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by Lou Allin
Rendezvous Crime, October 2003
296 pages
ISBN: 1894917049

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Your best friend is accused of murder, but you believe she didn't do it, so the logical thing anyone would do could be to help in anyway. However, Belle Palmer didn't plan on having to take care of her friends poodle and that her friend, Miriam, lied to her about being at her dead lovers place when he was killed.

Belle Palmer is a realtor and Miriam works in her office answering the phones and keeping the office organized and functional in northern Ontario. Once Miriam is accused of the murder, Belle investigates in an attempt to clear Miriam.  

The events in this book are very realistic. Belle is overwhelmed with Miriam's problems as well as very normal problems such as whether her vehicle can survive the winter season and worrying about paying bills. To add to her plate, Miriam breaks up with her boyfriend and he is also taking his revenge of being dumped out on her. She has a good friend on the police force who disappears for a while and his wife takes on her frustrations on Belle. It also occurs that the murdered lover was not quite who he appeared to be. Add to this, the dogs. Her own dog, a German shepherd and now Miriam's poodle are wonderful challenges while adding to this realism.

Much of this story is set near a meteor-crater lake in northern Ontario. Lou Allin relies on her real-life experiences of this region in her books and demonstrates a vivid understanding of life in this frigid climate.

BUSH POODLES ARE MURDER is the third book in the Belle Palmer series. I found this a delightful and fast-paced book that was easily understood as a stand alone book for someone who has not read the previous books.

Lou Allin lives in northern Ontario but grew up in Cleveland. She has taught at the college level while writing two previous Belle Palmer books, NORTHERN WINTERS ARE MURDER and BLACKFLIES ARE MURDER.

Reviewed by Teri Davis, November 2003

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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