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Bending The Paw
Paw Enforcement #9
BY Diane Kelly

St. Martin’s Press
October 27, 2020 / ISBN 9781250197399
Mystery/Cozy / Police

Reviewed by Elise Cooper

AMAZON

Bending The Paw by Diane Kelly has a triple narrative point of view. While some authors get into the mind of the killer, and others the mind of the police, Kelly has an unusual approach. Readers hear from not only the protagonist, Megan, and the antagonist, known as the Slasher, but also the K-9 German Shepherd partner, Brigit.

The author noted how the plot relied heavily on forensics. "I attended a bunch of forensic conferences. An RWA conference had someone from the coroner's office, and that same year I went to Murder-Con. They spoke of the different tools used and how they were made, including the fingerprint kit and the plastic numbers put up at the crime scene."

The plot has Megan and Brigit called to a house where there is a tremendous amount of blood. The shocker is that there appears to be a murder without a body. A woman had returned home to find blood all over her kitchen along with her husband's phone and wallet, but no husband and no body. In addition to this case, Megan and Brigit are assigned to investigate a possible scam being run on the citizens of Fort Worth by a fly-by-night roofing company. A contractor appears to be defrauding homeowners for much-needed roof repairs. A roofer is taking money from new clients but isn't doing the work. He is blaming the rest of his crew and a shortage of supplies. Megan needs to find out if he is honest or a con artist.

"I enjoyed writing how the canine and handler have a pact. They become an extension of each other, a unit. In some ways, Bridget is a tool to Megan, while in other ways, she is superior with her search skills. Megan's personality comes into play. She is determined, not easily deterred, and thinks outside the box."

This is possibly the last book or the second to last book in the series. “This might be my last book in the series. I am debating if I should independently publish one more story to wrap things up. One of the challenges of being an author is that we never know if the contract will be extended. But I will have a new murder mystery series out next fall. It is called Get Away With Murder. The setting is a mountain lodge located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. The main character is the owner of the lodge, a fifty-year-old divorced woman who is attracted to her maintenance worker. Before that is the third book in the “House Flipper Series.” It takes place at a roadside motel near Nashville where the cat finds a body.”

Although readers will be disappointed that the canine partner series has ended, they can at least look forward to other books by Kelly.

Reviewed 2021
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