Doggie Day Care Murder – #BookReview

Killers Confess to rAndom Strangers all the Time Though

Have you ever met someone who took one look at you and pretty much decided that they would tell you their whole life story and just straight up confess to murder despite you not being a cop or anyone of any authority who could reasonably do something about a murder confession? Me neither. But that’s pretty much what happens in Doggie Day Care Murder by Laurien Bereson

If you love cozy little mysteries and well trained dogs who get displayed in dog shows, Doggie Day Care Murder is perfectly fine and would make a nice short little read for a plane or on a beach or whatever. If you have a brain that tends to pick things apart and wonder why any of this would even be a possibility, then stay away from this book.

Here’s a summary. Melanie Travers is a mother to two children, one of them still a pretty new infant, and an owner of five standard poodles. Apparently these are the “big kind” of poodles. I know this because that fact was mentioned about three hundred times. Melanie’s friend Alice also has a dog named, Berkeley. Alice is going back to work at a law firm that her husband seems to be a partner in. Alice needs Melanie to check out this doggie day care center that she might put Berkeley in because, Alice, “doesn’t know about dog stuff”, despite, well, having a dog and a reasonable mind. Melanie agrees to go check the place out. Then she drags Alice to the place (even though Melanie is supposed to be the one doing the checking out of the place) at which point one of the owners is discovered to have been shot and is lying dead in his office. For no rational reason that I can discern, Alice now wants Melanie to investigate this murder and promises the co-owner/sister of the murdered man that Melanie will solve this crime. A lot of running around, lying, talking, being terrible at jobs, and dog shows occur. Melanie solves the murder, is almost murdered, and then gets to see her kid come in second place in a dog show. Err… the dog comes in second? I dunno the kid gets a ribbon or whatever. Yay!

I had a few thoughts.

  • At the beginning of the book Melanie checks out this Doggie Day Care. Literally everyone she tells about this rolls their eyes at a place calling itself a doggie day care. Yet all these people are dog owners and not a freaking one of them has heard of this? Ok boomer.
  • Likewise when it is revealed that a dog is named Joyjoy, all the “real” dog people in the book are flabbergasted. It’s a freaking dog. There are plenty of weird names people can give their dogs, come on, get less judgmental for a minute here.
  • As soon as Melanie strolls into the day care center with no appointment and clearly having done zero research about the place at all, demands an appointment with the co-owner. Melanie is utterly disgusted with the attitude of the teenage clerk behind the counter. You know what? I think the girl behind the counter was reasonably wondering why this lady is judging her so harshly. Also, the teenager is probably not getting paid much here so back off lady. Yet Melanie is like, why can’t some people be polite? Good question Melanie, good question. Ask it of yourself.
  • Melanie tours this place, realizes they care about the dogs and is pretty much gonna recommend it to Alice but still drags Alice over to check it out. You know, just in case Melanie simply caught them on a good day. Fair enough, you don’t want some scumbag abusing your dog so I get that. But it sounded to me really like Melanie was too damn lazy to decide if she was going to give a good opinion to her friend.
  • Next thing, Steve, the co-owner of the place is murdered and Melanie and Alice are there when his body is found. The police talk to the two women to see what they were doing there and why. Melanie gets all defensive about it and is like, why would you suspect us? So, here’s the the thing, Melanie, if that is your real name, you show up a day ago, demand to see an owner, disappear and the next day you show up, the dude is freaking dead. That seems suspicious to me. And that is not to mention the fact that Melanie in previous books has “solved murders”. So now, she’s showing up around a lot of dead bodies, And dogs apparently.
  • The sister/co-owner of the place then agrees to let Melanie snoop into the murder because, umm… she likes dogs? And hey, yeah suspicious lady that I only met a day ago and showed up after my brother turned up dead, you are likely the best person to figure this out.
  • Once Melanie decides to take up the case, she goes around talking to all kinds of people. Her plan is to pretend that she was hired by Candy to redesign the website for the doggie day care. That would make sense if she a. had any experience designing websites, b. ever took a picture or did anything that might remotely seem like she was designing a website or c. turned on the computer and uh… looked at the old website a single time. Nope, she never does any of that. She is pretty much like, hey I am here to redo the website can I talk to you for a minute, and then people say yeah sure, and her next question is, who do you think killed Steve? My response to that would have been, is there going to be a who killed Steve section of the website? Do you know javascript? I googled you, you know and you show up in a lot of murder cases. But nope, people are just like oh cool, new website, yeah Steve sucked or Steve was great or whatever they thought. I feel like the author was like, what kind of job sounds vague enough for people to buy that they would talk to Melanie? Website design! Let me make sure Melanie never does any.
  • There is a side plot about Melanie’s kid Davey who is learning how to compete in a dog show. Melanie frequently rolls her eyes at all these people who are richer than her, like the guy who drives a hummer and doesn’t seem to realize that most people who are in the “competitive dog show world” must have a fair amount of disposable income to you know, be in, “the competitive dog show world”. I assume it is not a cheap hobby.
  • Also, I am just gonna give this away so if you want to read the book and be surprised don’t read this but… the guy who is the murderer? Not good at training his dog. Because, if you can’t train your dog well, according to this book, you are a horrible, horrible, horrible person who probably named a dog the wrong name.
  • The police show up exactly twice in this book. Once, when the body is found and once when Melanie is almost killed by the murderer. What in the blasted blue blazes do the tax dollars of people in Stamford, Connecticut pay for anyway, huh?
  • I assume that the whole thing with there being no police was so the author didn’t have to really explain the conflict that Melanie would have with them. But here are a few of the things Melanie does. Let me know if any of them would seem weird enough to have police get called on her. 1. She goes to a neighbor who hated Steve and falsely gives the impression that she is on the city board. 2. She keeps showing up at this doggie day care, asking a whole freaking lot of questions about the murder victim. 3. She basically stalks a guy outside his neighborhood just so she can find out if he was a co-owner of the day care. 4. She goes into a clothing store and threatens to sit there all day until one of the workers will talk to her about Steve’s death. The woman she wants to talk to I remind you, is working, and has sued Steve in the past and is threatening to again. Yet the woman talks to her rather than saying, I do not have to talk to you and lawyer or not I can call the cops for you harassing me. 5. She goes to a pet store, berates the store for encouraging her to breed her standard poodle, demands to see a delivery guy there and then interrogates him. 6. She gets Candy to give her the password to Steve’s computer so she can see what his business files have. I utterly guarantee you that any evidence found a result of Melanie’s efforts is not going to be accepted in a court case. You know, unless it’s the case where they throw the book at Melanie.
  • Finally, the last point I want to make is that the whodunit here wasn’t that hard to figure out based on behavior towards dogs. Why make it a mystery if it is going to be that obvious? Just call it, Melanie tries to do a job at a doggie day care place but would rather talk about murder.

My next review will be for Geek Girls Don’t Date Dukes. Oh don’t they know? I kind of think the title is lying to me.

Doggedly yours,

Slick Dungeon