“In the Dog House” A Dog Club Mystery By V.M. Burns: Review/Giveaway

by Cynthia Chow

Details on how to win an ebook copy of this book at the end of the review and a link to purchase it. You can find a review and giveaway of another of VM's books over on Kings River Life, along with a fun guest post.

After twenty-five years of marriage, Lilly Anne Echosby never expected to find herself leaping across a law office conference room table in order to choke out her husband’s mistress. The twenty-year-old bimbo’s yawn was the last straw, as Barbie was the reason behind the humiliation and impending divorce that had completely blind-sided the housewife and former CPA. A genial stranger on a train’s suggestion to start over and find a happy place gives Lilly the idea to reach out to her college best friend Scarlett “Dixie” Jefferson, who immediately plans to visit in between champion poodle competitions. Arriving in her dog-friendly RV with her Champion standard poodles Chyna and Galactic Imperial Resistance Leader Leia, Dixie also has the delightful gift of a rescue toy poodle, whom Lilly immediately names Agatha after her favorite mystery author.

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When her obnoxious soon-to-ex demands that she fulfill her promise to throw a birthday party for his grandmother, Lilly shrewdly manipulates him into allowing her access to their joint bank accounts while keeping their children as his beneficiaries. That move proves to bite her in the behind, though, as when Albert is shot in an attempted home burglary gone wrong, Lilly quickly becomes the prime suspect in the murder. Her son and daughter rally to her side, although it is one of the investigating detectives – and his mutual attraction with Lilly’s daughter – that allows them to marshal their own forces effectively enough to unravel the fiscal shenanigans that may have been behind Albert’s car dealership money woes. While they are smart enough to report their findings to the police and not rashly endanger their lives, these are still women who have pizza delivered to their car while on stakeouts and have to call in favors to their dog-handler detective.
mystery book cover
Image Source Lyrical Press

What I love about this debut series even more than the adorable dogs – who are undeniably lovable stars – is the refreshing and rewarding relationship between Lilly and her adult children. Rather than taking their cheating father’s side or acting selfishly, they both unwaveringly support their mother and her struggles towards independence. Albert’s family is objectively awful, so it’s a delight that Lilly never backs down in her wishes or gets mowed over by their demands. There is definitely satisfaction in seeing Lilly’s strength emerge, and as she rediscovers her identity she also lets loose her sharp wit and wry observations. Dixie is, of course, a dog-loving bundle of fun, which includes big hair and an even bigger personality. Few will see the end coming, but all will experience the thrill of justice prevailing and villains receiving their just desserts. I can’t wait until Lilly moves on in her quest to find her next happy place, and if it’s with Dixie and her dogs in Chattanooga, Tennessee, all the better.

To enter to win an ebook copy of In the Dog House, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "dog house,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen September 22, 2018. U.S. residents only.If entering via comment please include your email address. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast!

You can use this link to purchase the book. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. This sounds so good! I can’t wait to read it! cking78503(at)aol(dot)com

  2. Thank you for this chance to win. 1cow0993(at)gmail(dot)com

  3. Thanks for the review. kckendler at gmail dot com

  4. I love the poodle on the cover! Thank you for the chance to win this!

  5. I've heard nothing but good things about In the Dog House. And to get in on the beginning of a new series is great.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  6. Thanks for the chance to win this book. It looks good!

    faithdcreech at gmail dot com

  7. I would love to read this--VM Burns is great! legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com

  8. Love the cover! Book sounds like a great read.


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