My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Available now on Amazon. Print and audio coming soon.
When I saw this book grouped with the cozy mysteries, I groaned just a little bit. You see, I was lucky enough to be able to read the pre-publication edition.
Cozy, this is not, in my opinion. It's an exciting, unique story of a woman and her dog, and her dog, and her dog, and her dog...
No, I'm not a broken record. The strong, yet vulnerable Jessie Andersen has gathered a pack of dogs who are devoted to her and listen to what she wants them to do for her. Since they speak multiple languages (English, German, Dog), they get Jessie and Jessie gets them in return.
When Jessie Anderson had to leave her job as a police officer in Colorado because of the trauma of seeing her partner killed and being wounded herself. She couldn't be a cop any longer.
Returning home to her family's dog training facility, she realized she could continue serving and protecting while still a civilian. She already has her pack, but knows it's difficult to get certified for search and rescue dogs. She turns to technology and gets her own drones--small flying machines operated by the controller on the ground--and begins training herself to use the drones effectively.
On a test run, the drones pick up a view of a person lying still on the ground. Since the person wasn't moving and was more than two miles from her position, she calls 911 to report the possible injured person.
The Sheriff's office follows her directions to the location of the body--a dead woman--and Jessie quickly finds out that no good deed goes unpunished, as the Sheriff's department confiscates her drones and their computer controller as "evidence," since the flights are video-recorded, and the law can see what Jessie saw. Jessie's videos provide a place for law enforcement to start for evidence gathering. There's even a very blurry picture of the killer as he escapes in a red pickup!
Jessie returns to working with her dogs, and tries to find a new way forward in her plans ...without her drones.
...Well, this is a mystery, so you know that eventually Jessie and her dogs will become more deeply involved in the manhunt. Anything more would be spoilers, so I'll continue with my impressions.
This is a great start to what will be a series. I can hardly wait for the others to be released. I like Jessie a lot, and I enjoyed the unraveling of the mystery.
Some things that sets this book above the usual run of cozies. There are lots of wonderful details on the dogs, their personalities, how they are trained, and even certified for search and rescue work. This attention to detail makes this a great read much better than a standard cozy mystery with a cat or a chihuahua in a bakery. Jessie's dogs are real, their training serious, their results incredible. Jessie is an amazing woman. I suspect the author is just a little (maybe a lot) like her character. Dawn Keur can write a helluva story.
P.S. Check out Keur's other books for interesting, well-written tales.
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