Mama develops pneumonia, so Libby goes to stay with Mrs. Beebee, who was Binney’s housekeeper and now lives with Gigi in the same trailer park as Mama. While on a morning walk, they meet Julie, a young woman who recently moved to the trailer park with her mother. She has a jewelry shop in St Petersburg and takes Libby to work with her the next day. Through the hours, Julie confides all her secrets and troubles to the little dog, unaware that Libby can understand everything she says, such as the fact that her store isn’t successful and Jim, the man who runs the bait shop across the street, is vaguely threatening Julie in an effort to get her involved in his business.
When the duo arrives at the shop the next day, they meet a thin, scraggly German Shepherd, who introduces himself as Eddie from Hartford. He’d been callously dumped on the quay by his owner. Julie christens him Bill and takes him to the vet, where she has him examined and chipped.
That afternoon, Libby learns that Gigi has made the acquaintance of the neighborhood tabby cat, Herbert, whom Libby instantly dislikes. However, Gigi’s friendship with him is practical: she asked Herbert to hang around Connie’s house to gather information on Mama’s progress. Turns out she’s at a nearby rehab center, which reassures Libby.
But just to make sure — and enjoy a bit of mayhem — Libby and Herbert break out of the trailer park to visit Mama. It’s a pell-mell adventure, with the four-footed intruders sharing a comforting visit with Mama before being chased out of the facility by an overzealous nurse. A few minutes snuggled on Mama’s lap makes the crazy journey worthwhile.
Back at the shop with Julie, two thuggish men are watching Julie’s shop from Jim’s, and she confides in Libby that she copied vital records to a flash drive just before the New York bank where she worked was shut down and her boss arrested. Turns out the two thugs are after that flash drive, and when they descend on the shop, Eddie leads Julie and Libby to the empty house where he hid before his rescue. Although the men suss them out, Libby and Eddie ensure they collect their just desserts. Julie and her mother are safe, Eddie finds a home with Charlie, and Mama finally returns home to her beloved Libby.
This series is written for adults, but is suitable for children and young adults, especially those who love pets.