Paw Enforcement by Diane Kelly
St. Martin’s Paperback: June 3, 2014
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Source: Free From Library
Diane Kelly’s Paw Enforcement series came on my radar because of something I read on a blog. Said blog mentioned the fourth book in the series. Me being me, I couldn’t simply start with book four, no, a true dedicated readers starts with the first book in the series, always.
Paw Enforcement introduces readers to Megan Luz, a rookie cop with anger issues working in the Fort Worth area of Texas. Megan’s got herself into a spot of trouble after tasering her offensive partner. As a result Megan finds herself with a new partner…of the canine persuasion. Brigit is a big dog and Megan drives a smart cart and lives in a tiny apartment. How this partnership is going to flourish is anyone’s guess; yet, Brigit’s skill in taking down criminals does seem to impress Megan.
During the course of her patrols, Brigit alerts on a trashcan at the local mall. Megan, after investigating, discovers a bomb timed to blow. After evacuating the populated food court, both Megan and Brigit receive minor injuries in the course of doing their duty; however, their close brush with death motivates Megan to take part in the investigation and bring that bomber to justice (never mind that Megan is so new, she doesn’t qualify to even apply for detective for another four years). With the personal connection, Megan refuses to back out of the investigation and ends up working unpaid overtime to help the lead detective.
Paw Enforcement is not at all my usual type of read. Yes, I read mysteries, but this is, like, a pet mystery, and therefore I assumed that it would be a cheesy read. Paw Enforcement is probably the coziest mystery that I have ever read. So while this one is an oddball choice for me, I did rather enjoy listening to the book, enough that I’ll continue reading the series. The highlight for me was the character of Megan. I really liked that Megan was someone that was struggling with her entry into the workforce. So sue me, the whole self-discovery character development plot device is totally my catnip. Megan doesn’t have it all together. She lives in a crappy apartment, works terrible hours, and is paying off student loans. This is not a character that I would normally expect to be the lead in a mystery series. I love the fact that Megan is, well, normal. Megan is sarcastic and funny and when her temper comes out, well, she doesn’t always make the best decisions. Again, I love the fact that we have this perfectly imperfect character.
Of course, I also appreciated the romance thread in Paw Enforcement. After the first explosion at the mall, Megan finds herself entangled with the hot bomb squad officer, Seth. Like Megan, Seth also has a canine partner, and after a few dates the two humans form a connection (just as their dogs do). The romance wasn’t a big part of the plot, but it adds a nice layer to the story and the ending leaves things up in the air between Megan and Seth.
Paw Enforcement is not a procedural-heavy mystery read. Instead, Paw Enforcement focuses on its lead character Megan and her canine companion. While the details of their patrol at times slow the pace of the mystery, it makes for a nice read for fans who are looking for a cozier mystery read, low on the blood and guts as well as intricate crimes. I’d say this is a perfect beach read for the upcoming summer.
Okay, so I’ll admit that I haven’t read any other pet mysteries. Personally I would have assumed that they would have been too pet focused, but after enjoying Paw Enforcement I’m willing to give others a chance. Recommendations???