A Downward Dog Mystery #5
Midnight Ink, January 2018
Kate Davidson and her trusty canine companion Bella return in Pre-Meditated Murder. As the book opens, Kate and her boyfriend are celebrating Kate’s birthday at the fancy restaurant atop the Seattle Space Needle. SkyCity was the perfect place for what Kate assumed was going to be a moment of her lifetime. After avoiding any thought of “commitment, marriage or children,” Kate is ready. She is sure tonight is the night that Michael is going to pop the big question and Kate is ready to say yes. In fact, she can hardly wait to say yes. They are at the restaurant, he pulls out her gift, she opens it and-it’s a necklace. Stunned for sure, but her evening is going to get much worse.
Michael professes his love for Kate, but then proceeds to tell her that he can’t marry her, at least not yet because there is this little detail he has failed to mention before. He is already married, wants a divorce but Gabriella won’t budge without a big pay out.
Kate and Michael decide to go to Oregon to try to talk Gabriella into giving Michael the divorce. I was right with the book up until this point but then things get a little strange even for a “cozy” mystery series. They take Bella with them, BUT, here is where it goes a little wonky for me. Kate’s best friend Rene, her husband, their twins and their dogs also make the trip. Really?
Skipping ahead and overlooking that fact that entirely too many people have made the trip, Kate and Michael meet with Gabriella and the meeting goes poorly. The next day, things take an even worse turn when Kate and Bella are out for a walk and Bella digs up Gabriella’s body. Things get worse still when the police turn up at Michael’s sister’s house and Michael has no alibi for the time of the death. Obviously Michael is suspect number one on the police’s list. In keeping with the cozy mystery genre, Kate then jumps in to solve the crime and clear Michael. What Kate uncovers surprises her and changes how she thinks of Michael.
From there the book takes a few interesting twists which might well push it off the “cozy” shelf for subject matter.
The book gives readers a chance to learn more of Michael’s background while certainly wondering what is next for Kate and Michael.
Reviewed by guest reviewer Caryn St. Clair, January 2018.