Sniffing Out Murder

Berkley. (Bailey the Bloodhound Mystery, Bk. 1). Dec. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9780593547359. pap. $17. M
Inspired by her bloodhound Bailey, Priscilla Cummings writes the first in a children’s mystery series featuring a bloodhound detective. Sales are good enough that she’s able to move home to Crosbyville, IN, buy a house, and quit her teaching job. But first she has one last parent-teacher conference. She’s been dreading her meeting with Whitney Kelley, who was a mean girl in high school. As the new president of the school board, Whitney is threatening to cut Priscilla’s pet-assisted reading program. The day after they argue about the cutbacks, Bailey digs up Whitney’s body in a city park, and Whitney’s sister accuses Priscilla of murder. With the new police chief viewing her as a suspect, Priscilla does a little digging of her own and finds evidence of cheating, affairs, and blackmail. Then, another murder victim is discovered.
VERDICT Writing as Benjamin, V.M. Burns introduces a charming cast of characters in this new cozy series. Fans of Burns’s “Mystery Bookshop” series, featuring an author and poodles, will appreciate.
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