A Call of the Wilde Mystery (Book 1)

By Laura Morrigan

Berkley Prime Crime, July, 2013 ($7.99)

ISBN-13: 978-0-425-25719-7

Reviewed by Katherine Petersen

Readers seem to enjoy the cozy mysteries that have a paranormal twist, and there have certainly been a spate of them lately. The only problem is that some of them are far better than others. WOOF AT THE DOOR, the first in Laura Morrigan's, Call of the Wilde series is one of the best I've read in a while.

Grace Wilde works as an animal behaviorist in Jacksonville, Florida. She's also a vet, but she can't practice because her gift puts her too close to the animals' feelings, which would make it difficult to perform any tests that might hurt the animal, even a little.

The police call Grace to the murder scene of the Jaguars' quarterback, but the only witness is his Doberman, Jax. At first, he's too traumatized by the event to give her any information she can use to find his killer, but even when he can, she can't exactly just blurt it out to Sergeant Kai Duncan that the dog told her.

Plus, Grace got burned the last time she told someone new about her gift. And she kind of likes Duncan and doesn't want to ruin anything before it even gets started.

Morrigan includes a nice lineup of secondary characters including Grace's party-planning, vivacious sister; a gay guy friend; the quarterback's parents and other relations; and the quarterback's girlfriend. Throw in a jaguar, many dogs and a couple cats, and Morrigan does a nice job of Grace's dialog with the animals. The mystery, too, moves along at a good pace with some nice twists.

Morrigan is definitely a writer to watch. Fans of Joyce & Jim Lavene, Melissa Bourbon, Betty Webb and other writers whose stories are about animals or possess a paranormal element will enjoy this one. I'm horribly fussy about my cozies, but I'm ready for book 2 in this series.

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