Andy Carpenter is now married to Laurie and they have adopted Ricky (from the previous book.) An odd theft of a dog from their shelter leads Andy and his crew to a vicious murder and a puzzle. Why would anyone want to steal a particular dog from a shelter when all they had to do was walk in and adopt it? The case gets complicated, of course, and soon involves a dead chemist and blood diamonds, all tied together by Zoe, the shepherd mix.
The book is a delightful mix of humor and mystery not to mention dog-love. Since I like all three and Grover Gardner is a wonderful reader, this book (and the series) are a delight.
An example of the humor is Andy’s self deprecation as he’s trying to assemble a toy parking garage for his son. He begins by listing the many types of evil people in the world, i.e., terrorists, murders, etc. but the worst are toy manufacturers who consistently lie when they produce toys requiring “minimal” assembly and with no written instructions, except in Chinese or French, and have incomprehensible pictures. It’s a very funny scene with him sure the garage is missing at least four crucial parts and when completed looks like a Syrian warehouse that has just suffered a rocket attack.
For those of you who like hints in your mysteries I will drop one: chemical vapor deposition. That holds the key to the solution.