Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Dixie Hemingway, Pet Detective

Several years back, Blaize Hemmingway started a cozy mystery series concerning Dixie Hemingway, a former Sheriff's deputy, now working as a pet sitter. Dixie has a tragic past, her husband and daughter were run over and killed by an old man in a parking lot. Her mother abandoned her and her older brother at an early age, leving their grandparents to raise them. As such, Dixie now lives above the car port in her grandparents' house on Siesta Key, a barrier island not far from Sarasota, Florida. Her older brother, Chris, lives with his partner Paco in the house.

Dixie works as a pet sitter to make money, and the books use a certain formula to establish her routine. This also allows us to visit with characters introduced earlier in the series who provide information the narrator can't easily access on her own, or provide a way to help externalize inner monologue for character development.

Now, with Book 7, The Cat Sitter's Cradle, the author seems to have died, and her son John is ghostwriting the series. There isn't that much of a difference in the writing, making me wonder how much John has been writing anyway.

Anyway, the current volume starts with Dixie walking a schnauzer and finding what appears to be a homeless illegal immigrant having just given birth in a park. Whom Dixie rescues, along with a rare Guatemalan bird. She then meets her new client, a wealthy oil executive who needs someone to watch his cat and his tropical fish while he and his wife attend to business in Tampa.

She also has a date with Ethan Crane, a local lawyer of Native American ancestry who's becoming the love interest after the last one left for Louisiana.

While dropping in to check on Queen B, the oil guy's cat, she finds her client at the bottom of the swimming pool. And there begins the plot to figure out who drowned the Oil Exec.

These are short reads, and not necessarily aimed at me in terms of target readership, but the series remains fun and holds attention.