Tag Archives: Linda O. Johnston

Another day in the life of Carrie Kennersly by Linda O. Johnston

Hi, I’m Carrie Kennersly. I’ve been here at Dru’s Book Musings before and am delighted to be back. Though I never set out to solve murders, I’m still doing so, and that’s resulted in my being featured in a mystery series, the Barkery & Biscuits Mysteries. So far, they’ve included Bite the Biscuit and To Catch a Treat, and, yes, there will be a new one soon, available in May. I understand it’s called Bad To The Bone.

So what do I really do in my life? By choice, I’m a veterinary technician, but I always wanted to be my own boss. As a vet tech I developed some pretty special dog treats and when I got the opportunity to buy a human bakery and turn half into a barkery in the town where I now live, Knobcone Heights, California–well, I just had to do it. Now, my Barkery and Biscuits is where I sell my dog treats and I also sell human baked goods in Icing on the Cake, which is next door.

And who helps me? Well, Biscuit, for one–my adorable golden miniature poodle-terrier mix, although she has to stay in the Barkery and not in Icing or the joint kitchen. I also have several wonderful and devoted assistants who help bake both kinds of goods and sell them in the respective shops.

Oh, and by the way, I’m still a part-time vet tech at the Knobcone Veterinary Clinic–and I’ve been dating Dr. Reed Storme, one of the vets there.

So why do I get involved solving this latest murder? Well, Jack Loroco of VimPets, a large national pet supply company–you may have heard of it–has been after me for a while to sell him some of the recipes for my special dog treats. Lately, he’s also been dating my friend Billi Matlock, who is not only a city councilwoman but also owns the Robust Retreat day spa, and–even more important to me–runs Mountaintop Rescue, the wonderful local animal shelter.

But the most recently time Jack came here to visit he brought along Wanda Addler, an ambitious woman who also worked for VimPets. She wasn’t a very nice lady–and guess who became a murder victim. I didn’t think Jack killed her, nor Billi, either–and so I had to help figure out who really did her in.

That whole situation is described in Bad To The Bone. I hope that’s the last murder I have to solve… but I suspect it isn’t.


You can read more about Carrie in Bad To The Bone, the third book in the “Barkery & Biscuits” mystery series.

Veterinary technician Carrie Kennersly, owner of the Barkery & Biscuits bakery for dogs, is reluctant to sell her recipes to pet food manufacturer VimPets. Jack Loroco, a VimPets representative, assures Carrie that it would be a great opportunity to grow her business. His promising new relationship with Carrie’s friend, Billi Matlock, doesn’t hurt his cause. But the budding romance takes a bad turn when Wanda Addler, another VimPets employee, sets her sights on Jack.

After threatening to ruin Jack’s career if he doesn’t give her what she wants, Wanda is found dead. Jack and Billi are put at the top of the suspect list, and Carrie is doggone determined to rescue them from a life behind bars.

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About the author
Linda O. Johnston writes the Barkery & Biscuits Mysteries for Midnight Ink, as well as the Superstition Mysteries. She has also written the Pet Rescue Mysteries and the Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter Mystery series, for Berkley Prime Crime. In addition, she writes the Alpha Force miniseries for Harlequin Nocturne, about a covert military unit of shapeshifters, as well as novels for Harlequin Romantic Suspense, including the upcoming K-9 Ranch miniseries. Visit her at www.LindaOJohnston.com

All comments are welcomed.

Bad To The Bone is available at retail and online booksellers or you can ask your local library to get it for you.

A Day in the Life of Carrie Kennersly by Linda O. Johnston

To Catch a TreatHello, I’m Carrie Kennersly. In case you haven’t heard of me, I’m featured in a mystery series, the Barkery & Biscuits Mysteries. The first one was Bite The Biscuit, and a new one is about to be published: To Catch A Treat. It’s available now.

So why am I featured in mysteries? It wasn’t that I set out to solve murders. Not at all. I’m a veterinary technician who always wanted to be her own boss, so I now also own a human bakery, Icing on the Cake–and, even more important to me, a dog bakery, Barkery and Biscuits right next door.

That’s because my good friend Brenda Anesco had to sell her bakery, Icing on the Cake, and move away from Knobcone Heights, California, because her mother is ill. I bought it from her and converted half of Icing into the Barkery. And the dog treats I sell there? They’re all very healthy recipes that I developed myself for my patients as a vet tech.

My own adorable dog Biscuit gets to hang out at the Barkery while I’m in the shops, which is always wonderful. Everything is great–except for those murders. Why are there murders in the small, elite town of Knobcone Heights, California, where we live? Who knows?

I had to solve the first one, though, since I was the main suspect. The person who was killed had argued with me about my opening my two shops, and then she was found dead. I can understand why the police thought I could have done it–but of course I didn’t. That story is memorialized in Bite The Biscuit.

And more recently, Janelle Blaystone, a photographer, came to Knobcone Heights to get away from her sorrow when her dog Go disappeared in L.A.–and after Janelle arrived Go showed up here! Of course there was a reason for it, and the person who might have stolen Go was also in Knobcone Heights. Since my brother Neal began a romantic interest in Janelle, of course I had to help her –especially because she’s also a dog lover. That story is described in To Catch A Treat.

I’ve started wondering whether there might be even more murders in Knobcone Heights. If so, will I try to solve them? I’d rather not. . . but of course it’ll depend on who’s killed and who’s suspected.

And by the way, I seem to be developing a romantic relationship with Dr. Reed Storme, one of the veterinarians at the Knobcone Veterinary Clinic where I still enjoy working part-time. I’m not sure how much of a relationship we’ll have, but I’m willing to find out. I think.

So how do my days go? Well, I first get up very early–like around 4 AM. I walk Biscuit, then head to my shops to start the baking process. Some of my assistants soon join me, and we open the shops around 7 AM. On days when I have a shift at the vet clinic, I generally head there in the afternoon, taking Biscuit with me to hang out at its doggy day care facility till I’m through. While there, I help to save animals’ lives (yes, I love that), assist the vets and do whatever is necessary there before heading back to my shops. We close at 6 PM, and I often meet friends–including Reed–for dinner, sometimes at the Knobcone Heights Resort where Neal works.

Things vary, of course. And, yes, I never quite get enough sleep. But I like what I do. A lot.

Even, when necessary, solving murders.

I hope you enjoy reading the Barkery & Biscuits Mysteries! And, oh, yes, there are recipes in them for both dog and people treats.


To Catch A Treat is the second book in the Barkery & Biscuits mystery series, published by Midnight Ink, May 2016.

When a Dog-Snatching Scheme Leads to Murder, Carrie Must Sniff Out the Truth

Carrie Kennersly, veterinary technician and owner of the Barkery and Biscuits bake shop, agrees to a day of hiking with her brother Neal―mostly because she wants to meet and critique his latest romantic interest, Janelle Blaystone. But instead of judging her, Carrie feels only sympathy for Janelle, whose beloved black Labrador, Go, was recently dognapped.

Janelle thinks the culprit is Ada Arnist, a wealthy homeowner spotted at the dog park where Go was stolen. Soon after Janelle confronts Ada, though, the woman is found dead. With Janelle and Neal on the suspect list, Carrie must solve the mystery before the police bark up the wrong tree.

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About the author
Linda O. Johnston writes the Barkery & Biscuits Mysteries for Midnight Ink, as well as the Superstition Mysteries. She has also written the Pet Rescue Mysteries and the Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter Mystery series, for Berkley Prime Crime. In addition, she writes the Alpha Force miniseries for Harlequin Nocturne, about a covert military unit of shapeshifters, as well as novels for Harlequin Romantic Suspense. Visit her at www.LindaOJohnston.com

All comments are welcomed.

Another Day in the Life with Rory Chasen by Linda O. Johnston

Knock on WoodHello, I’m Rory Chasen. I was here at Dru’s Book Musings last year to introduce myself when the first Superstition Mystery, Lost Under A Ladder, was published. I’m back because the second one, Knock On Wood, is available this October.

You would think that, after living for a while in the town of Destiny, California, I’d have finally made up my mind regarding the reality of superstitions, since that’s what the town is all about.

But I admit it. I’m still an agnostic, even though superstitions are a way of life here.

I’ve been managing the Lucky Dog Boutique now for months. I was thrilled when my best friend Gemma Grayfield arrived in Destiny to visit me. She arrived a day earlier than I expected her, though, since she was trying to get away from her ex-boyfriend, Frank Shorester.

Almost immediately, Gemma, a librarian, was hired to run the Broken Mirror Bookstore next door to the Lucky Dog. Plus, she is also staying at the Rainbow Bed and Breakfast, which is where I’m currently living. It’s so great to have her around! We get together a lot.

Although not all the time. It turned out that Gemma became rather flirtatious after leaving Frank–who also showed up in Destiny. Two other guys became interested in her, and she spent time with them.

And me? Well, I’m still trying to figure out the reality of superstitions since my beloved fiancé Warren walked under a ladder and died a few minutes later after being struck by a car. That was why I’d come to Destiny in the first place–to learn whether the ladder really had anything to do with it. I’m still not sure.

But I have developed a kind of relationship with Destiny’s Chief of Police, Justin Halbertson. I’m not sure if it’s going anywhere, partially because I’m not certain whether I’m ready even now for another relationship.

Meantime, I’m accompanied nearly everywhere by my wonderful dog Pluckie, a spaniel-terrier mix. She’s lucky, of course–a black and white dog who helped to save the life of my boss and friend, Martha Jallopia, who owns the Lucky Dog, when we first got here. That was described at the beginning of Lost Under A Ladder.

Even after being here for a while, our day is pretty much the same: waking up at the Rainbow B&B, going for a short walk, eating breakfast, and heading to the Lucky Dog to straighten inventory, seed the sidewalk outside with lucky heads-up pennies, and wait for the day to begin, when we sell lucky items relating to pets such as toys, leashes and collars, food, and more. Sounds pretty normal, doesn’t it?

Well, it should be. . . except that there is another murder here in Destiny. This time, it’s one of the guys courting Gemma, and she’s a major suspect. I never thought of myself as any kind of detective, but of course I have to help clear my friend, so I have to work that into my days as well.

I mentioned before that I heard it’s good luck to read the Superstition Mysteries. I’m still not sure about it. But it can’t hurt, and I’ll keep my fingers crossed that it works out well for you.


You can read more about Rory in Knock On Wood, the second book in the “Superstition” mystery series, published by Midnight Ink. The first book in the series is Lost Under A Ladder.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by noon eastern on Friday, October 23 for your chance to win a print copy of Lost Under A Ladder. (US entries only, please.) Good luck everyone!

About the author
Linda O. Johnston writes the Superstition Mysteries for Midnight Ink, as well as the Barkery & Biscuits Mysteries. She has also written the Pet Rescue Mysteries and the Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter Mystery series, for Berkley Prime Crime. In addition, she writes the Alpha Force miniseries for Harlequin Nocturne, about a covert military unit of shapeshifters, as well as novels for Harlequin Romantic Suspense. Visit Linda at www.LindaOJohnston.com

Blog Tour: Introducing Carrie Kennersly by Linda O. Johnston

Bite the BiscuitHello. I’m Carrie Kennersly. If you’ve been to the town of Knobcone Heights, California, in the San Bernardino Mountains and brought your pet along, you may have met me–although I hope the circumstances were good. I’m a veterinary technician at the Knobcone Veterinary Clinic.

But that’s not why I’m here. I wanted to tell you today that I recently opened my own shops, too! You see, my good friend Brenda Anesco, who had to move down the mountains to take care of her ailing mother, sold me her existing bakery, Icing on the Cake. She gave me permission to divide Icing into two shops, so half remains Icing and the other is now Barkery and Biscuits, my very special shop where I sell hand-baked dog treats–healthy treats I developed as a vet tech. They’re so good that even people who have tasted them enjoy them.

So now I spend seven days a week at my shops, since I can’t afford a lot of help yet. I also remain a part-time vet tech. I’m able to bring my own dog Biscuit, a golden toy poodle-terrier mix, with me all the time while I’m at my new businesses since she’s permitted to stay in the Barkery, although not in Icing or in the joint kitchen. We’re both happy about that.

But as difficult as it is to talk about it, some people here aren’t particularly happy about what I’m doing, especially a couple of the Ethmans, one of the town’s most elite families. Some of their members are nice–but not all of them, particularly Myra and Harris Ethman. We’ve been arguing partly because those two own a local pet store that they think Barkery competes with. It doesn’t, though–not really, since their place doesn’t sell hand-made treats, just regular, though good quality, dog food. Even so, when Myra is found murdered with part of a Barkery biscuit near her. . . well, unfortunately, I’m considered to be a suspect and have to prove I didn’t harm her.

What happens is memorialized in a book, Bite the Biscuit, which was just published. I suppose my working so hard to clear myself of murder means I have three careers–at least for a while. But I can handle it.

And be sure, if you visit Knobcone Heights, to stop in at my shops, especially if you have your dog along. I often give free samples of both doggy and human treats.


You can read more about Carrie in Bite The Biscuit, the first book in the NEW “Barkery & Biscuits” mystery series, published by Midnight Ink.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on May 28 for the chance to win a copy of Bite The Biscuit. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be notified within 48 hours after giveaway closes and you will have three days to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected. Make sure to check your SPAM folder.

This is the last stop on the Bite The Biscuit Great Escapes Tour. More stops on the tour can be found here.

About the author
Linda O. Johnston writes the Barkery & Biscuits Mysteries for Midnight Ink as well as the Superstition Mysteries. She has also written the Pet Rescue Mysteries and the Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter Mystery series, for Berkley Prime Crime. In addition, she writes the Alpha Force miniseries for Harlequin Nocturne, about a covert military unit of shapeshifters, as well as novels for Harlequin Romantic Suspense. Visit Linda at www.LindaOJohnston.com or friend her on Facebook.

Lost Under a Ladder by Linda O. Johnston

Lost Under a LadderLost Under a Ladder by Linda O. Johnston is the first book in the new “Superstition” mystery series. Publisher: Midnight Ink, October 2014

Is it Luck? Or is it Destiny?

Rory Chasen never thought superstitions were real—until her beloved fiancé is killed after walking under a ladder. To find closure and the truth about superstitions, Rory takes her dog Pluckie to a town called Destiny, where superstitious beliefs are a way of life.

Rory’s visit to Destiny takes an unexpected turn when Pluckie saves Martha, the owner of the Lucky Dog Boutique. While Martha recovers, Rory reluctantly agrees to manage the pet shop for her. But when Martha becomes the prime suspect in the local bookshop owner’s murder, Rory can’t believe that the sweet old woman would do it. Convinced the real killer is still roaming Destiny’s streets, Rory resolves to crack the case before Martha’s luck runs out.

Do you believe in superstitions? In this new series by Linda O Johnston, she takes us to Destiny, California to see if the rumors are true. What we find is a charming and delightful tale featuring Rory and her furry friend Pluckie who plays a pivotal role in this light and fresh whodunit. The author did a great job in setting up the scenes where a murderer hides in plain sight and I enjoyed watching it all come together. With a likable cast and the idiosyncrasies and uniqueness of this small town is a perfect fit to this entertaining series.

previously posted on the Cozy Chicks blog

A Day in the Life of Rory Chasen by Linda O. Johnston

Lost Under a LadderHello, I’m Rory Chasen. I’m here to introduce myself because I’m about to be featured in a new mystery series, the Superstition Mysteries. The first one is Lost Under A Ladder, and it’ll be available in October.

Why are they called Superstition Mysteries? Because that’s what they’re all about–kind of.

You see, I currently live in the town of Destiny, California. Superstitions are a way of life here. Everyone who lives in Destiny loves and believes in superstitions, or at least they pretend to, since a lot of tourists come here trying to learn more of what superstitions are all about–and spend their money.

Many store names reflect the town’s theme, such as the Lucky Dog Boutique, where I’m now the manager. Next door is the Broken Mirror Bookstore. Also here are the Shamrock Steakhouse, the Knock-on-Wood Furniture Shop, the Wishbones to Go Eatery, Buttons of Fortune, Beware of Bubbles Coffee Shop, Wish-on-a-Star Children’s Shop… well, you get it.

So why am I here? I came to Destiny to learn whether superstitions could actually be real. I’m skeptical but needed to know. Not long ago my beloved fiancé Warren walked under a ladder–and died a few minutes later after being struck by a car. Did the ladder have anything to do with it? I’m still hoping to find out.

My dog Pluckie, a delightful spaniel-terrier mix, came with me. She’s black and white–and I learned very quickly after getting to Destiny that black and white dogs are lucky. I was told that by Martha Jallopia, owner of the Lucky Dog Boutique, when Pluckie made me enter her shop and go into the back room, where we found Martha ill. Pluckie helped to save her life–which is definitely lucky. And when Martha asked me to stay to run the Lucky Dog for a while, I couldn’t refuse, especially when her good friend Justin Halbertson, the town’s police chief, also pleaded with me to help her.

I also met Kenneth Tarzal, one of the owners of the Broken Mirror Bookstore and the author of the definitive guide to superstitions, The Destiny of Superstitions, which had been one of the things that had drawn me to Destiny.

What’s my usual day like? Well, I wake up early at the Rainbow Bed & Breakfast and take Pluckie for a short walk. Then we go back inside for breakfast.

Next, we walk to the Lucky Dog because Destiny is compact enough that you can walk nearly anywhere. I straighten out our inventory on the store shelves. It’s fun merchandise, all involved with superstitions: stuffed toys that include black cats and black and white dogs, and horseshoe shapes; collars and leashes and pet clothing and bedding all decorated with superstition themes; and more.

Sometimes I’ll call Martha, then go upstairs to say good morning, since she lives on the second floor of the building housing the Lucky Dog. I soon open the shop whether or not either of our two assistants have arrived. And because Destiny is Destiny, we usually have a huge crowd of customers, tourists who often have their dogs along, and who also come in and buy a lot.

Around lunchtime I’ll either bring in food for us including Martha, or let one of the assistants do it. We don’t close the shop until early evening, and then I’ll often go out to dinner–sometimes with Justin, the police chief, or other friends I’ve met here. After that, Pluckie and I return to the B&B.

Things started to settle fairly quickly into a routine here, including attending the weekly Destiny Welcome to introduce tourists to the town. But then Pluckie pulled me one day into the Broken Mirror Bookstore, as she had when she’d sensed Martha ailing in the Lucky Dog. That day, Tarzal wasn’t as lucky. He was dead. And when Martha becomes the main suspect in his murder, of course I to try to clear the sweet older woman of suspicion.

I’ve been told it may be good luck to read the Superstition Mysteries. I can’t be sure of that. But I’d suggest you try them to find out.


Meet the author
Linda O. Johnston writes the Superstition Mysteries for Midnight Ink. She has also written the Pet Rescue Mysteries and the Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter Mystery series, for Berkley Prime Crime. In addition, she writes the Alpha Force miniseries for Harlequin Nocturne, about a covert military unit of shapeshifters, as well as novels for Harlequin Romantic Suspense. And watch for Linda’s upcoming Barkery and Biscuits Mysteries for Midnight Ink. Visit her at www.LindaOJohnston.com.

Blog Tour With Lauren Vancouver by Linda O. Johnston

Teacup TurbulenceHi. I’m Lauren Vancouver, and I’m the chief administrator at HotRescues, a really wonderful no-kill animal shelter in L.A.’s San Fernando Valley. Thanks to Dru for inviting me back here to blog. I’d like to tell you about my latest adventure: TEACUP TURBULENCE.

In case you’re not aware of it, HotRescues was established by my shelter’s chief benefactor, Dante DeFrancisco. Dante has made a lot of money in the pet industry because he owns HotPets, which I’m sure you’ve heard of. It’s the biggest and best chain of pet supply stores in the country.

Recently, HotPets started selling a new line of faux jewelry dog collars called HotPets Bling, and that precipitated the events in TEACUP TURBULENCE. What happened is that Dante promoted those collars by some amazing TV ads and digital billboards depicting adorable teacup-sized dogs wearing them. Though L.A. usually has too many tiny dogs available for adoption, those ads really popularized the pups and demand for them grew. I heard about a puppy mill rescue elsewhere in the country where there were too many tiny dogs available–and, yes, I found a way to get those little dogs to L.A. to find new homes, or at least some of them. I’d heard of organizations that recruit pilots of private planes to fly pets that are unadoptable in one area to someplace else where they’re in demand… and you can guess the rest.

Or at least part of it. Someone involved in the rescue of those little dogs decided to fly with them to L.A.–where she was murdered. And since my new pilot friends, who happened to work for Dante, were the primary suspects–well, with my recent successes in solving murders, I had to jump in to help them, too.

But of course I never get too involved in catching killers to take good care of the wonderful pets needing homes who currently reside at HotRescues. That’s my main focus in life, especially since my two kids are away at college. The guy I’m dating, Captain Matt Kingston of Los Angeles Animal Services, once more let me know that he’d rather I not get involved in yet another murder–but he knows me well enough to realize that, as sweet as I think his worrying is, I’m going to do what I believe is right.

I’d like to acknowledge the woman who memorializes my adventures in the Pet Rescue Mysteries. Linda O. Johnston’s an animal lover, as I am, and she does a pretty fair job of describing HotRescues and what we do–as well as encouraging others to care for homeless pets.

So go ahead and read TEACUP TURBULENCE. I hope you enjoy it.


This is the last stop on the Teacup Turbulence Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour. For other stops on this tour, click HERE

You can read more about Lauren in Teacup Turbulence, the fifth book in the “Pet Rescue” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime. The first book in the series is Beaglemania. Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

GIVEAWAY: Comment on this post by noon EST on January 16, and you will be entered to win a copy of Teacup Turbulence. One winner will be chosen at random. Unless specified, U.S. entries only.

Meet the author
Linda O. Johnston writes the Pet Rescue Mysteries, a spinoff series from the Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter Mystery series, for Berkley Prime Crime. She also writes the Alpha Force miniseries for Harlequin Nocturne, about a covert military unit of shapeshifters, as well as novels for Harlequin Romantic Suspense. And watch for Linda’s upcoming Superstition Mysteries for Midnight Ink. Visit her at www.LindaOJohnston.com


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A Word From Lauren Vancouver by Linda O. Johnston

Oodles of PoodlesHi, I’m Lauren Vancouver. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m the chief administrator at HotRescues, a wonderful no-kill animal shelter in L.A.’s San Fernando Valley.

Although I spend most of my time at my shelter saving pets, I’m always glad to reach out when necessary to help save animals otherwise, too. That’s partly how I got involved in the movie Saving Sheba, which is described in the latest book about my experiences, OODLES OF POODLES. In that story within a story, some rescued poodles star in a film about–what else?–rescued poodles! The HotRescues benefactor Dante DeFrancisco is one of the film’s co-producers, so I help to supervise the filming on his behalf. A Certified Animal Safety Representative™ of the American Humane Association also supervises, since they’re the only group that can provide the trademarked certification that “No Animals Were Harmed.”™

I don’t know what it is about my presence, though, but I wind up having to get involved with solving another murder. Hans Marford, the director of Saving Sheba, is run over and killed near the set, and my dearest friend, veterinarian Dr. Carlie Stellan, becomes the primary suspect in his murder. Of course I have to help clear her.

The guy I’m seeing, Captain Matt Kingston of Los Angeles Animal Services, isn’t very keen on my attempting to solve yet another murder. He worries about me, which is sweet. But I can take care of myself.

It turns out that there are a lot of other people who might have wanted to kill Hans Marford. Carlie’s argument with him over animal safety isn’t the only fight he had.

Even so, it’s a challenge to find who the real culprit was and prove it.

Meantime, even though I spent a lot of time on this latest amateur but worthy investigation, I don’t neglect HotRescues and its many wonderful inhabitants. They all deserve new, wonderful homes, and that’s my passion in life: saving them and placing them in the right new environment.

Are you an animal lover? I certainly am! And so’s the woman who writes about my adventures, Linda O. Johnston. I let her do that because it can only help get the word out there about HotRescues and all we accomplish.

I hope you enjoy the Pet Rescue Mysteries. I do!


Thanks to the publisher, I have one (1) copy of OODLES OF POODLES to give away. Contest open to US residents only and ends February 13. Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. The book will be shipped directly from the publisher.


Meet the author
Linda O. Johnston writes the Pet Rescue Mysteries, a spinoff series from the Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter Mystery series, for Berkley Prime Crime. She also writes the Alpha Force miniseries for Harlequin Nocturne, about a covert military unit of shapeshifters, as well as novels for Harlequin Romantic Suspense. Visit her at www.LindaOJohnston.com

Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

Hounds Abound by Linda O. Johnston

Hounds Abound by Linda O. Johnston is the third book in the “Pet Rescue” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, April 2012

Saving animals and solving murders seem to go paw in paw for shelter manager and amateur sleuth Lauren Vancouver. But this time, mixed up in a murder that may close a much-needed new shelter, she’s perhaps too quick to catch the scent of the killer.

For Lauren, Save Them All the newest no-kill shelter in Los Angeles, is just what the vet ordered: a place for handicapped kitties and senior spaniels to find a loving home and a second chance. There’s just one problem. It’s charming owner, Bella Frankovick, is now suspected of murdering her ex-husband, a powerful and animal-hating cosmetic surgeon. And it’s up to Lauren to use her bulldog grip on the case to rescue Save Them All and decide Bella’s fate, while keeping herself and own critters safe from an unleashed killer.

I love books that bring attention to societal concerns and in this one the focus is on shelters for handicapped and elderly animals. In this caper, the woman in charge of this facility quickly becomes the prime suspect in the death of her husband. Knowing that she’s innocent, Lauren begins an investigation and soon Lauren is in the crosshairs of a killer. In this evenly-paced mystery, I was so sure I knew who the killer was until the author’s direction led me to other possibilities with the many twist and turns that kept me guessing throughout most of this page-turning drama. Lauren is a likable character and I enjoy watching her dogged pursuit in bringing a killer to justice. This was a good read and I look forward to the next book in this endearing series.