If you enjoy dogs and love a good mystery, Donna Ball’s Dog Mystery Series featuring Raine Stockton (human hot mess), and her Golden Retriever, Cisco (canine hot mess), is perfect for you. Stockton is a dog trainer/kennel owner by trade, but her true calling is the seek and rescue service which she and Cisco provide.
Cisco is young, eager and frequently gets into trouble. Stockton is opinionated, stubborn and sometimes speaks before she thinks — which frequently gets her into trouble. She must also be adorable because even when wearing dog hair and smelling of the treats which she carries for training sessions, she has the attention of her ex-husband two times over and acting Hanover County Sheriff Buck, and her current boyfriend, Miles, who is building a resort in the mountains surrounding her hometown. You can bet that if trouble is brewing in Hanover County, North Carolina, she and Cisco will be squarely in the middle of it with or without the help of local law enforcement.
Ball’s newest book in the series, Home of the Brave, is no exception. Stockton and Cisco find themselves in the middle of a hostage situation involving a camp for children and dogs, where they are to lead a dog training session for tweens and their furry friends. The situation becomes tense as frightened children, dogs and armed overzealous home-grown patriots clash in the isolated area where the camp is located. Stockton realizes that in spite of the danger, she and Cisco must come up with a plan to save the day. The book is well written and leaves you guessing until the very end.
As with most series this book stands alone, but in order to really understand the relationship between Stockton, Cisco and the community they serve, it is best to start with the first in the series, Smoky Mountain Tracks. Learning dog-training tricks while reading a mystery? Two birds with one stone!!
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