Karma’s a Killer
A Downward Dog Mystery #3
From the publisher—
When Seattle yoga teacher Kate Davidson agrees to teach doga (yoga for dogs) at a fundraiser for a local animal shelter, she believes the only damage will be to her reputation. But a few downward-facing dogs are the least of Kate’s problems when an animal rights protest at the event leads to a suspicious fire and a drowning.
The police arrest Dharma, a woman claiming to be Kate’s estranged mother, and charge her with murder. To prove Dharma’s innocence, Kate, her boyfriend Michael, and her German shepherd sidekick Bella dive deeply into the worlds of animal activism and organizational politics. As they investigate the dangerous obsessions that drive these groups, Kate and her sleuthing team discover that when it comes to murder, there’s no place like hOMe.
It’s always nice to return to a series you’ve enjoyed before, isn’t it? That’s how I feel about Tracy Weber‘s books and visiting with Kate, Bella and Mike has once again given me a few hours of real pleasure.
The idea of holding a yoga class for dogs in a festival-like environment could be a good one but, of course, that would make life too easy for Kate. As it turns out, her misgivings are completely justified when a bunny shows up and chaos ensues but it’s the discovery of a body that really puts a damper on things. Kate can’t help being in the middle of it all since she witnessed an earlier argument but she’s truly unprepared for the personal surprise that’s coming her way, tying her even more closely to the crime. This time, she really does have a vested interest in solving the murder and the consequences will be devastating if she doesn’t clear the obvious suspect.
Ms. Weber crafts a fine cozy mystery but she goes a step further by including a topic that can be very controversial. Members of an animal rights organization much like PETA carry out a protest during the fundraiser and their behavior is both obnoxious and, to a certain extent, sympathetic. None of us want bad things to happen to animals but, in Karma’s a Killer, the reader has the opportunity to think about both sides of the issue. Even Bella becomes involved, being seen as a victim of abuse and neglect because of a misunderstanding.
Kate’s past and her reluctance to talk about it with her boyfriend, Mike, or her best friend, Rene, come to the fore in this series entry and she learns a lot about herself and her childhood. What she does with this will be crucial to her own wellbeing and possibly to her future with Mike. On the other hand, Kate might have a bigger problem with a pigeon named Mister Feathers 😉
Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, January 2016.