Wednesday 21 December 2022

A Dog Gone Murder (Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper #10) by Elaine Viets

Mystery shopper Josie Marcus catches a new case when the owner of a popular doggy day spa bites the dust and her mother’s friend is collared for the crime…

Josie’s been assigned to sniff around Uncle Bob’s Doggy Day Camp, one of St. Louis’s hottest pet spas. It doesn’t take her long to dig up dirt on the camp’s top dog, “Uncle” Bob Manning himself. Employee Frank Hyzy—Josie’s mom’s new boyfriend—reveals Bob should be in the doghouse for his cruel treatment of the canine customers. But before Josie can write Bob up, someone puts him down…and Frank is the cops’ prime suspect.

While Frank definitely had a bone to pick with the animal abuser, Josie doesn’t believe he murdered Bob. So she must doggedly pursue the investigation on her own and hope she can cage the real killer before they fetch another victim.  (Summary via Goodreads)

I am a huge fan of the Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper Mystery series by Elaine Viets and will miss reading about Josie, her family and her knack for solving murders.  Sadly A Dog Gone Murder,  the tenth book in the series, is the last book Viets wrote for the series......but she ends the series REMARKABLY !!!

The Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper Mystery series follows Josie Marcus as she is a single mom living in the flat below her mother Jane.  Josie is raising her daughter Amelia and the mystery shopping job allows her to work flexible hours so that she can be there for Amelia.  As the series progresses Jane continues to get in the middle of murder investigations as well as do the best she can to raise Amelia.  Luckily Josie meets Ted who is a veterinarian when he is called to look at  Amelia's cat Harry.  Ted and Josie fall in love and a few books back they got married.  And in the ninth book, Fixing to Die, they bought a house and move in....after Josie solves a murder that took place in their new home.  

So now in A Dog Gone Murder Josie is hired to look into a few doggy day care businesses and enlisted the help of her mom's dog, Ted's dog and her best friend Alyce's dog.  Unfortunately on one of Josie's visits she goes to ask the owner of Uncle Bob's Doggy Day Camp a few questions on her mystery shopper questionnaire list but finds him unconscious on the floor of his office.  Later that evening while watching the news she learns that Uncle Bob did not make it.  And to make matters worst Frank, the man who moved into Josie's flat below her mother is taken in and arrested for the murder.  Jane is beside herself and asks Josie to please prove his innocence.  So Josie being the good daughter that she is begins to dig into Uncle Bob's past as well as his wife's, employees and a few of their clients.  Unfortunately the suspect list gets longer rather than shorter and it isn't until Josie is face to face alone with the killer than she realizes her mistake.  Luckily she has back-up in a way and the cops show up at exactly the right moment.

Readers will fall in love with Josie, her family and friends, the jobs that she gets hired to mystery shop, and the cases that she gets herself in the middle of.  And the way that Viets ends the series will have readers feeling like they read a romance story with a fairy tale ending...... Thank you Elaine for the great stories allowing me to get lost for hours on end.

Review by Missi M.

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