Deadly Dog Days is the first book in the Dog Days Mystery series by Jamie M. Blair.
New to the historic town of Metamora, Indiana, Cameron Cripps-Hayman is looking to make friends with her neighbors. What she isn’t looking for is one of their bodies floating in the canal. When she and her estranged husband, the town sheriff, are both named suspects for the murder, Cameron takes solving the crime into her own hands, teaming up with her eccentric co-workers who dub themselves The Metamora Action Agency. As if hunting for a murderer with two high school geniuses, the town drunk, and an elderly kleptomaniac isn’t hard enough, Cameron adopts the five mangy guard dogs of her deceased neighbor. But maybe a stint at playing gatekeeper is just what she needs to come face-to-face with the killer and save another neighbor from being the next victim.
Deadly Dog Days is a cozy mystery with all the expected elements. There is a small town with plenty of eccentric characters, a main character with relationship troubles and a penchant for getting into trouble, and of course a dead body. Cameron is our amateur sleuth, who stumbles across the dead body or a younger lady- who is rumored to be dating her estranged husband. I like that Cameron is around my age- approaching 40 aware of her limitations and her skill set. she is not in the stage of trying to figure out who she is, but is still working on where she fits into a town that is still fairly new to her. Her not quite ex-husband Ben does not get much play in the story- even though he is important to it. Readers get glimpses at the backstory of Cam and Ben, but there is plenty of missing information to be filled in later. I did like that the relationship issues had there role to play in the story but did not overwhelm the murder mystery and character information readers get about the secondary characters. The author did a good job of balancing priorities in a reasonably realistic way. I thought the personalities of the animals- both dogs and mysterious cat, were fun and well done. It added an extra layer of fun to the story that I appreciated. I think the Mother in law being crazy aspect was fairly well done, though a little trite. It worked, but could have been a little less expected.