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The second in The Pampered Pets series has Melinda Langston, infamous brooch-stealing cousin of Caro Lamont from Desperate Housedogs, embroiled in her own Laguna Beach murder mystery. The story opens at the Fur Ball, an event organized in part by Caro and alluded to throughout Housedogs. Mel’s rivalry with Mona Michaels, wealthy queen of Laguna’s dog-loving elite (and soon-to-be murder victim) is soon revealed. To be fair, it’s hardly Mel’s only rivalry. She and her cousin have a well-known “love-hate” relationship and, by her own admission, Mel’s “directness” can sometimes get her in trouble. So when she later discovers Mona’s dead body, it’s no surprise the police are suspicious. Unlike Caro in Housedogs, Mel’s desire to clear her name is justified. It’s obvious why she would be paranoid about being a suspect.
That’s not the only difference between Get Fluffy and Desperate Housedogs. The writing style in Get Fluffy is different as well. It’s more casual and heavier on dialogue, which usually bothers me, but the characters are written so much more sympathetically (Mel is hilarious) that I much preferred this book.
I’m curious whether the authors behind the pen name “Sparkle Abbey,” Mary Lee Woods and Anita Carter, write each book together, or whether they alternate taking the lead on each book in the series, so that one of them is the lead writer of the “Mel” books and the other is the lead writer of the “Caro” books. If that’s the case, based on the first two books in the series, it’s the “Mel” books I’ll be most excited about (perhaps penned primarily by Anita Carter?). I guess I’ll just have to wait for the next book, Kitty Kitty Bang Bang, to see if the pattern continues.
Disclaimer: I received a digital galley of this book free from the publisher from NetGalley.com. I was not obliged to write a favourable review, or even any review at all. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.