Genres: Women Sleuths
Published by Poisoned Pen Press Source: NetGalley
August 4th 2014 | Pages: 266
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Dr. Kate Turner is happy with her new life in Oak Falls, upstate New York. Working as a relief veterinarian at a small house-call practice, she truly enjoys helping her patients. When client Claire Birnham is found dead, an apparent suicide, Kate's world is thrown on its side. A talented artist, Claire had everything to live for: new job, Manhattan apartment, and her Cairn terrier Toto. Kate can’t imagine Claire simply abandoning her beloved pet through suicide. Could her death be murder? The fragile friendship between Kate and police officer Luke Gianetti frays as she ignores his advice and keeps asking questions. House calls provide gossip and clues, some helpful, some not so much, as she treats her animal patients. Dr. Kate mixes real medicine with murder as she risks her life over Claire’s death, aided by insights from a former fire investigator, aka her Gramps.
I received Unleashed from the publisher via NetGalley. This does not influence my opinions or the content of my review. This review contains affiliate links and is in compliance with FTC guidelines.I didn’t read Muzzled, the first book in the Dr. Kate series and followed both the mystery and Kate’s life just fine in Unleashed. Kate has her grandfather, a retired fire inspector, with whom she throws around ideas about Claire’s murder and her friend, Detective Luke Gianetti from whom she tries to pump information about the investigation, but it is the busybodies of Oak Falls, including the dead woman’s family and friends who unwittingly provide the most information into Claire’s life prior to her death and unknowingly point the finger at a number of suspects.
I loved all the information about the veterinary practice, with many hilarious stories that I’m sure come directly from the author’s own experiences as a veterinarian of more than twenty years. A dog who sneaks the family cat out of the house when the owners aren’t looking, an owner who allows his dog to eat the bones from more than nine pork chops, a cat who wants to be worn like a scarf are just some of the furry characters who made me smile whileI was reading. I found the veterinary scenes very interesting, although some folks might find certain things a little yucky. I also liked the first person narration from Kate with her sharp wit and great analogies.
The mystery in Unleashed was good but not really a traditional who-dunnit, and it was paced pretty slowly for my taste. Things don’t really start being investigated until a third of the way into the story, and while there are plenty of red herrings as suspects, the bad guy is a somewhat peripheral character with no apparent motive until the end, so I didn’t really feel the fun of figuring it out from clues.
Because of the slow investigation, what should have been a two-day read maximum ended up taking me four days to finish because I really didn’t care who did it or why. I was mostly reading for the fun dog stories, which were very enjoyable. Kate even has a Cavalier King Charles spaniel like my sweet nephew, Cooper. With Unleashed being only the second book by Eileen Brady, I will give the first book, Muzzled a chance, and the mystery itself may appeal more to others. I know the animal stories will appeal to everyone!