Table of Contents
Praise for the Dog Walker Mystery Series
Begging for Trouble
“McCoy is as adept at creating colorful, compelling characters, two-legged and four-legged, and writing sharply humorous prose as she is at crafting a cleverly constructed plot.”
“Charming and funny.”
—New York Times
Death in Show
“Author Judi McCoy has once again gone to the dogs, in a very good way! Not only does she present an intriguing mystery with lots of action and a healthy dose of romance; McCoy also gives a very accurate and realistic accounting of the competitive world of dog shows. Dog fanciers and mystery lovers will adore this new addition to McCoy’s canine tales.”
“A hilarious, fun-filled story full of eclectic characters and bits of romance. . . . This venue will keep you in stitches as you can picture in your head the different voices dogs would use to communicate. . . . If you are a pet lover, this is a must read.”
—The Romance Readers Connection
“McCoy deserves a blue ribbon herself for coming up with such an entertaining paranormal-spiced mystery and then perfectly seasoning the plot with just the right dash of romance.”
“There is nobody quite like professional dog walker Ellie Engleman as she talks to her canines and hears what her four-legged friends have to say. . . . Readers will enjoy the latest escapades of the heroine . . . while her dog, Rudy, and her canine clients add amusing antics to the mix.”
—Midwest Book Review
“Ellie is wonderful [and] insightful, and her special way of communicating with her charges makes the reader laugh out loud.”
Heir of the Dog
“What a clever, clever series. Rudy is a small dog with a big attitude. . . . Judi McCoy has done an excellent job with her narrative and the story threads, sewing everything together nicely.”
“The second book in former romance writer McCoy’s captivating mystery series is a wickedly entertaining mix of terrific characters, an intriguing plot, sexy romance, and a touch of the paranormal.”
“Humorous and suspenseful . . . a lighthearted yet intriguing cozy mystery.”
“McCoy brings back professional dog walker Ellie Engleman and her reincarnated pooch with a witty and fast-paced mystery set on New York’s fashionable East Side. McCoy has a simmering plan of vengeance, peppered with humor, that readers will love.”
Hounding the Pavement
“McCoy fills this delightful story with humor, quirky characters, and delicious hints of romance.”
“The crisp writing, humorous dialogue, and delightful characters, both human and canine, all make this book a winner.”
“Judi McCoy writes with heart and humor. Anyone who loves dogs or books will have a howling good time.”
“A delightful dog’s-eye-view romp through the streets of New York. If you’ve ever talked to your dog and wished that he would answer back, this is the book for you. Four paws up!”
—Laurien Berenson, author of
Doggie Day Care Murder
“Engaging characters and a cute premise kick off this delightful series. This canine caper will have you begging for more!”
—Nancy J. Cohen, author of the
Bad Hair Day mystery series
“Hounding the Pavement
, the first book in the Dog Walker Mystery series, is a treat for everyone, whether a dog lover or not. . . . Ms. McCoy has written a cozy mystery sure to please.”
Also in the Dog Walker Mystery Series
Begging for Trouble
Death in Show
Heir of the Dog
Hounding the Pavement
Published by New American Library, a division of
Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA
Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)
Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
Penguin Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.)
Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.)
Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi - 110 017, India
Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, Auckland 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.)
Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa
Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices:
80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
First published by Obsidian, an imprint of New American Library, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
First Printing, August 2011
ISBN : 978-1-101-51755-0
Copyright © Judi McCoy, 2011
All rights reserved
OBSIDIAN and logo are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content.
The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.
This book is dedicated to Barbara Noyes, a brave and brilliant woman and an exceptional writer. Thank you, Barb, for all the “Spanglish” translations, especially because you made certain the Mexican influence was correct. You are my rock.
To the real Arlene Millman, who earned the first character part in one of my books because she showed proof of her sizable donation to Best Friends. She also contributed Ellie’s astrological chart, which I edited slightly for the epilogue of this story. Arlene doesn’t own an African gray, but she does have three adorable Boston Terriers named Corey, Isabelle, and Darby-Doll.
To Best Friends, the largest no-kill shelter in the U.S. The work they do to save God’s creatures is mindboggling. If you haven’t yet seen
, their show on the National Geographic Channel, find it and watch it. You will be amazed.
“The man in the next lane just flipped you off.” Ellie clenched the car’s safety strap in her right hand and clutched the seat belt in her left. “I think you’re crowding him.”
It was the middle of July, and she and her best friend, Vivian, were on their way to Viv’s sister’s wedding in the Hamptons. They’d spent the morning at an upscale car rental company, where Viv had demanded a vehicle that screamed “expensive, fast, and flashy,” whether or not she knew how to drive it.
“Yeah, well, he can chill. I’m doing the best I can.” It was the same response she’d given after Ellie’s last three warnings, and though she’d spent the past half hour trying to tame the six-speed BMW M6, Viv’s driving skills hadn’t improved one iota.
“I still say we should have rented our transportation through Zipcar. Their cars are small and they get good gas mileage. We could have gotten a decent sedan for a tenth of what you’re paying for this behemoth.”
“Are you crazy?” Viv hit the horn and veered around a stopped bus. “I’d be humiliated if I showed up at my sister’s house in the Hamptons and my family saw me with one of those dinky budget rentals.”
“We could have taken a helicopter or limo. Navigating this hellacious traffic is like trying to wade through quicksand,” Ellie told her as they jerked up to a traffic light.
Since Viv had gotten them out of the parking garage of Royal Luxury Automobile Rentals and onto Fortieth, going east, the bright red BMW had crawled along like a turtle with the hiccups, crowding the far right lane and terrorizing automobiles and pedestrians alike.
“A helicopter is just too Billy Joel,” Viv answered, peering over the dashboard. “And taking a limo means we’d be at the mercy of the Hamptons’ Jitney.”
“Couldn’t we borrow one of your sister’s cars? An automatic, maybe?”
“I want the McCreadys to know I have a successful career, and this baby is the way to show them.” She shifted into first, ground into second, and followed the signs for the Queens Midtown Tunnel. “Besides, I took all the insurance coverage the company offered. We won’t be liable for a penny if we have an accident . . . or something.”
“But you’ve never driven a manual transmission before, let alone a six-speed,” Ellie said for the tenth time that morning. “Please be more careful.”