I’m glad to have dog lover, Diane Kelly, here to share her Furbaby, Reggie, and novel Enforcing the Paw, the 6th book in her mystery Paw Enforcement Series.
Hi, Beth. Thanks for inviting me to be on your blog! My featured fur baby is Reggie. She’s one of three dogs who share their home with me and my husband, along with six cats. Reggie was a pound puppy and our best guess is that she’s part Dalmatian and part American bull terrier like Spuds McKenzie or the dog from the Target commercials. She’s deaf but very smart, and she responds to hand signals. She also closely watches the faces of humans around her to judge their moods. She’s very sweet and friendly, and she loves to take a dip in the neighborhood pond when we got for a walk. This photo is of her playing in the packing paper when we moved back to Texas a couple of years ago after a three-year stint in Nashville. She had so much fun playing in the pile!
Enforcing the Paw is the 6th book in my Paw Enforcement series. The books feature a female cop who is paired with a female K-9 after things go sour between the cop and her human partner. While neither Megan (the human) or Brigit (the K-9) are thrilled about their partnership at first, they learn over time to respect each other and eventually become best friends. I’m a big dog lover, and I’ve had so much fun writing this series! The chapters from the dog’s point of view are my favorite. She’s definitely got some tough K-9 attitude!
A TAIL OF TWO LOVERS
When relationships go south, some people just can’t—or won’t—let go. When Fort Worth Police Officer Megan Luz and her pawed partner Brigit investigate a series of stalking incidents involving a couple who recently broke up, their detective powers are put to the test. Is this a case of a controlling creep who refuses to accept rejection—or one about a woman scorned whose fury has been unleashed?
EXCERPT FROM ENFORCING THE PAW – Diane Kelly
(Book #6 in the Paw Enforcement Series)
Fort Worth Police Officer Megan Luz
On a Monday night in early August, my shepherd-mix partner Brigit and I were out on patrol, working the night shift. Well, at least I was working. Brigit snoozed away on the carpeted platform in the back of our specially equipped K-9 cruiser. A human officer would have been fired for sleeping on the job, but K-9s? They could get away with it. Lucky dog. She wasn’t quiet about it either, snoring loud enough to wake the dead. Way to rub it in.
Her snooze came to an abrupt end when a vandalism call came in over the radio. She snuffled and raised her head from the comfy cushion I’d bought her, casting me a bleary-eyed look that said she was none too happy about her sweet dreams being interrupted.
“We’ve got a report of a broken window,” the dispatcher said. “The victim reports she believes her ex-boyfriend tried to break into her home.”
Ugh. Domestic violence is the worst.
The victim’s address was on College Avenue in the southern part of the Fairmount neighborhood, only a few of blocks from our current location. Brigit’s unique K9 skills could be especially helpful in a situation like this, where the perpetrator would have left a scent trail.
I grabbed the microphone from my dashboard and responded to the call. “Officers Luz and Brigit on our way.” I slid the mic back into its holder and punched the gas. Off we go!
Three turns and less than thirty-eight seconds later, my cruiser rolled to a stop in front of the address. While the historic Fairmount neighborhood boasted some beautifully restored homes, many of which were quite large, this single-story white house was among its more modest dwellings. My brown eyes took in the place, while the brain behind them performed some quick computations of its own accord, estimating the home to be approximately 1,200 square feet given its width and depth. White oleander bushes flanked the front porch and spanned the width of the house. Hmm. You’d have thought the owner might have planted pink oleanders to add some color, but who was I to judge? There was no garage. The house had been built long before cars were common and the owner had apparently decided not to add one, though there was a short paved driveway in which a beige Hyundai Accent was parked. The porch light was on, as were lights inside the front room, the glow visible around the edges of the slatted wood blinds in the windows. The broken window must be around back.
I climbed out of my car and opened the back door to let Brigit out. After allowing her to take a quick tinkle in the grass, I clipped her leash onto her collar and led her up the single step to the front door. While many of the other houses in the area sported cheery floral wreaths on their front doors, a large sign that read NO SOLICITING was plastered across this door. Even the welcome mat wasn’t very welcoming. Instead of greeting visitors with a simple WELCOME or funny phrase—the one at our house read WIPE YOUR PAWS—it looked more like a torture device, all stiff and bristly.
I raised my hand and knocked. Rap-rap-rap! A moment later the door was answered by a pretty and petite Latina woman. Being of both Mexican and Irish descent, my skin, like this woman’s, was slightly darker than most Caucasians, though mine bore a scattering of freckles while hers was more uniform in color. The woman appeared to be in her early thirties, giving her a six- or seven-year lead on me. She stood a couple inches shorter than my five-feet-five inches, putting her around five three. As long as we were talking in numbers, I might as well say she’d be around an 8 on the attractiveness scale. As for myself, I’d let others be the judge of that. The number I was more interested in was my IQ, which was above average, thank you very much.
The woman wore a drab gray bathrobe over sleepwear, slippers, and no makeup. Her dark hair was messy from sleep, loose curls playing about her head, much unlike the taut bun into which I’d pulled my dark locks. Her eyes flickered down to Brigit, who was sniffing at something through the wooden boards of the porch, but she responded with neither interest nor fear.
“He’s at it again,” she snapped without preamble. “I hope y’all can put a stop to it this time.”
Her eyes seemed to be looking at a spot over my shoulder rather than directly at me. I wasn’t sure if she had an ocular issue or if she was avoiding my eye. I decided to find out by shifting slightly in the direction she was looking. When I did, her eyes moved along with me, remaining a little off target. Hmm.
“I understand someone attempted to break into your home?”
“Not someone. It was my ex-boyfriend.”
She could very well be right. But she could also be jumping to conclusions. I’d learned early on in my law enforcement career not to take everything at face value. “What’s your name, ma’am?”
I mentally repeated the name to commit it to memory. “And what happened exactly?”
“I was in bed sleeping a few minutes ago when a loud crash woke me up. I turned on my lamp and found one of my bedroom windows broken and a brick lying on the floor.”
“Did you see anyone?”
“No. I didn’t look out the window. I was too freaked out.”
Funny, she didn’t seem so freaked out. To me, her emotions seemed more along the lines of irritation and anger. But maybe that was because she’d had time to calm down since I’d arrived, to gather her nerves and wits, and was now realizing that replacing the window would be both a hassle and an expense. “What makes you think it was your ex?”
“It had to be him,” Adriana said to the spot over my shoulder. “Nobody else had a reason to do something like that.”
Juvenile delinquents did things like this all the time without a reason, but no sense arguing with her. “Can you show us?”
“Us?” She glanced down at Brigit. “Is the dog coming with you?”
“I’d planned on bringing her in, yes.” She was my partner, after all.
Her lips pursed and her nose twitched. “Does she shed?”
“Shed?” Brigit was a furry, hundred-pound shepherd with approximately eighty-billion active hair follicles. She shed enough hair each day to stuff a sofa. So, naturally, I said, “Not much.”
A tax advisor and former assistant attorney general for the state of Texas, Diane Kelly is no stranger to white-collar crime. When she realized her experiences would make great fodder for novels, her fingers hit the keyboard and thus began her award-winning Death and Taxes series. Of course her fictional heroine’s life wouldn’t be complete without a couple of rescue cats! A graduate of her hometown’s Citizens Police Academy, Diane also writes the hilarious Paw Enforcement series, which features a female K-9 team. Soon she’ll launch her Fixin’ to Flip home renovation series. You’ll be surprised to see what Sawdust, the cat featured in the series, drags in! Diane lives in north Texas with her husband, three dogs, and six cats.
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