Greyhound Near the Gravesite
Sam Hodges has returned to her hometown of Birchwood from Chicago, where she was a crime reporter before a spectacular flameout ended her big-city career. Her old boss, Frank Martin, hires her as pets reporter at the Birchwood Bugle.
Her first assignment is a feature on Retired Racer Rescue, which takes in greyhounds after their racing days have ended. Sam arrives at the appointed time, but the prickly owner, Henrietta Duveaux, isn’t available — she’s lying dead in a heap of dog food spilled from a pull-behind wagon. Sam draws on her past experience as a crime reporter to investigate Henrietta’s murder with help from fellow reporter Tom Albers and the paper’s new photographer, James Woods.
Bichon Frisé Near the Body
Sam tags along with Bugle food critic Yolanda Oliver to sample the town’s newest restaurant, Nuit Noire. They’ll be the sole diners at celebrity chef Hugh Spencer-Anderson’s new concept bistro, where customers eat blindfolded to enhance the experience. As always, Yolanda brings her beloved Bichon Frise, Beatrice. Midway through the meal, Spencer-Anderson collapses, covering himself in orange soup from a stock pot he was lifting from the cooktop, and little Beatrice, who sneaked into the kitchen, looks like a furry wet carrot.
Sam, Tom, and James are on the case, along with Sam’s recently-adopted greyhound, Pumpernickel. The autopsy reveals Spencer-Anderson was poisoned, and Yolanda is arrested. As the sleuthing duo digs deeper, they uncover an unbelievable cause of death and a stunning secret.