Melanie' Travis's life is going to the dogs. With school out for the summer, a stint as a camp counselor falling through, and her sometime boyfriend dumping her for a Las Vegas chorus girl, the thirty-something Connecticut teacher and single mother figures that things can't get any worse.
She figures wrong...
Everyone knew that Melanie's Uncle Max had a weak heart. When Aunt Peg finds him dead on the cold floor of their championship kennel, surrounded by eleven whining, prize-winning Standard poodles, she isn't shocked...and doesn't panic. But Melanie is surprised when, three days after the funeral, Peg shows up seeking her help. One of her prize pooches is missing -- and it's beginning to look like Max's sudden demise is more a matter of... murder.
With her four-year-old son Davey happily ensconced in day camp, Melanie manages to maneuver herself into Connecticut's elite canine circles. Posing as a poodle breeder in search of the perfect stud, she mingles with sophisticated exhibitors and professional handlers...and soon starts feeling a little out of her clas. Until she meets Sam Driver. Although the irresistibly attractive breeder is soon wooing her with seductive candle lit dinners, Melanie resolves to be wary.
Then the killer strikes again, and Melanie realizes that she has been barking up the wrong tree. As events -- mysterious and romantic -- culminate in the celebrated Westminster Dog Show, she suddenly finds herself on a long leash of intrigue and greed...hot on the scent of a chilling secret to die for.