either the savvy heroine or the smart mystery. --Amy Alessio


Melanie Travis' offer to render professional assistance to a retiring dog-show judge turns into much more for a mother returning to work.

When Melanie agrees to help Edward March write his memoir, she assumes that Edward will be highlighting his life as a judge of dog shows. But Edward has something else in mind. He immediately launches into a tell-all of his life and loves, which are far more prolific than Melanie would have expected of the aging, otherwise reclusive former businessman. Melanie has already told her husband, Sam, of her confusion about why her Aunt Peg recommended her for the job in the first place when the nature of the assignment changes abruptly. Andrew, Edward's adult son, is struck and killed by a car while jogging, and Edward insists that Melanie take responsibility for investigating whatever the police might have missed. Since Edward and Andrew were alike in their rather cantankerous ways, Melanie is stuck wading through a long list of potential suspects from both the business and dog-show worlds. Meanwhile, she uncovers more than she anticipated about Edward's background, and the knowledge she gains puts her own safety at risk.

Berenson (Doggie Day Care Murder, 2009, etc.), who has a nose for balancing fun and fright, devises another story that will appeal to dog aficionados and cozy lovers alike. --Kirkus

In Berenson's sprightly 16th pooch-packed escapade (after 2008's Doggie Day Care Murder), stay-at-home mom Melanie Travis accepts Aunt Peg's push back into the work world. She agrees to help Edward March, a crotchety but highly influential dog-show judge, write his memoirs, but is dismayed to learn that he's planned a tell-all book about his numerous affairs with well-known women within the dog breeding and show world. Almost immediately, Edward's son, Andrew, vows to stop the book's publication, only to become a hit-and-run victim several days later. Edward insists Melanie help find the killer, but this requires combing through the huge pool of suspects created by father and son's shared philandering ways. Juggling two kids, a husband, and a houseful of poodles, Melanie is one busy lady as she gets on the killer's trail. With unexpected twists, humor, and a wealth of information about the story's milieu, Berenson wraps this caper up in a tail-wagging finale. Agent: Meg Ruley, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Sept.) --Publishers Weekly

Customer Reviews

This book is good easy reading.
I love Laurien Berenson's books and have ready every one of her Melanie Travis mysteries.
If you love to read about show dogs it is great.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Cozy Reader on August 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Stay-at-home mom, Melanie Travis, is enjoying life with her toddler, Kevin, and school age son, Davey. However her nosy Aunt Peg thinks she is getting bored, so she offers up Melanie's services to help dog breeder/judge, Edward March, write his memoirs. Just as Melanie starts to learn that his memoirs is more of a tell-all, his son, Andrew, is killed. With a fragile health, Edward wants to know who killed his son and asks Melanie to investigate.

Gone With the Woof was my first introduction to Melanie Travis, her husband, Sam and her family. Laurien Berenson does a great job at introducing new readers to the series without getting bogged down with a long background story. I was instantly charmed by the easy-going Melanie, and her family of Standard Poodles. While I confess that I am more of a feline fan, how can you not adore Melanie's five Standard Poodles? Their endless energy is infectious and made this story even more charming.

In my cozies, I love reading about memorable, quirky characters. There are two in this book: Melanie's Aunt Peg, who pulls no punches and says it how it is, and Edward March, who doesn't see the problem of writing a tell-all called "Puppy Love" about how he has slept with many females in the dog show business. Between them they show so much political incorrectness and I was smiling along with Melanie, as she tries to get them to concentrate and help her solve the mystery.

Gone With the Woof is like Murder She Wrote meets Best in Show. I was delighted to learn more about dog shows and dog breeders, and with that gorgeous Irish Setter on the cover (and part of the story) I'm sure it's going to be a delight with dog and animal lovers.

If you like gossipy cozy mysteries with a twist, try out Gone With the Woof. You'd be surprised just how interesting a dog show could be, especially when it involves murder!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Slakkie on August 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I have been so excited for the next book in the Melanie Travis series and was not disappointed! The cast of characters is the same with a few great additions which keeps it fresh. I love these books because they keep a continuity while still moving the characters forward but not in a forced manner.

If you love to read about show dogs it is great. If you like dogs in general it is great. If you like a light mystery it is great. Basically the book is great. A great book for the beach or for a Saturday afternoon. Light and full of giggles.

As someone who shows dogs I love the realistic way they are portrayed and Berenson manages to juggle the realism and entertainment. The only bad thing is that the book is over. I eagerly wait for the next and the next and the next
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By poodle1949 on September 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been a Laurien Berenson fan since her first book, AND had the Author do a book signing at our poodle club specialty some years ago.

Not only is Laurien a great writer, she has first hand knowledge showing poodles. Her charachters often combine qualities and quirks of many famous poodle people.

A few reviews take to task Melanie not activly participating as a slooth.. but I feel this was a great re emergence into the dog scene after taking time off from dog shows with a new baby, and from the scary ending to her last adventure. Easing back into not only the dog show world, but to accidental sluthing is a great aproach. I ,for one, did not have the murderer pegged before the reveal.

I really enjoyed seeing where the main charachters are in their lives now,and find it fun that Sam and Melanie will now help Davey become a responsible dog owner.Perhaps Davey has some agility training in his future!!
GOOD READ!!!!!!!!!!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nancy Hubbard on September 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's no secret that I love the writing of Laurien Berenson and what better topic for me to read about (in a mysterious and witty fashion)DOGS.
When I heard that the Melanie Travis mysteries were coming back after a (too long for me) hiatis I was beyond thrilled. Laurien did not disappoint. Picked up one of her books at a Barnes and Noble (years ago) because it had a dog on the cover and when I read the book flap it looked like I might enjoy it. Understatement. Love her books and loved "Gone With The Woof"!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Isabelle Jolly VINE VOICE on September 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is one of a series but stands alone. Even if you've never read any of Berenson's books, you'll not be lost.

Despite the fact that Melanie has an nine year old, a toddler, 5 dogs, and a husband, her Aunt Meg feels that she's bored and boring and needs something else to do. Meg tells Melanie that she has a job that Melanie will love; assisting Edward March write his memoirs. He had had a kennel of championship dogs, became a famous judge and had everybody's respect and admiration. This would not be a lot of hours, and the book would be a best seller among owners of show dogs.

Melanie goes to his house to see March and the housekeeper/manager greets her and takes her to his office/den. Melanie finds that he wants to name the book, 'Puppy Love', thinks that it's not a good name, and then discovers that he isn't interested in his career, but all his love affairs, naming names. She's disgusted with his lechery and knows that publishing names is a very bad idea! The next thing she gets is a visit from March's very angry son, Andrew, telling her to quit working on the book. He and his father do not see eye-to-eye about anything, and word is getting out about the book.

Andrew becomes a victim of a not accidental hit&run. Edward is the first suspect, but Melanie wonders if some ex-boyfriends or husbands or one of the women to be named might have done it.

Melanie finds out from a friend that builder 'March Homes' is in trouble. Edward had turned the company's running over to Andrew, and now people are saying that the company is cutting standards, but not costs to buyers. This opens up more suspects.

The story has unexpected twists. It's an intriguing mystery and I enjoyed it very much. I recommend it highly.

It's a hardback book with 282 pages.
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More About the Author

I can't remember a time when I wasn't writing something. I always wanted to tell stories and I'm incredibly grateful that now there are people who want to read them. I think of the Melanie Travis mystery series as the saga of a woman's life--with complications. And dogs. And love. And lots of laughter. We should all be so lucky. Please friend me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/laurie.berenson?ref=tn_tnmn Or visit my website at www.laurienberenson.com I love to stay in touch with readers!

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