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A Girl's Best Friend    by Elizabeth Young order for
Girl's Best Friend
by Elizabeth Young
Order:  USA  Can
Avon, 2003 (2003)
* *   Reviewed by Rashmi Srinivas

After countless disastrous relationships, real estate agent Isabel 'Izzy' Palmer seems to have found the perfect boyfriend. He's sensitive, he's romantic, and most of all, he seems to love her as much as she loves him. Leo even takes good care of his children and his ex-wife, something Izzy understands but still finds odd. And of course, Izzy also has Henry, a most peculiar-looking and devoted mongrel dog who gives her all the love any woman could ever need! It's all hunky-dory until Izzy's good friend Felicity, who's a bit of a mother hen, invites a bunch of their old friends to a murder mystery weekend at a gloomy old manor in the countryside.

An eager Izzy is seriously irked when Leo makes excuses not to come at the very last moment, and things continue to go further downhill. She's always had a bit of a crush on veterinarian Rob, who is there with a beautiful girlfriend as well as his completely obnoxious colleague Nick, who seems to excel at putting Izzy's back up. The weekend is a revelation of sorts, as Izzy makes discoveries and develops new feelings. But heartache isn't far away, leaving Izzy to feel that Henry is the only male she can depend on to love her unconditionally. Or is there hope for her yet?

Elizabeth Young's latest chick-lit novel makes for a smooth read, with enjoyable characters and a well conceived and well-written plot. Thought its frequent use of British slang (plong, spag bol, prat, etc.) is sure to leave many American readers puzzled, it is a refreshing change from tales that revolve around the dating scenario of the young and the restless in a feverish Bridget Jones style London. Izzy is a young woman who feels that no man is dependable and then begins to rely heavily on her lovable dog for companionship. It is only when she learns to accept her own flaws and move beyond them, that she finds true happiness.

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