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Reviewed by Patricia Reding for Readers' Favorite
Mysteries come in all forms, including the “cozy” form, which accurately describes Dogs Don’t Lie by Lisa Shay. Shay’s protagonist, Kallie, is a veterinarian whose mother is a bit embarrassed by Kallie’s chosen profession, yet is always trying to set her up with eligible young men. But when Kallie meets Ben, a local law enforcement officer, readers quickly discover that this new relationship seems destined to go somewhere. Even so, for now, it centers around an investigation for which Ben requires Kallie’s help. Why Kallie? Well, you see, she possesses an almost magical ability to communicate with animals. Through the animals’ memories that play in her mind, Kallie can “see” what amount to videos of sorts of past events. Thus, if the animal with which Kallie communicates saw the perpetrator of a crime, she too can “see” that image. When this ability becomes publicized, Kallie’s safety is in danger. Or perhaps she is in danger because of the investigation in which she and her two best friends, Gracie and Sam, are engaged—notwithstanding Ben’s cautions to the contrary.
Lisa Shay’s description of Dogs Don’t Lie as a “cozy” mystery is most accurate. You see, this mystery is light and upbeat. At its heart, it is the story of a professional young woman and her family and friends. Kallie’s relationships with Gracie and Sam feel accurate, as does the bit of stress she gets from her overly concerned mother. The little touches Shay has added make the story believable, like when Kallie mentions her favorite author or makes arrangements to pick up her favorite cupcakes or takes a ribbing from her friends about her budding new relationships with Ben. With this genuine backdrop, readers are willing to suspend belief when it comes to Kallie’s animal-communication abilities and thus fall into this relaxed and “cozy” read.