Deputy Mattie Cobb is in a dark place and has withdrawn from Cole Walker and his family to work on issues from her past. When she and her K-9 partner Robo get called to track a missing junior high student, they find the girl dead on Smoker’s Hill behind the high school, and Mattie must head to the Walker home to break the bad news. But that’s only the start of trouble in Timber Creek, because soon another girl goes missing—and this time it’s one of Cole’s daughters.
Knowing that each hour a child remains missing lessens the probability of finding her alive, Mattie and Robo lead the hunt while Cole and community volunteers join in to search everywhere. To no avail. It seems that someone has snatched all trace of the Walker girl from their midst, including her scent. Grasping at straws, Mattie and Robo follow a phoned-in tip into the dense forest, where they hope to find a trace of the girl’s scent and to rescue her alive. But when Robo does catch her scent, it leads them to information that challenges everything they thought they knew about the case.
Mattie and Robo must rush to hunt down the kidnapper before they’re too late in Hunting Hour, the third installment in critically acclaimed author Margaret Mizushima’s exhilarating mystery series.
Deputy Mattie Cobb and her K-9 pal Robo have to hunt down a kidnapped girl in the suspenseful 3rd installment of Margaret Mizushima’s Timber Creek K-9 series. The plot was interesting, the characters believable, and although this is the 3rd book in the series, it does well as a standalone. Dog and mystery lovers alike will enjoy this one.
I am very pleased to be able to welcome Margaret to The Book’s the Thing today!
SOME DOGS I’VE KNOWN
By Margaret Mizushima
I’m married to a veterinarian who loves dogs. I love them, too, but I’m satisfied with having one dog at a time. My husband appears to need a pack.
Throughout our marriage, we’ve had two to five dogs in our lives at any given time. It helps that we live in the country, so the occasional bark fest doesn’t bother neighbors. Right now we have four dogs: two German shorthair pointers, a yellow lab, and a border collie. One of the pointers is a puppy, and she and the border collie have developed a fence-running-and-barking game that I hope becomes less popular as she grows up.
All of our dogs have been special, but this morning as I write, two stand out in my memory. The first was a black, tri-colored Australian shepherd named Bear who came to us through our vet clinic. Bear’s owner had decided to relinquish him when he was about six months old, and my husband volunteered to give him a home. Our older daughter was five at the time, and the two bonded immediately.
Bear was a good-natured, timid dog that, unlike most of his breed, wanted nothing to do with working livestock. In fact, he was afraid of sheep and cattle. One method of weed control on a farm is to build a temporary fence in an area and let livestock graze off the weeds. My husband set up an electric fence to contain five sheep across the lane from our yard for this very purpose, parking our two horse stock trailer inside for shade.
While my husband was working, our daughter ducked under the fence to go join him out by the trailer. On her way, she caught the eye of the little flock’s ram, and he began to charge her. Just as my husband became aware of what was happening, Bear darted under the fence, got between our daughter and the ram, and stood him off. Our trembling hero had found his inner sheepdog and courage in order to save his girl. You can bet that Bear got extra hugs and love from all of us.
When she was in her twenties, this same daughter adopted a rescue dog from a shelter while she was living in California. She named the little guy Graham. A mixed-breed dog that resembled a sheltie, he was predominately white with a tan patch reminiscent of a graham cracker on his back. Graham had been diagnosed with kennel cough and was on antibiotics when he came home from the shelter. Despite being terribly thin, he had no appetite and slept constantly. She groomed him lovingly and trimmed his long, curly nails that she described as gnarly.
Graham improved slightly with the antibiotic but relapsed soon after, adding a runny nose to the cough. Her dad prescribed a different antibiotic by phone, and again Graham’s health improved. He started to eat a little but relapsed again after ending the course of the medicine. By this time, he was also starting to lose hair, so my husband told our daughter to take him to a veterinarian in San Diego where she lived.
Graham was diagnosed with mange and our daughter began taking him for treatments. She was a student supporting herself as a waitress, and when Christmas break rolled around, she headed home, bringing her poor little waif with her. This was the first time we were able to get a good look at him—in addition to his thin frame and patchy hair, he had knock knees, outward turned feet, and his toenails were growing out again, curly and thick. He’d redeveloped a nasal discharge during the drive to Colorado, and he looked like a very sick dog.
My husband decided to get to the bottom of it and ran a full diagnostic blood panel. Unfortunately, results came back consistent with lupus erythematosus, a disease that’s treatable in humans but considered terminal in dogs. We all grieved. Though Graham had been in our lives for only a few weeks, his sweet nature had worked its way into all of our hearts.
The deformed legs and toenails were part of the picture, and according to the textbooks, bouts of rheumatoid arthritis were predicted. We assumed he’d already survived some episodes and had contracted the disease as a puppy, possibly from his mother while in utero, impossible to tell since he’d been found living on the streets. My husband started him on the suggested medications to slow the disease and make him more comfortable.
Tearful and heartsick, my daughter returned to college. Since he required daily vet care for monitoring and medication management, my husband and I kept Graham with us, providing hospice. To our delight, he went into remission for about six weeks. His hair coat filled in and bloomed; he ate and gained weight. And he played! He loved his toys and our new kitten. The two wrestled, chased, and slept with each other, a real pair.
The arthritis returned, and one morning we awoke and found him feverish with swollen, painful joints. This started a downward spiral of episodes involving relapse, treatment, and remission. We were able to have him with us for a total of six months, but he gave us so much love and companionship during that time that it felt like longer. None of us ever regretted taking this sick little dog into our lives, and we hope he was able to find some comfort and pleasure during those last months of his life.
Dogs enrich our lives. The pain of losing them can be almost unbearable at times, but the joys and memories are worth it. Enjoy your time with your dog—the love you give will be returned twofold.
Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win one of 4 print copies of Hunting Hour (US ONLY)
About the Author
Margaret Mizushima is the author of the Timber Creek K-9 mysteries, which includes Killing Trail (Crooked Lane Books, 2015) nominated for an RT Reviewer’s Choice award for best first mystery, Stalking Ground (Crooked Lane Books, 2016) a finalist in the Colorado Book Awards mystery category, and Hunting Hour (Crooked Lane Books, 2017). She has a background in speech pathology and practiced in an acute care hospital before establishing her own rehabilitation agency. Currently, she balances writing with assisting her husband with their veterinary clinic and Angus cattle herd. She enjoys reading and hiking, and she lives on a small ranch in Colorado where she and her husband raised two daughters and a multitude of animals.
November 24 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT
November 24 – Because I said so – Adventures in Parenting – REVIEW
November 25 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
November 26 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
November 27 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
November 28 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
November 29 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW, GUEST POST
November 30 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 1 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
December 2 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – INTERVIEW
December 3 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
December 4 – FUONLYKNEW – REVIEW
December 5 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST
Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?