Trigger Yappy (Roundup Crew)
by Diana Orgain
Cover Artist: Pool table by Dallas Stribley / Getty Images;
shih tzu by Eric Isselee / Shutterstock;
Dog's back by margaret Bryant; Brick wall by Madredus / Shutterstock.
Review by Mel Jacob
Minotaur Books Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9781250069122
Date: 06 December 2016 List Price $24.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
In fairness to Diane Orgain, she has a successful mystery series entitled Maternal Instincts. However, Trigger Yappy, meant as a lighthearted mystery with an amateur sleuth, putts along at a sputtering pace. Set in the dog friendly bar Wine and Bark in Pacific Cove, California, it strives to mix dogs, quarrelsome people, and murder in the second mystery of the Roundup Crew series.
Most of the characters are stereotypes and Orgain doesn't offer a lot of development. Maggie likes solving murders and the first Roundup Crew Mystery, Yappy Hour, gave her an opportunity. This time Maggie must delay her new job to run her sister's doggy friendly bar, while the sister is in the hospital, a victim of suspected salmonella.
Exaggeration is the source of humor as Maggie along with the help of her ditzy blonde friend Yolanda and her dog Beppo discover Fran, the owner of Chic Chickie, a shop devoted to chicken-related items including hats, dead in her shop. Yolanda and Fran had an argument the night before. Maggie is determined to investigates Fran's death despite orders from the police to stay out of it. Her conclusions don't always lead in the right direction.
Maggie is also distracted by her attraction to a local police officer while pining for her boyfriend Gus who is auditioning in New York for a televised Chef's program. Yolanda likes Sergeant Gottlieb who is in charge of the case and gleans certain information she feeds to Maggie.
Max, the Wine and Bark bartender, appears ill, Maggie fears he too may have salmonella. Was someone out to destroy the Wine and Bark?
Events begin to speed up and Maggie is soon facing more evidence and suspects, but not all of it may be reliable. While the murder offers plenty of red herrings and false leads, the end is not in doubt. Those who like Orgain and her books may like this, but it's unlikely to please demanding readers.