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A Shot in the Bark

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an alternate cover edition can be found here Would you recognize a serial killer if you talked to one every day? Artist Lia Anderson doesn’t, and neither does anyone else who frequents the Mount Airy Dog Park. But a violent death brings Detective Peter Dourson into the close-knit group, and he is convinced someone is not who they seem. As the investigation uncovers secrets, an alternate cover edition can be found here Would you recognize a serial killer if you talked to one every day? Artist Lia Anderson doesn’t, and neither does anyone else who frequents the Mount Airy Dog Park. But a violent death brings Detective Peter Dourson into the close-knit group, and he is convinced someone is not who they seem. As the investigation uncovers secrets, Lia struggles to cope with warring emotions while a killer watches and plans. (about 60,000 words)


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an alternate cover edition can be found here Would you recognize a serial killer if you talked to one every day? Artist Lia Anderson doesn’t, and neither does anyone else who frequents the Mount Airy Dog Park. But a violent death brings Detective Peter Dourson into the close-knit group, and he is convinced someone is not who they seem. As the investigation uncovers secrets, an alternate cover edition can be found here Would you recognize a serial killer if you talked to one every day? Artist Lia Anderson doesn’t, and neither does anyone else who frequents the Mount Airy Dog Park. But a violent death brings Detective Peter Dourson into the close-knit group, and he is convinced someone is not who they seem. As the investigation uncovers secrets, Lia struggles to cope with warring emotions while a killer watches and plans. (about 60,000 words)

30 review for A Shot in the Bark

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    Cosy mysteries are not something I read a lot of, but after reading this book I made a note to myself that I'll be on the look out for more. This book captured my eye firstly because it has a dog on the cover and secondly because of its title. And so after reading a few reviews I was intrigued and thought I'd give it a go and I'm glad I did. Who would've thought reading about people meeting in a local dog park on a daily basis could be so entertaining. This book has been very cleverly written and Cosy mysteries are not something I read a lot of, but after reading this book I made a note to myself that I'll be on the look out for more. This book captured my eye firstly because it has a dog on the cover and secondly because of its title. And so after reading a few reviews I was intrigued and thought I'd give it a go and I'm glad I did. Who would've thought reading about people meeting in a local dog park on a daily basis could be so entertaining. This book has been very cleverly written and I'm looking forward to reading the next book in this series. Very enjoyable and I'm now a fan of cosy mysteries. Recommended.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    Lia Anderson was over being hassled by her on again/off again boyfriend Luthor. He was needy and selfish – she had broken up with him twice already; this time she would make it stick. Lia was telling her best friend Anna about her decision while they and all their friends were at the Mount Airy Dog Park which they frequented most mornings with their beloved dogs. But of course Luthor didn’t take it well… After a disturbed night Lia took Chewy and Honey, her two doggy kids to the dog park very ear Lia Anderson was over being hassled by her on again/off again boyfriend Luthor. He was needy and selfish – she had broken up with him twice already; this time she would make it stick. Lia was telling her best friend Anna about her decision while they and all their friends were at the Mount Airy Dog Park which they frequented most mornings with their beloved dogs. But of course Luthor didn’t take it well… After a disturbed night Lia took Chewy and Honey, her two doggy kids to the dog park very early. Still dark, nonetheless she could see Luthor’s car in the car park. She was furious – would he never leave her alone? But her horrified discovery sent her immediately into shock… Detective Peter Dourson was in charge of the investigation into the violent death – but it didn’t take long for his suspicions to be aroused. Were the group of close friends who they seemed to be? Or was there evil on the sidelines? Lia tried to keep going with her work – she was crafting a garden with her friend Bailey as well as doing her own painting. It was therapeutic but her thoughts went round and round… A Shot in the Bark is the first in the Lia Anderson Dog Park Mystery series by C.A. Newsome and I really enjoyed it! An intriguing cosy mystery which centres around the dog park and all the gorgeous animals attending. I could easily visualise a lot of them and loved the inventive names. (Chewy was Chewbacca!) And CarGo :) I’m keen to read the second in the series as the story continues… Recommended.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ian

    Dog Parks really are strange places. You meet people from all walks of life, all connected by their love of dogs. Setting a murder mystery with that as a background is an interesting idea and for the most part the book works. It's entertaining even if it's a little obvious. Parts of the book it felt like one red herring after another and that's OK except they were quite plainly red herrings. So it's not the greatest book ever written but if you want to kill some time and be entertained along the Dog Parks really are strange places. You meet people from all walks of life, all connected by their love of dogs. Setting a murder mystery with that as a background is an interesting idea and for the most part the book works. It's entertaining even if it's a little obvious. Parts of the book it felt like one red herring after another and that's OK except they were quite plainly red herrings. So it's not the greatest book ever written but if you want to kill some time and be entertained along the way, you could do worse.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Richard Derus

    Rating: 3.5* of five The Book Report: Artist and Cincinnati urban dog-owner Lia spends her mornings with an oddball crew of fellow urban dog folks, giving their pooches a chance to romp, run, socialize, and generally get their doggy-day off to a good start. Likewise the people, all having convenience-store coffee and the occasional donut among the similarly inclined. As with any group of people who meet and become acquainted around a common interest, there are passionate rivalries, there are last Rating: 3.5* of five The Book Report: Artist and Cincinnati urban dog-owner Lia spends her mornings with an oddball crew of fellow urban dog folks, giving their pooches a chance to romp, run, socialize, and generally get their doggy-day off to a good start. Likewise the people, all having convenience-store coffee and the occasional donut among the similarly inclined. As with any group of people who meet and become acquainted around a common interest, there are passionate rivalries, there are lasting friendships, there is a murder. Wait...what was that last one again? A murder?! Luthor's beat-up old Corolla is in the parking lot one early morning when Lia arrives, to her irritation, and she stomps over to the car to yell at Luthor for stalking her, she yanks open the door, and finds Luthor's brains splattered all over the car. Apparently a suicide by gunshot, even though he was a coward, appearance-conscious, and afraid of guns. Lia has broken up for the third (and everyone around the dog park hopes the last) time with Luthor, writer manque and well-dressed layabout drama queen, who has been taking it hard. Well, he is a drama queen, so what else can be expected? Lia, poor deluded lamb, was hoping for a clean getaway, and says as much to Anna, an older and more...composed...person. Anna gently, and sometimes not so gently, punctures illusions, pretensions, and wrong-headedness among all the park's regulars, Lia no exception. It's Anna, after all, who started the fashion among the women of the park to roll their eyes practically in the face of helpless little femme fatale Catherine, a married society lady whose hair is dyed to match her Pomeranians, Caesar and Cleo (shudder all the way around on this one). Catherine has joined the group, the women suspect, just to get away from her long-term marriage's ennui and get some male attention, as it happens from Jim, a courtly older bachelor and, pre-Catherine, Anna's particular friend. Terry, a right-wing NRA supporter, Marie Woo, a lesbian Asian-American with multi-colored hair and a snarky wit, Bailey, a quietly competent New Age-y landscape architect, and Jose, a working-class Italian guy with a backhoe and a story he won't tell, are the other regulars who figure into the story. Luthor's louche past, well actually present, as a womanizing gigolo comes out in the police investigation of the apparent suicide, and ties Luthor directly to Catherine. It looks like the investigation is going nowhere because Catherine can't be tied to the gun that killed him, and can't be proved to be in contact with Luthor at the time of his death; the reason that it is being investigated at all is that Luthor was shot in the right temple. He was left-handed. A scaredy cat gunphobe shooting himself with the non-dominant hand, while stone cold sober? No way Jose (the source of out Italian buddy's nickname, BTW). So homicide cop Peter begins to flail about, spending time in the dog park with Luthor's orphaned dog Viola whom he is now caring for, and making goo-goo eyes at Lia, who is completely freaked about Luthor's death, about the idea that Peter shares with her that one of her friends murdered him, and about the strength of her attraction to Peter. In the end, the threads are tied off and the plot resolved. There is a twist at the end, one that makes the mystery a mystery, and of which I must say I approve. My Review: But there are things that I don't approve of in a good deal of this first book. I enjoyed myself as I read it, there is no doubt, and I liked the characters quite a bit. If the author writes more of them, I'll probably read at least one or two more. One is the use of the killer's PoV for italicized segments of the tale that are there simply to tell us why the killer did it. Better that we don't know, honestly. And the killer's gender is given away in the first sentence of the Prologue, which means half the dog park's regulars are out as suspects. That really dulls the knife-edge of suspense when the suicide is deemed a murder. And while we know the gender, the groundlings don't, and yet Lia trusts one of them enough to spill her fears and frustrations to, when that one could easily be the murderer. The author juggles a large cast in the book, and I think could profitably have trimmed a few out entirely. She could stand to beef up the backstory and supply motives for the main players here, ie Jim, Anna, Marie, Jose, and Terry. As it was, the twist at the end supplies some suspense and sets up a potential sequel, but the book's warm and enfolding tone would be well-served by expanding the cast's reasons for being at the dog park and for forming the interesting little society that they do, Granted that this wouldn't necessarily be through conversation, but the hurdle isn't insurmountable for a writer of Newsome's evident ability. Peter the cop and Bailey his metrosexual sidekick are nicely drawn, although some explanation of why Bailey isn't then is Peter's sidekick wouldn't have come amiss. The guys have a good relationship, and it's enough to give Peter an offstage presence that works. Alma, Peter's elderly gardening nut neighbor, comes out of nowhere and goes nowhere, and she's a missed opportunity for Peter to have an interesting added dimension: Why does he know her? What do they talk about? Where does Peter live that he's in an apartment and Alma has a greenhouse in her back yard? But these are quibbles. And the fact that I have quibbles with A Shot in the Bark is a very good sign. I was so engaged and so interested that I noticed things, and missed having things, and generally was right there in the story to the extent that I was participating in it. That's not so easy to accomplish, since I've been reading mysteries for thirty-four years. Most of them get fifteen or twenty pages and are out. Not this one...and that is saying a lot. Well done indeed, Ms. Newsome, and thank you.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Anne Boleyn's Ghost

    An absorbing and twisty mystery. 3.5 stars rounded up because I appreciate when authors recognize the amazing adorable awesomeness of miniature schnauzers. Not like I'm biased because my family has had miniature schnauzers and I've been continually exposed to their amazing adorable awesomeness... Read for SBTB July - September 2018 Quarterly Challenge: A book where a character owns a pet. An absorbing and twisty mystery. 3.5 stars rounded up because I appreciate when authors recognize the amazing adorable awesomeness of miniature schnauzers. Not like I'm biased because my family has had miniature schnauzers and I've been continually exposed to their amazing adorable awesomeness... Read for SBTB July - September 2018 Quarterly Challenge: A book where a character owns a pet.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I should have liked this book. It combines dogs, which I love, with a murder mystery, a genre I read extensively. But I most definitely did NOT like it. The first thing is not really an error of the author. It's just a style I don't like. I don't like to know what the killer is thinking. I don't like having any hints of whodunnit beyond the clues available to the book's sleuths--the actual evidence and the things revealed in discussions with the suspects and by snooping. Just by making the gender I should have liked this book. It combines dogs, which I love, with a murder mystery, a genre I read extensively. But I most definitely did NOT like it. The first thing is not really an error of the author. It's just a style I don't like. I don't like to know what the killer is thinking. I don't like having any hints of whodunnit beyond the clues available to the book's sleuths--the actual evidence and the things revealed in discussions with the suspects and by snooping. Just by making the gender of the killer clear, it already eliminated a large portion of the suspects. Where's the fun in that? Then the book needs better editing. It isn't just the many repeated words and other basic copy editing issues, but also all the times things are contradictory. A character claims not to know something that was discussed with that character in a previous scene. That sort of thing happens more than once. Also comments like a victim "eats a gun" when the shot was to the temple according to evidence elsewhere in the book. Characters claiming to be told things by one character when it was another that said it. A few words misused as well. It may be that not all readers are as alert to details as I am, but in a mystery it is often these small details that reveal the solution, so the author of a mystery MUST be vigilant and this author failed. Finally, and unfortunately this is a bit of a spoiler because it might ruin the read for some readers, it doesn't reveal the real identity of the killer. I think this goes against the conventions of the mystery genre and pretty much means this book doesn't really deserve classification as a mystery, although it is presented as such. The ending makes it very clear that the real killer has not been caught. Overall I'm left not wanting more from this author, which is in some ways a shame, because the writing wasn't all bad. Maybe this author just isn't the right author for me. I did finish the book, so at least it wasn't one so poorly written or so overly wrong that I had to put it down. Of course I also hadn't expected an ending without resolution, so part of the point of finishing was to find out for sure which woman did it. I am definitely not interested enough to consider getting another book to find out, if the author even produces one that gives out the information. I'm left dissatisfied. And no, the fact that I happened to pick it up when it was free on Amazon doesn't make that okay, although I don't want to think about how annoyed I'd be if I had paid for it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Reading Reindeer Emigrates To Pluto

    REVIEW: A SHOT IN THE BARK by C. A. Newsome [DOG PARK MYSTERY #1] A SHOT IN THE BARK is the very delightful and engrossing first mystery in the DOG PARK MYSTERY Series. The eponymous Dog Park is the Mount Airy Dog Park is Cincinnati, Ohio, a locale well-known to the author (who is also a painter). Any dog lover will gleefully leap at this novel, but you don't have to love canines: there's so much emotion, intrigue, grief, loss, joy, romance, love, and a really cold-hearted villain pulling strings REVIEW: A SHOT IN THE BARK by C. A. Newsome [DOG PARK MYSTERY #1] A SHOT IN THE BARK is the very delightful and engrossing first mystery in the DOG PARK MYSTERY Series. The eponymous Dog Park is the Mount Airy Dog Park is Cincinnati, Ohio, a locale well-known to the author (who is also a painter). Any dog lover will gleefully leap at this novel, but you don't have to love canines: there's so much emotion, intrigue, grief, loss, joy, romance, love, and a really cold-hearted villain pulling strings, that A SHOT IN THE BARK brings great enjoyment to any mystery lover too.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ralph

    "A Shot in the Bark" is a tense and absorbing mystery centered around a group of people who frequent a Cincinnati dog park. In this suspenseful, fast-moving and eminently readable nail-biter, an apparent suicide is suspected by a police detective as actually being a murder. His superiors may have doubts, and at times even he has doubts because of the sparsity of evidence and clues, but the reader has no doubts at all -- at various points in the book, author C.A. Newsome lets the killer have her "A Shot in the Bark" is a tense and absorbing mystery centered around a group of people who frequent a Cincinnati dog park. In this suspenseful, fast-moving and eminently readable nail-biter, an apparent suicide is suspected by a police detective as actually being a murder. His superiors may have doubts, and at times even he has doubts because of the sparsity of evidence and clues, but the reader has no doubts at all -- at various points in the book, author C.A. Newsome lets the killer have her say, introducing a truly evil person, and I do mean chill-to-the-bone evil. The author is adroit at misdirection, not hesitating to fling red herrings at will, for although the reader is presented with clue after clue, far more than the police have, the identity of the serial killer remains elusive. The characters are all well depicted and very likable, even the curmudgeons and eccentrics, which helps to make the knowledge that a psychopath resides among them all that more disturbing. And it's got dogs, lots of furry friends who are actually integral to the plot, not just decoration. After you finish this book, with its shocker of a finale, you'll probably want to go out and buy the sequel. I know I did.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Cox

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I must confess that dogs of various breeds are a big part of my life and I've done my share of hanging out with "dog people," so I probably like all the inside jokes a little too much. But I think the book stands on its own even without the dogs. The mystery was cleverly woven, and the characters and emotional exploration were just as strong as the mystery aspect. I really liked the way the main plot was interwoven with the musings of the killer. The voice changes I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I must confess that dogs of various breeds are a big part of my life and I've done my share of hanging out with "dog people," so I probably like all the inside jokes a little too much. But I think the book stands on its own even without the dogs. The mystery was cleverly woven, and the characters and emotional exploration were just as strong as the mystery aspect. I really liked the way the main plot was interwoven with the musings of the killer. The voice changes and writing styles of the two threads were really well done. And the humor thrown in was a delight. I'd find myself intrigued by and a little tense from the mystery and my emotions engaged by the relationships only to turn the page and be surprised into laughter. I really enjoyed it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    A Shot in the Bark: A Dog Park Mystery (Lia Anderson Dog Park Mysteries Book 1) by C. A. Newsome is a book I was hoping would be interesting since I like dogs and mysteries. For some reason the dog on the cover gave me the impression this was a YA read but I have read many of them too and enjoyed them so how can I resist at least giving it a try? After starting the book I just couldn't put it down! This book could stand alone as it leads you to believe who done it. Just don't read the Epilogue a A Shot in the Bark: A Dog Park Mystery (Lia Anderson Dog Park Mysteries Book 1) by C. A. Newsome is a book I was hoping would be interesting since I like dogs and mysteries. For some reason the dog on the cover gave me the impression this was a YA read but I have read many of them too and enjoyed them so how can I resist at least giving it a try? After starting the book I just couldn't put it down! This book could stand alone as it leads you to believe who done it. Just don't read the Epilogue at the end or you will be doing what I did and order book 2 so you could continue the story. A couple of things I loved about this book is that it wasn't bogged down with a lot of complicated stuff. It is a light read that I found very entertaining and it is down-to-earth: I could meet people like that on the street or my local dog park (if I had one) although at times one can be a little eccentric, they are like everyday people. Let me start by saying I did read a few comments already and I don't know if this book was edited or not but some said the characters weren't developed but I did not find this true. I thought the characters were nicely developed. Sure, they weren't all done at once, now how dragging would that have been if they were? They were developed throughout the book and I thought the author did a great job with them in respect to the time frame of the story. In other words, time and space wasn't wasted on where the characters were born or what school they went to, it has nothing to do with the story. These are adults who all met at a dog park (for the most part) so they are developed from that point in their adult life with references made to the past when it pertained to the story. The mystery part of who done it just gets deeper and deeper as time goes by and more happens. There are quite a few twists and I really had no clue who done it. What adds to the mystery is that the thoughts of the killer are known so you can hear what this person is thinking and feeling but I just didn't know who it was. I thought the author did this beautifully as there is no doubt when I was reading the thoughts of the killer (even the print is different) from the rest of the story. Now a lot of the comments I read were about the ending and how she didn't tell who done it. As I said before, if you just read this book and not the epilogue after the end, basically your killer is caught and the story complete. If you do read the epilogue then you may as well go on to book 2, Drool Baby (if you like book 1, you'll love book 2)! Since I don't want to write any kind of spoilers I can't say much more than I personally love the way that was done. Apparently this seems to be one of those books you either hate or love. I loved it! I recommend it to everyone who likes mysteries (and dogs).

  11. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    A Shot in the Bark was a surprising and delightful book. I have a degree in literature, which I earned by reading a lot of books from every possible period and genre. When I read for entertainment, I pick up whatever looks interesting: literary, mystery, sci-fi, detective, fantasy, young adult--you name. A friend recommended A Shot in the Bark, so I picked it up. And I couldn't put it down. I was immediately drawn into the world of Lia and her friends. I still find myself thinking the characters A Shot in the Bark was a surprising and delightful book. I have a degree in literature, which I earned by reading a lot of books from every possible period and genre. When I read for entertainment, I pick up whatever looks interesting: literary, mystery, sci-fi, detective, fantasy, young adult--you name. A friend recommended A Shot in the Bark, so I picked it up. And I couldn't put it down. I was immediately drawn into the world of Lia and her friends. I still find myself thinking the characters (and sometimes catch myself wondering what they're doing right now). This book was engrossing and satisfying on so many levels. As far as the mystery, the killer managed to stay two steps ahead of me the whole time! I anxiously await Newsome's next book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Petra

    A Shot in the Bark is the first book in the Dog Park Mysteries. It is a delightful, cozy whodunit featuring a group of slightly eccentric people who meet up regularly in the local dog park. There's a staged suicide and the detective in charge of the case infiltrates the group to investigate, while at the same time falling for one of the dog owners. The chapters alternate between the killer's perspective, which was very well done, and the events surrounding the dog people. There were a few nice t A Shot in the Bark is the first book in the Dog Park Mysteries. It is a delightful, cozy whodunit featuring a group of slightly eccentric people who meet up regularly in the local dog park. There's a staged suicide and the detective in charge of the case infiltrates the group to investigate, while at the same time falling for one of the dog owners. The chapters alternate between the killer's perspective, which was very well done, and the events surrounding the dog people. There were a few nice twists, some light romance and a good bit of humor. An easy, quick read, but if you want all questions answered, you need to read book 2 in the series. I was given a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    I was surprised that I liked it so much (got it because it was free). It makes me a bit crazy that you never know who committed the murders though.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Cris (the_book_adventurer)

    Who doesn't like a good pun?! A Shot in the Bark, the first book in the Dog Park Mystery series written by C.A. Newsome, is fun, comical, and fast-paced. Lia Anderson is one of many regulars at the Mount Airy Dog Park. People go there to let their dogs run, enjoy the fresh air, and get in on the gossip. Next up on everyone's radar is a murder, that of Lia's recent ex-boyfriend. A murderer is on the loose, blending in with the regulars at the Mount Airy Dog Park, and Detective Peter Dourson is de Who doesn't like a good pun?! A Shot in the Bark, the first book in the Dog Park Mystery series written by C.A. Newsome, is fun, comical, and fast-paced. Lia Anderson is one of many regulars at the Mount Airy Dog Park. People go there to let their dogs run, enjoy the fresh air, and get in on the gossip. Next up on everyone's radar is a murder, that of Lia's recent ex-boyfriend. A murderer is on the loose, blending in with the regulars at the Mount Airy Dog Park, and Detective Peter Dourson is determined to find the suspect. Things are about to get hairy.

  15. 5 out of 5

    C.

    I wasn't too sure if I would be able to stick with this book, the first time I read the killer's thoughts! I am glad that I stayed with this book, however, because the author did an excellent job, of alternating POV and did not include any gory/gruesome elements. This was a very engaging mystery which held me from beginning to end. Be sure to read the Epilogue!:D

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mary (Biblophile)

    I like this mystery since it kept me guessing. Told from two perspectives. Hope there's a sequel.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Diana Long

    . The first in the series of the dog park mysteries. Set in a dog park in urban Cincinnati our characters in this work meet most every day. For the humans and pooches it's a social time The cast is creative and centers on artist Lia, whose ex boyfriend appears to be a suicide found by her in the parking lot one morning. Told by three narrators the story unfolds and it's off to a good start. The synopsis for the book lets the reader know that it's not a suicide but possibly a serial killer. We ha . The first in the series of the dog park mysteries. Set in a dog park in urban Cincinnati our characters in this work meet most every day. For the humans and pooches it's a social time The cast is creative and centers on artist Lia, whose ex boyfriend appears to be a suicide found by her in the parking lot one morning. Told by three narrators the story unfolds and it's off to a good start. The synopsis for the book lets the reader know that it's not a suicide but possibly a serial killer. We have narrations from Lia, Detective Peter Dourson and the murderer, so we slowly know who didn't do it and just have to figure out who did. I enjoyed not only the discourses between the many characters but some very good tips on training a dog. The only fault I really found was the author revealing the murderer about half way into the read, she did give subtle hints and started me guessing but letting the “cat out of the bag” left me perplexed and now limited only to the suspense of when and if they will be caught. All in all, despite my pet peeve, I would recommend this novel and the author.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jodi Pomerleau

    Usually if I like the characters, I can see some redeeming qualities to a poorly written story. Not so this time. Lia is such a sad and pathetically depressing character. "Oh my, my boyfriend who I've dumped has committed suicide and I feel so guilty!" to "oh my, my boyfriend might have been murdered, and I feel so guilty!" Give it a rest. And the murderer? So calculating and scheming for so many years and finally wigs out at the end? So implausible. I hate giving up on a book, but in this case, Usually if I like the characters, I can see some redeeming qualities to a poorly written story. Not so this time. Lia is such a sad and pathetically depressing character. "Oh my, my boyfriend who I've dumped has committed suicide and I feel so guilty!" to "oh my, my boyfriend might have been murdered, and I feel so guilty!" Give it a rest. And the murderer? So calculating and scheming for so many years and finally wigs out at the end? So implausible. I hate giving up on a book, but in this case, I kind of wished I had.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jackie Rogers

    Write a book with dogs and I am there. This is murder and mayhem with dogs and dog lovers.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Bella's Books

    Sometimes my hooman gives me tuna. Sometimes my hooman gives me salmon. My hooman has never given me herring. There are many red herrings in this book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Patti Anderson

    A fun mystery with character development.

  22. 5 out of 5

    April

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I actually finished it so it may not be all that bad but the killer POV annoyed the heck out of me and the fact that in the end...wait...spoiler alert, don't read further if you don't want to know what happens in the end... I was very annoyed to find out that in the end, despite the rock solid fact that linked one person to the murder (given away during the killer's POV bits) and was either a lie or a mistake, the ending is in the killer's POV and she/he/it isn't who the narrative pointed to as t I actually finished it so it may not be all that bad but the killer POV annoyed the heck out of me and the fact that in the end...wait...spoiler alert, don't read further if you don't want to know what happens in the end... I was very annoyed to find out that in the end, despite the rock solid fact that linked one person to the murder (given away during the killer's POV bits) and was either a lie or a mistake, the ending is in the killer's POV and she/he/it isn't who the narrative pointed to as the killer and hasn't been fingered for the killing either. Ticked me off. That was star removal territory right there. Remove the killer POVs and have the killer brought to justice and this might be a good book.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Erin Lee

    Well, it took me six months to finish this. It was relatively well-written, but I just couldn’t get invested in any of the characters. Maybe it’s just a regional thing, but in my place in the Midwest the “geezlepete” they keep using is completely alien to me—Geez-o-pete is the word for this self-respecting Hoosier. I felt like a lot of the characters’ descriptions, emotions, and motivations were wooden and contrived. The purest characters in the book are, as in life, the dogs. It must be pointed Well, it took me six months to finish this. It was relatively well-written, but I just couldn’t get invested in any of the characters. Maybe it’s just a regional thing, but in my place in the Midwest the “geezlepete” they keep using is completely alien to me—Geez-o-pete is the word for this self-respecting Hoosier. I felt like a lot of the characters’ descriptions, emotions, and motivations were wooden and contrived. The purest characters in the book are, as in life, the dogs. It must be pointed out that there were some simple truisms that really resounded with me. Not overly simplistic, but perfect in their clarity: "Peter spoke to the sky. 'The most amazing people sometimes come from the ugliest places.'"

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Michael

    I will always try a book with dogs or horses involved. As a 20-year veteran of dog shows and dog training, mistakes about dogs irritate me but the author definitely got it right. The plot was interesting, centering the mystery around a group of people who meet through their animals at a local dog park. The characters are well developed, the romance was handled with a light touch and the plot was reasonably involved. I'm not sure I liked the inserted comments/thoughts of the killer, but it was, in I will always try a book with dogs or horses involved. As a 20-year veteran of dog shows and dog training, mistakes about dogs irritate me but the author definitely got it right. The plot was interesting, centering the mystery around a group of people who meet through their animals at a local dog park. The characters are well developed, the romance was handled with a light touch and the plot was reasonably involved. I'm not sure I liked the inserted comments/thoughts of the killer, but it was, in fact, what made the ending work. Will be interesting to see where this series goes as it is definitely an encouraging first book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lynn Demsky

    Clever killer ----interesting and a good read. Liked the dog park, the dogs, the people! I was expecting to be entertained, but found this novel to be far more than a delightful romp through the dog park. The author creates believable characters that make me want to know more about these people, all the while presenting an exquisite sense of detail to really flesh out the story, with a compelling sense of humor. Even better than that? The plot twists. Good luck trying to puzzle out who REALLY "d Clever killer ----interesting and a good read. Liked the dog park, the dogs, the people! I was expecting to be entertained, but found this novel to be far more than a delightful romp through the dog park. The author creates believable characters that make me want to know more about these people, all the while presenting an exquisite sense of detail to really flesh out the story, with a compelling sense of humor. Even better than that? The plot twists. Good luck trying to puzzle out who REALLY "done it"! This murder mystery works on many levels. I highly recommend it

  26. 5 out of 5

    Larry Kegley

    Might work better as a made for TV movie. Let me begin by saying that even though I rated this book as 2 stars, it kept me sufficiently interested to cause me to finish the book. For me, there were so many characters and dogs that I had a hard time keeping track of who's who and what kind of dog they had. The title of the review is my attempt to indicate that the large number of characters would have been less taxing on my brain if I could have watched this as a movie. It would also have been eas Might work better as a made for TV movie. Let me begin by saying that even though I rated this book as 2 stars, it kept me sufficiently interested to cause me to finish the book. For me, there were so many characters and dogs that I had a hard time keeping track of who's who and what kind of dog they had. The title of the review is my attempt to indicate that the large number of characters would have been less taxing on my brain if I could have watched this as a movie. It would also have been easier to associate the dogs with the owners. This book made my head spin!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lynda Kelly

    This was quite a nice tale apart from a few murderous happenings !! Set among a group of people of all ages that visit the local dog park. One of their number is killed and I never guessed who did it !! It has a great ending that nicely leaves things open for a sequel as well....there were even tips on dog care interspersed throughout. Just my type of book. I especially liked Viola's Song..... :) She did use a term Geezlepete which I found aggravating after a couple of mentions, though, and there This was quite a nice tale apart from a few murderous happenings !! Set among a group of people of all ages that visit the local dog park. One of their number is killed and I never guessed who did it !! It has a great ending that nicely leaves things open for a sequel as well....there were even tips on dog care interspersed throughout. Just my type of book. I especially liked Viola's Song..... :) She did use a term Geezlepete which I found aggravating after a couple of mentions, though, and there was the odd formatting error as well.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Juli Pennock

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I loved the killer's internal dialog, I thought it added a really cool and creepy dimension to the whole mystery. (Spoiler Alert...?) I didn't even mind that you don't find out who the killer is at the end of the book. The characters were well-drawn, for the most part, but I will admit to skipping over a lot of the making of the tiles because I wanted to get back to the main mystery and the relationship of Lia and her detective.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Anastasia

    A Shot in the Bark by C.A.Newsome is the first book in the Dog Park mystery series. A man is shot in his car at the dog park and although made to look like a suicide, it is quickly determined to be a murder. An interesting and very different book in that we hear from the murderer right from the start although we don't know their identity. The main problem is that we still don't know their identity at the end. I especially loved all the dogs.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Starla B

    I liked this story; the characters were fun, the plot was interesting. However, I wish the ending had been a bit different. (view spoiler)[I really would have liked to find out who the killer was. (hide spoiler)] From what I see in the reviews on Amazon, it seems as though there is a sequel in the works. Hopefully that sequel will tie up the loose ends. I liked this story; the characters were fun, the plot was interesting. However, I wish the ending had been a bit different. (view spoiler)[I really would have liked to find out who the killer was. (hide spoiler)] From what I see in the reviews on Amazon, it seems as though there is a sequel in the works. Hopefully that sequel will tie up the loose ends.

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