First Line: The killer took a final look around the townhouse.
Kate Turner enjoys her job as relief veterinarian at a small house-call practice in upstate New York. She likes her co-workers, and she truly enjoys helping her patients. However, helping her patients takes on a whole new meaning when a Cairn Terrier named Toto is left all alone when his owner commits suicide. Or did she?
Claire Birnham was a talented artist who had a new job and apartment in Manhattan, and she and Toto were devoted to each other. Kate simply can't believe that Claire would abandon her pet that way. When police arrest a young man who works in the kennels, Kate starts asking questions and her relationship with police officer Luke Gianetti becomes strained.
Kate just won't stop, and the trail leads from Claire's mother to a boyfriend who didn't take their breakup well to the art gallery where Claire worked. With the help and advice of her beloved grandfather, Kate is determined to find a killer.
Eileen Brady has a light, humorous touch that makes her books very enjoyable to read. Kate's voice is curious, casual, determined... and her retired fire investigator of a grandfather keeps her grounded when she becomes too embroiled in her investigations. Kate certainly does need to be reined in from time to time because her investigatory style is what I call "stir the pot." Many people don't react well to it, including her boyfriend.
For me, a failing in this series is that-- with the exception of Kate's grandfather-- all the secondary characters are a bit flat. They need to be fleshed out more, and the grandfather needs to make a few more appearances for this series to really shine.
What keeps me coming back for more are the animals and Brady's stories of them and their owners. She knows whereof she speaks, having been a veterinarian for over twenty-five years. Her portraits of both owners and pets glow with humor and affection. An added bonus is that animal lovers reading these mysteries will be able to glean tips on how to care for their own pets. This is certainly a series to keep on your radar.
Unleashed by Eileen Brady
Poisoned Pen Press © 2015
Hardcover, 250 pages
Amateur Sleuth, #2 Kate Turner, DVM mystery
Source: Net Galley