Clever, Fresh, Enjoyable

My Review of Adrienne Giordano’s “Dog Collar Crime”

By Jeff Salter

[Note: It was about six years ago that I read this cool novel and wrote this review (for Am*zon)… and I realized this week that I’d never posted it here on 4F1H.

Never too late, as they say…]

Dog Collar Crime
A Lucie Rizzo Adventure
By Adrienne Giordano

Am*zon Blurb
Lucie Rizzo, investment banker. Status: unemployed.
It’s a hard fall from grace for Lucie to move back in with her mother until she lands on her feet again. Everything she did before was to get as far away as possible from her mob-infested family.
Still, Lucie’s determined to make things work. She begins with a part-time gig walking dogs for wealthy clients, and it inspires her to start her own pet accessory line. Frankie Falcone, her smoking-hot ex, wants to start again as if they never stopped. He’s no stranger to family ties with “the Family,” either, but she’s hardly one to throw stones.
What does concern Lucie is the kidnappings.
Well, petnappings. Someone local is abducting innocent dogs, and all of them belong to her upper-crust clients.
One pilfered pooch is bad enough. Three is a pattern. At this rate, Lucie will be out of business in days and on the ASPCA’s Most Wanted list. Unless she solves the mystery herself—and sends the dogjacking culprits straight to the pound.

Jeff’s review

Clever, Fresh, Enjoyable

            Very enjoyable story with clever, fresh plot and a likeable heroine we’re rooting for throughout. As the subtitle indicates, it’s an adventure — a whodunit interwoven with a cool-and-hot romance.

            Lucie Rizzo has lots of baggage – especially family baggage – and, recently, a shattering career reversal. Now (back at her parents’ house) she faces new setbacks in a temporary job and the awkward proximity to her old flame, Frankie Falcone.

            In looks and behavior, Frankie is almost too good to be true, but he has one perceived flaw — his closeness (and blind allegiance) to family and to their home town of Franklin, presumably an outskirt of Chicago. Whatever Lucie’s future holds, it has to be away from family and hometown.

            But Frankie’s determined to take care of (and protect) the fiercely independent Lucie, whether she likes it or not. He won’t leave family and town, but won’t let go of Lucie either — not without a fight. [Frankie was especially interesting to me because he played baseball at LSU, my alma mater!]

            There’s a passel of well-meaning but meddlesome relatives, friends, and almost-in-laws who – in roughly equal parts – keep Lucie off-balance or save her bacon. The sibling interplay between Lucie and Joey is nicely handled and will likely remind some readers of their own experiences — either as kids or in early adult years.

            Nice descriptions of several characters — I found myself wishing I could have photos of Lucie and the other two beautiful women in this tale.

            In whodunits – whether novels or movies – I’m usually quite good at guessing the bad guys (though in a story with two “mob” families, there are lots of folks technically outside the law). However, my early guess – from roughly half-way through this story – about the villain(s) turned out wrong! When an author fools me, and does so by the rules, I chalk that up to great writing.

            Reviews are extremely subjective: I felt this story warranted 4.5 stars (an option not available here). The reason I rounded down (instead of up) was because of what I perceived as a slower pace in the middle third. A lot of that portion dealt with Lucie’s and Frankie’s roller coaster relationship and (for me) slightly bogged down.

            This is the first in Giordano’s “Lucie Rizzo” series and definitely makes me want to read Book Two: Dog Collar Knockoff. [And I understand a third book is scheduled for release in May.]

            One small thing I need to investigate further — what’s a “hairy eyeball”?

[JLS # 615]

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About Jeff Salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Fourteen completed novels and four completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Cowboy Out of Time" -- Apr. 2019 /// "Double Down Trouble" -- June 2018 /// "Not Easy Being Android" -- Feb. 2018 /// "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 /// "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 /// "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015 /// "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015 /// "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015 /// "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014 /// "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014 /// "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014 /// "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014 /// "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013 /// "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013 /// "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013 /// "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012 /// "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012 /// Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
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6 Responses to Clever, Fresh, Enjoyable

  1. Patricia Kiyono says:

    Oh my. Another mystery series for me to check out! This sounds like fun. In answer to your question, to give someone the hairy eyeball is to give a look of disapproval or disgust.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I might give this a shot. I avoid most stories about the ‘Family’, as the writers generally make all of them dirty and loud-mouthed, or they make the dirty business romantic. If I sound duplicitous, maybe I am. It seems that in everything in the world right now, there is no middle ground.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff Salter says:

      For reasons I don’t now recall, I don’t think I ever got hold of Vol. 2… but I know I was interested enough.
      You may read vol. 1 and get hooked!

      Like

  3. Elaine Cantrell says:

    Thanks so much for the review. This sounds like something I could get into.

    Liked by 1 person

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