Death and the Dogwalker by A.J. Orde

 

Mystery

Death and the Dogwalker Death and the DogwalkerSheri S. Tepper; Fawcett 1993WorldCat

While walking the dog and his friend’s cat in the park, Jason passed an annoying neighbor lying in the park. The man was in his normal meditating position, so Jason hurries quickly past him. But when he returns from the walk Fred Foret is lying in the same position. It turns out Fred is dead. Someone shot him.As Jason returns to his antique furniture and decorating business he starts working on the puzzle of the man’s death. Who positioned him after killing him. Why was he killed? Yes, he was annoying and full of himself. There are many people who are glad he’s dead. But did one of them make him that day?

Jason is not an investigator. But he likes puzzles. It hasn’t been that long since he finally discovered what had happened to his missing wife. He asks a few questions. Soon he learns that a woman had been found dead in the same park a few months earlier. Is it another piece of the puzzle? Probably not, although her family knows Fred’s ex-wife and children. Now Jason has two puzzle. Sometimes he thinks they’re connected but other times he’s sure they’re not.

Soon he has his employees involved in the hunt for clues. Plus there’s his woman friend, Grace, who is a police officer. Right now she’s out of town trying to keep her brother out of jail. Jason knows she’s important to him, but she doesn’t feel the same. She is back and forth between Denver and where her brother is. When she’s in Denver she gets involved in the “puzzle” as well.

When I picked up Death and the Dogwalker from the bargain bin table I didn’t know I was picking up one of Sheri S. Tepper’s works – until I read the cover, of course. Well that was all it took. I didn’t know Tepper wrote mysteries or under pseudonyms (I obviously hadn’t done my homework). So I had to pick up this novel by A.J. Orde.

It’s an interesting concept in this novel. Jason is not a detective nor does he end up helping police solve his crimes (despite Grace). Instead, Jason approaches mysteries as puzzles – something to be figured out. He pulls at threads until he gets his information and his answers.

Death and the Dogwalker has some interesting twists in it. The book goes along fairly pleasantly with no major highs or lows. Yet the solution is intriguing. I had pretty much figured it out by the end, but I was never ahead of Jason. I liked the twists and turns the mystery takes. Yes, I believe I’ll need to find more of Tepper’s works under the A.J. Orde name.

More books by Sheri S. Tepper

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