Review: Dog-Gone Dead (Book #2: A Low Country Dog Walker Mystery Series) by Jackie Layton

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Low Country dog walker Andi Grace Scott is happy to score some free mulch from one of her brother’s landscaping jobs—until she discovers the dead body buried beneath the bark.

Worse, her brother’s landscaping tools were used to commit the murder. Once the police arrest her brother and seem happy to have “caught their man,” Andi Grace has no choice but to track down the real killer. She’ll risk everything to prove her brother’s innocence. Even if it means turning over every rock in town.

Source: NetGalley and Bell Bridge Books Rating: 4/5 stars

**CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR BOOK ONE**

In the span of a few weeks’ time, Andi Grace Scott has gone from being the proud and very happy owner of a small yet comfortable seaside home to the wary and uncertain owner of a large, old southern plantation.  With the help of her best-friend, Andi Grace has decided to convert the big house into a bed and breakfast and some of the outer buildings into sites appropriate for her own ever-expanding dog walking/care business. 

Andi Grace has no intention of running the B & B, but she is the ultimate owner and that means making sure everything is up to snuff for the grand opening.  With just a few days remaining and a tight budget, Andi Grace has bought her landscaping supplies from her brother’s business and intends to do the heavy lifting herself.  However, before Andi Grace can get to work shoveling mulch, she has to deal with the very dead body she’s stumbled upon and her completely disoriented and concussed brother.

With her new boyfriend by her side, Andi Grace dives into another murder investigation.  To be fair, Andi Grace didn’t go looking for the dead guy, but she certainly found him and, unfortunately all the evidence points to her younger brother being the killer.  With no doubt in her heart or mind about her brother’s innocence, Andi Grace has no choice but to get him out of the sheriff’s line of sight.  Given the identity of the victim, finding a football field’s worth of evidence shouldn’t be all that hard to do.  All Andi Grace must do is narrow down the suspect pool.

As Andi Grace and entourage investigate, they discover all kinds of dirty little secrets.  On top of the investigation, Andi Grace also has a business to run and expand and that’s taking up a tremendous amount of her time.  She’s burning the candle at both ends and that makes her deductive skills a bit sluggish which inevitably leads to Andi Grace being knee-deep in trouble. 

The Bottom Line:  The second installment of this series brought an ironing out of the rough patches from book one and I liked this story even more than the first.  The greatest distinction for me is the addition of the plantation to Andi Grace’s world.  The expansion of her life and businesses is going to make a great backdrop to later installments of the series.  What’s more, with every crime she solves, Andi Grace becomes a little better at sleuthing. I see a ton of potential in this series and sincerely hope the next installments can meet my expectations.

Goodreads | Amazon | Paperback

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