Review of In The Dog House

In The Dog House

Dog Club Mystery, Book #1

V.M. Burns

5+ Stars


Recently divorced Lilly Echosby finds a community of new friends at a Tennessee dog club, never guessing she’d be groomed to solve a murder close to home . . .

Sure, Lilly Echosby’s husband dumped her after thirty years of marriage, but there’s an upside, too. She’s recharging her CPA career, trading brutal Michigan winters for the sunny south, and best of all, she can finally get a puppy. Enrolling her new toy poodle, Agatha Christie, at the Eastern Tennessee Dog Club also comes with a new best friend: club trainer and southern belle, Scarlet “Dixie” Jefferson. Unfortunately, not everything in Lilly’s life is quite so cuddly. Her neighbor, Bradley Hurston, is a cantankerous, growling, poodle-hating blowhard. For Lilly, snapping back at him in public wasn’t exactly the best revenge. The next day Bradley is murdered in the community pool and Lilly becomes number one suspect. Now the fur is really going to fly . . .

On the scent to find the real culprit, Lilly and Dixie discover that Bradley’s bad-neighbor policy was blocks long. So is the list of suspects. But is aggressive behavior a motive to kill? Lilly and Dixie think there’s more to Bradley’s past. Something more sinister. And they have every reason to fear that Bradley won’t be the last in the community to be put down. (Goodreads)



This is the first book in the Dog Club Mystery series and I thought it was excellent.  The characters were great, the mystery was well plotted and there was a lot of humor in this book.  

The characters are well developed and well rounded.  Lilly is a smart, strong caring woman who was betrayed by her husband in the worse way.  She is a mom with two grown children with whom she is very close to. And she has an old friend named Dixie that she is excited to reconnect with.  So when her husband is killed and she is the prime suspect, she has friends and family standing beside her. She knows she has to find the real killer before she is put away for life.

I really liked the fact that Lilly was an older protagonist with a family.  I also liked the fact that she did not stumble upon a dead body like in so many of the cozies that I read. Another thing that I liked was the fact that Lilly did not have any type of love connection with the detective working on the case.  I thought all of these things gave this cozy a unique perspective.

The writing style flows smoothly and defined the characters very clearly by their actions and words.  It was a quick easy book to read and kept me swiping pages as fast as I could. Her descriptive writing pulled me into the story right from the start and took me on a wonderful journey.  And there was plenty of humor that kept me laughing throughout the book.

The mystery was well plotted and fast paced.  There were enough suspects to consider and clues to sift through and was not easy to solve, which is how I like my mysteries.  

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted cozy.  This is the first book in this series and I cannot wait to read the next book.  And I am going to have to check out this authors other series, she is very good at her craft.

I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher, Kensington Books, and NetGalley, which I greatly appreciate.