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Death by Chocolate Lab    by Bethany Blake order for
Death by Chocolate Lab
by Bethany Blake
Order:  USA  Can
Kensington, 2017 (2017)
Paperback, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Death by Chocolate Lab is the first book in The Lucky Paws Pet Sitting series which features sisters Daphne and Piper Templeton. Daphne and Piper couldn't be more different, except in one way. They both love working with animals.

The story is told in first person by Daphne who is smart, carefree and somewhat unreliable except when it comes to her pets and clients. Daphne has a PhD in Philosophy and owns Lucky Paws Pet Sitting which she runs out of an old VW van.

Piper is a veterinarian with her own practice, who owns Winding Hill Farm. The sisters live together on Piper's farm where Daphne is a nonpaying guest. Piper is the responsible sister, but she's about to become a suspect in a murder investigation.

On the eve of the first dog agility trial to be held at Winding Hill Farm, a local dog trainer is murdered and left in a plastic tunnel to be used in the upcoming trials. Steve Beamus is not well liked by most people. It could be his condescending and controlling attitude. Despite that, many women find him attractive. Other vendors are also setting up venues that night, but Steve and Piper were recently involved in a relationship which Steve broke off, making Piper the prime suspect when the coffee she gave him is found to be laced with poison.

Main characters also include Socrates, Daphne's Basset Hound, and Artie, a rescue Chihuahua Daphne is fostering while looking for a permanent home for him. Artie finds Steve's body. Lead investigator, Detective Jonathan Black is new in Sylvan Lake. Daphne offers to help with his investigation. She's lived in town all of her life and would be a fountain of information if he'd let her. Since he won't, she's determined she'll clear her sister with or without his approval.

I like dog mysteries so I'm looking forward to reading more of this series.

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