Blog Post for the Mutt Mysteries – TO FETCH A VILLAIN
Heather: Hi, all. I’m Margaret, and my job is to hang out in the Falcon Investigations office and help my best friend, Duncan Reynolds, and his partner, Delanie Fitzgerald, with all their private investigative work. My full name is Margaret Thatcher Reynolds, and I’m a brown and white English bulldog. Recently, I won first place in the Strut Your Mutt contest. We got a gift card and a basket of all kinds of cool things. I was also interviewed on the morning news, and I help them solve crimes and find things. This and my newly found social media influencer status should earn me my own office, but we’ll see. For now, I’m content with hanging out with my pals, going for rides in his canary-yellow Camaro, and scoring all kinds of treats. You can catch more of my heroic antics in the Delanie Fitzgerald Mysteries by Heather Weidner.
Jayne: I am Mr. Belvedere, a silver Great Dane. My mom (Darby Moore) and I own Ruff Day Doggie Boutique and Dog Wash. It’s a small store on the main street of Bay Vista, North Carolina. The front of our shop has everything, and I mean everything, for the pampered pooch. (My favorite items are the Chewy Vitton harnesses. Oh, so stylish!) The back of the shop has three stalls where owners can bring in their pets (especially big ones) and give baths without worry of messing up their own showers at home. The parents love it. The dogs? Not so much. I offer moral support as the pups get lathered up and rinsed off. It’s not uncommon for me to get splattered when the mutts shake off their suds. As job hazards go, it’s not so bad. And mom gives me a good rubdown—and extra kibble—when it happens.
We were rolling along just fine, me and my mom, until the big Bark-itecture event. This display of wildly imaginative custom dog houses had the whole town talking. (I don’t want to brag, but it was my mom’s idea. And all the proceeds went to the SPCA. A win-win-win situation.) The problem arose when a dead body was found in mom’s very un-Grinchly-like dog house inspired by her love of Who-Ville. I wasn’t there, but I heard it was quite a traumatic event and almost ruined my mom’s day. Make that, almost ruined my mom’s life, on account of she could have easily lost our business. Then she would have to go back to slinging hash at Breakfast at Stephanie’s while I sat at home and moped. I much prefer working in the shop with her.
Mom, ever the problem solver, started working to help find the killer. The sooner the better, if she wanted to save our livelihood. I assisted her when suspects came to the shop by distracting their canine companions while mom interrogated—in the sweetest way possible— the possible killers. Of course, I’m also on standby in the event things go south. My large size (almost 170 pounds) intimidates most everyone. Oh dear, I fear I’ve reached my limit and there is so much more to tell. You’ll have to read the full account of our mystery-solving adventure in “Ruff Day” included in To Fetch a Villain, Four Fun “Tails” of Miscreants and Murder.
Maria: Trey is a three year old Bichon. He weighs 15 pounds and he's 1 ft. tall. He was born in a dirty, ill-kept, kennel in southern Virginia and was bought by a Virginia Beach woman before his first birthday. This owner sold him to a service dog trainer who soon discovered Trey's unusual intelligence. He has been trained to be alert to his owner's needs and to protect her from danger. Trey's new owner is a deaf writer who works from home. He alerts her when someone calls or whenever a bell or siren or buzzer sounds. He can open the front door when necessary. He reminds his owner to empty the clothes dryer. If she forgets to take out the trash, he tells her when he hears the truck coming. He takes his job seriously.
Recently, his owner has taken in a new dog, also a Bichon. A young female stray who is now known to have escaped from the same puppy farm where Trey started life. She was used for breeding and was treated badly. Trey is determined to help her deal with her demons and learn to enjoy life.
I think of Trey as being like Mr. Carson in Downton Abbey. Always in charge and always knows just what to do.
As a working dog, Trey keeps his curly white hair trimmed in pet style. The show-style cut takes too much work and he doesn't have time to stand still for grooming.
Teresa: We are Cagney and Lacey, two Yorkshire Terriers who help our owner Catt Ramsey, dog walker extraordinaire solve crime and murder. Catt owns the Woof-Pack dog walkers in Virginia Beach, but she always seems to get into mischief. That's where we come in and alert her to dangerous situations.
About the Mutt Mysteries:
Old dogs and new
tricks abound in To Fetch a Villain, the third installment in the Mutt
Mysteries series. This collection of four novellas illustrates why dogs are our
best friends and the perfect companions for digging up clues, solving crimes,
and bringing villains to justice. Let sleeping dogs lie? Not when the MUTTS are
on the case!
RUFF DAY by Jayne Ormerod
Store owner Darby Moore suffers through a “ruff” day when a dead body is discovered in her custom dog house. With her best friend topping the suspect’s list, Darby knows the police are barking up the wrong tree. It’s up to Darby’s Great Dane Mr. Belvedere to channel his inner Scooby-Doo and save the day.
AT YOUR SERVICE by Maria Hudgins
Mystery writer Jessica Chastain is deaf and relies on her service dog Trey who acts as Jessica’s ears. Kim, a Bichon like Trey, is the latest addition to their family. But life is not a walk in the park when someone threatens all they hold dear. Together they take on an unethical breeder and dog-napper, whose bite is worse than his bark.
A SHOT IN THE BARK by Teresa Inge
Dog-loving Catt Ramsey hires an ex-con as her handyman to help with her dog-walking business at the same time a crime wave hits the neighborhood. But it’s Catt who is accused of murder. She enlists the help of family, friends, and her dogs Cagney and Lacey to prove man’s best friend can be crime’s worst enemy.
STRUT YOUR MUTT by
Sassy PI Delanie Fitzgerald attends the Strut Your Mutt festival, where her business partner’s English bulldog is a finalist in a pampered doggie pageant. The dog’s new-found fame leads to a client with a missing poodle. Delanie and her team put paws to the pavement, sniff out clues, and show the villain that when you lie with the dogs, you wake up with fleas.
Let’s Be Social:
Teresa Inge grew up reading Nancy Drew mysteries. Today, she doesn’t carry a rod like her idol, but she hotrods. Love of reading mysteries and writing professional articles led to writing short fiction and novellas. She is president of Sisters in Crime Mystery by the Sea Chapter and author of short mysteries in Virginia is for Mysteries, 50 Shades of Cabernet, Coastal Crimes: Mysteries by the Sea, and Murder by the Glass.
Website and Blog: http://www.teresainge.com
Amazon Authors: https://www.amazon.com/Teresa-Inge/e/B06XGZ7RTG
Jayne Ormerod grew up in a small Ohio town then went on to a small-town Ohio college. Upon earning her degree in accountancy, she became a CIA (that’s not a sexy spy thing, but a Certified Internal Auditor.) She married a naval officer and off they sailed to see the world. After nineteen moves, they, along with their two rescue dogs Tiller and Scout, have settled into a cozy cottage by the sea. Jayne’s publishing credits include two novels, five novellas, and eight short mysteries. A complete list can be found on her website.
Maria Hudgins is a mystery writer and former teacher of oceanography, biology, earth science and chemistry. She has written six Dotsy Lamb Travel Mysteries, set in Italy, Scotland, The Greek Islands, Switzerland, England, and Turkey. She loves to travel but is currently housebound due to the pandemic. Her love of archaeology has led her to write two Lacy Glass Archaeology Mysteries. Maria has worked on digs on the Isle of Man (neolithic) and in Montana (dinosaurs), and has traveled extensively in Egypt and Turkey, studying ancient sites.
She lives in Hampton, Virginia with her snowshoe cat, Lulu.
Facebook: Maria Hudgins
Heather Weidner writes the Delanie Fitzgerald mystery series set in Virginia (Secret Lives and Private Eyes, The Tulip Shirt Murders, and Glitter, Glam, and Contraband), and her Jules Keene Glamping Mysteries launch October 2021.Her short stories appear in the Virginia is for Mysteries series, 50 Shades of Cabernet, and Deadly Southern Charm. Her novellas appear in The Mutt Mysteries series.
She is a member of Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia, Sisters in Crime – Chessie, Guppies, International Thriller Writers, and James River Writers.
Originally from Virginia Beach, Heather has been a mystery fan since Scooby-Doo and Nancy Drew. She lives in Central Virginia with her husband and a pair of Jack Russell terriers.
Through the years, she has been a cop’s kid, technical writer, editor, college professor, software tester, and IT manager.
Website and Blog: http://www.heatherweidner.com
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