Cover image for The wicked flea : a dog lover's mystery
The wicked flea : a dog lover's mystery
1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Berkley Prime Crime, c2002.
Physical Description:
289 p.


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Their wait is over. The newest book in the series that has been praised as "hilarious" (Los Angeles Times) and "a real tail-wagger" (The Washington Post), The Wicked Fleafinds dog walkers and joggers battling for territory in the local park-and Holly Winter caught up in a struggle with a poorly-trained canine and some barely-civilized humans.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Still not fully recovered from the head trauma she received in 2001's Creature Discomforts, Holly Winter, Dog Life columnist and amateur sleuth, returns with her two Alaskan malamutes, Rowdy and Kimi, for another fun, fast-paced outing. To deal with her father's second marriage, her ex-lover's marriage and her recovery from amnesia, Holly seeks the help of a therapist in Newton, Mass., near her Cambridge home. Her "adopted" aunts, 90-year-old Sherlock Holmes expert Althea and her sister, Ceci, also live in Newton, and Ceci is determined to find another man for Holly among her dog group from the local park. When Holly takes her dogs for a walk in the park, Rowdy is attacked by a golden retriever whose aberrant behavior is not typical of the breed and whose owner, Sylvia Metzner, exhibits behavior equally as bizarre. When Sylvia is found murdered two weeks later, no one is surprised. Soon Holly innocently becomes involved in the crime investigation. While the technical dog-talk of breeds, breeders and the American Kennel Club rules and regulations can be tedious for the uninitiated, at least the dogs remain dogs, true to their natures and to their obsessive owners, Holly being no exception. In spite of her pressing personal difficulties, Holly remains an independent, witty and delightful protagonist, who maintains her cool even when faced with the most eccentric and quirky of characters. Committed fans of Conant's popular canine cozy series will be delighted. (Mar. 5) Forecast: Conant should attract some crossover from feline mystery fans, though those who prefer talking cats are likely to remain aloof. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Kirkus Review

Yet another in the stories featuring Cambridge-dweller and dog journalist Holly Winter, "the only landlord in Cambridge . . . who won't rent to you unless you have at least one pet," and her ribbon-winning Alaskan Malamutes Rowdy and Kimi. Ditched by her veterinarian lover Steve Delaney when he married glamorous disbarred lawyer Anita Fairley, a depressed Holly is alternating between sessions with improbably named psychiatrist Vee Foote and equally therapeutic bouts of exercising her dogs in Clear Creek Park in the company of her elderly longtime friend Ceci Love and her aging Newfoundland, Quest. Unfortunately, there are problems at the park, too-the rovings and revelations of a trench-coated male exhibitionist and the pesky antics of Zsa-Zsa, a golden retriever owned by irrepressible breeder Sylvia Metzner. Sylvia's family-her ne'er-do-well son Eric, her daughter Pia, and Pia's husband, Wilson Goodenough-are no help bringing either Zsa-Zsa or her owner to heel, but even they seem shocked when Sylvia's body is discovered in the park, shot dead. Needless to say, it's Holly who, in between showing her dogs, winning medals, and writing her column, finally homes in on Sylvia's murderer en route to a happy ending of her own. Conant has a likable style, often with wry overtones, that might make canophobes wish she'd tackle a different venue occasionally. Meantime, though, sheer bliss awaits the dedicated dog-lover.