By: Tracy Weber
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Publication Date: January 2016
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: January 27, 2016
The trouble starts early in the third book in the 'Downward Dog' mystery series when Kate Davidson, a Seattle yoga teacher, tries to do something nice. Kate has agreed to teach a ‘Doga’ class (dog yoga!) at a fundraiser for a local animal shelter. While her intentions are good, the results are disastrous – besides mayhem during the class, the whole event ends in utter confusion when a dumpster catches fire, endangering a group of adorable goats, and a body is found floating in the nearby lake. It looks like Kate is about to be dragged into another murder case.
Karma’s a Killer opens with Kate surrounded by a tangle of dogs, all eager and in various forms of excitement or displeasure as they and their owners prepare for the fund-raising dog walk. Kate manages to get away from the mayhem and makes her way down to the dock along the lake. There she inadvertently stumbles upon two women arguing. Their argument about protesting the shelter confuses Kate as Dogma, the shelter, is a no-kill shelter and certainly not deserving of protests. What should Kate do? Go to her boyfriend Michael? The shelter owner? Or maybe the police? With little time to think, Kate decides to get ready for her class that will be starting soon. Hopefully she’ll see somebody who she can tell about the impending protest.
When a somewhat eccentric older woman, and large donor to the shelter, decides to bring her rabbit to the doga class, Kate nicely tries to convince the woman to leave. Meeting with a stern refusal from the woman, Kate’s inner senses tell her the class will not end well. Of course, she’s correct when the rabbit decides all the dogs are a bit menacing and makes a run for it, and the dogs decide the rabbit looks like lunch. While everybody is running around, somebody, perhaps one of the protesters, sets a nearby dumpster on fire (or was it an accident?). Chaos ensues and Kate can’t wait to get home to her own dog Bella. However, the next morning a body is found floating in the lake where the event was held, and it just happens to be one of the woman Kate saw arguing. Then, as if things couldn’t get worse, the other woman who was seen arguing is arrested, and then gets in touch with Kate to tell her that she’s Kate’s long estranged mother. Yikes!
Karma's a Killer sucked me into its pages quickly and I thoroughly enjoyed this cozy mystery. Kate is a very likable character, albeit with some 'issues' that can get in the way, and the supporting cast was quite believable and helped move the story along. For animal lovers, there are numerous feathered or four-legged creatures to cheer for, my favorite being Blackie the crow as well as some interesting information about shelters and rescues. The dialogue was crisp and flowed nicely, and the mystery kept me guessing as suspects were eliminated one by one. My one disappointment was that once the murderer was revealed, that person was much too willing to tell his/her whole story. Other than that small issue, Karma's a Killer was a winner.
Quill says: A light-hearted mystery that will have you cheering for a yoga teaching, animal loving sleuth and her pack of odd-ball friends.