It’s the most wonderful time of the year in Connecticut, but Melanie Travis finds surviving this December may take a real Christmas miracle when a yuletide murderer comes to town  

As Melanie attempts to deck the halls in a house overrun by pampered Poodles, her event planner friend, Claire, is busy playing Santa—beard, and belly not included—for the wealthiest clientele on Connecticut’s Gold Coast. A personal shopper gig in the affluent town of New Canaan seems like business as usual. Except Claire’s stylish stint comes at a higher price than she bargains for when she stumbles over her newest customer’s dead body on the job. Named a prime suspect for murder, she begs for Melanie’s help, then vanishes like cookies and milk on Christmas Eve . . .
 
Determined to track down Claire, Melanie, and her nosy Aunt Peg dash into a dizzying investigation that leads to even more questions. Why was homicide victim Lila Moran, a secretive woman with an untraceable past, permitted to live on a well-known socialite-turned-recluse’s private estate, and is Claire keeping her own incriminating secrets under wraps? Now, with a grinchy New Canaan detective on their case and disturbing clues piling up like presents beneath the tree, the crime-solving duo must rein in a sinister Kris Kringle before they’re the next ones on someone’s deadly wish list.

Titles in the Melanie Travis Canine Mystery series include – Underdog – Dog Eat Dog – Hair of the Dog – Watchdog – Hush Puppy – Unleashed – Once Bitten – Hot Dog – Best in Show – Jingle Bell Bark – Raining Cats & Dogs – Chow Down – Hounded to Death – Doggie Day Care Murder – Gone with the Woof – Death of a Dog Whisperer – The Bark Before Christmas – Live and Let Growl – Murder at the Puppy Fest – Wagging Through the Snow – Ruff Justice – Bite Club – Here Comes Santa Paws

Title:  Here Comes Santa Paws
Series:  Melanie Travis Canine Mystery #24
Author:  Laurien Berenson
Genre:  Cozy Mystery, Mystery
Published:  September 24, 2019
Publisher:  Kensington Books
My Rating:  4 stars

I confess I am very late in coming to the A Melanie Travis Canine Mystery series.  To be frank, if I’d paid better attention I’m not sure that I would have requested an ARC of the 24th title in a series.  And to be further frank – I’m really glad that I made that oversight for I discovered a story that had me engaged with the mystery, enjoying the antics of the characters and not the least bit lost in a story that could be considered a standalone.  I have had the pleasure of enjoying a few series like this where you have a base set of recurring characters but each book is a new adventure.  Now, I intend to go back and read the very first book, UNDERDOG, to see where this all began from — but you could (like I did) pick up HERE COMES SANTA PAWS and completely enjoy the relationships, the mystery-solving without any hesitation.

I was easily caught up in HERE COMES SANTA PAWS from the very start.  Really, most of what you need to know before picking up this book can be found in the Cover Description.  What I discovered was a mystery that kept me guessing, an amazing relationship between Melanie and her Aunt Peg, and a bookful of adorable dogs, pups included.  I had fun in this world, and that is the entire point of any story.

I wish I had discovered this series sooner, but I do intend to continue from this point onwards.  If you enjoy a really good Cozy Mystery, if putting puzzle pieces together until they show the entire picture is your thing, or if you simply like stories with interesting, realistic relationships in the background then you’ll want to pick up HERE COMES SANTA PAWS and discovery an enticing world full of mystery for yourself.  I’m hooked now on this series, and I believe you would be, too (if you aren’t already).

*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story.  It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*

Available in hardcover and for the Kindle