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by Selma Eichler
Signet, February 2007
272 pages
ISBN: 0451220609

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Manhattan PI Desiree Shapiro gets her latest case through a lawyer friend of hers, Blossom Goody. An old friend of Blossom's, Byron Mills, who lives in upstate New York, recently lost his son Jordy to murder. Jordy was visiting the hospital where he was going to donate a kidney to his brother Cornell the next day. He was shot just outside the hospital and his body was dumped at another location.

Byron can't understand why anyone could have killed Jordy, who was a great guy, a fine family man and husband with a business partner who was his oldest and closest friend. Jordy was loved and respected by all, including his small dachshund, Tootsie who now refuses to eat or stop crying for her dead master.

Desiree decides she has to find out for herself if Jordy was really such a great guy or if Byron was looking at his son through rose-colored glasses. As she interviews everyone who knew him, all of the people agree that Jordy didn't have an enemy in the world and that he was indeed the finest of men.

But she also learns that his brother, Cornell had almost nothing but enemies. He was a philanderer, a cheat and a ruthless businessman with no morals or ethics. After Jordy was killed, Cornell had no hope for another donated kidney and he then killed himself by swallowing an overdose of pills.

When Jordy's wife Naomi comes up with the idea that an enemy of Cornell's must have killed Jordy, to get to Cornell, Desiree isn't too sure of that theory but includes it as an idea to investigate. Then Jordy's son says that he thinks it was a case of mistaken identity and that Cornell must have been the one that someone wanted dead. Desiree keeps that idea in mind as she does her job.

That being said she still gives some time over to thinking about her personal problem of the time, her boyfriend Nick's son, a child who took a huge disliking to her and who is now in therapy. Nick wants them all to get together again, but to Desiree that would mean the end of their relationship, since she can't see the son ever really approving of his father going out with her. She knows that his son doesn't want any other woman with his father other than his mother. And Desiree can't fight that and doesn't want to.

Writer Selma Eichler has created a delightful character in the form of Desiree Shapiro. She's a mature woman with a figure to match and a head of henna red hair who is a professional sleuth and also a realistic woman of her times. It's a pleasure to read about a PI who actually uses her powers of logic and deduction to solve her cases when so many recent books have lead characters who simply question everyone until the guilty party confesses. Not Desiree! She works hard for her clients and uses her brain and thereby permits the readers to also use their noggins to solve the case.

A fast read with a wonderful lead character, MURDER CAN DEPRESS YOUR DACHSHUND has great dialogue and interesting characters along with a mystery that makes you work for the solution. I can't think of a better way to spend an afternoon than reading this book.

Reviewed by A. L. Katz, May 2007

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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