"Playing Dead" By Peggy Rothschild: Review/Giveaway

Review by Sandra Murphy

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book and a link to purchase it.

When Molly Madison takes her dogs (a Saint Bernadoodle and a Golden Retriever) to Playtime Academy for the first time for barn hunting and agility, it’s obvious another competitor has no social skills. She’d rather shame, hurt the other handlers, and smirk about it. 

Noodle, Molly’s Saint, isn’t speedy but has a great nose for following a particular scent. Harlow is there for the agility. Noodle is almost last to try the barn hunt. His job is to scent an empty container, one filled with a rat’s bedding, and one with a live rat. It’s a timed event for him to find the rat.

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Image Source Berkley
Noodle does a fine job but when finished, breaks his sit/stay, and is off at a full run, much to Molly’s embarrassment. When she sees his find, all is forgiven. After all, a dead body trumps a live rat any day.

Rather than let the dead woman’s dog go to Animal Control, Molly takes the dog home with her. Her agoraphobic neighbor could use a companion, and the dog needs to be with someone who is home all the time.

Beyond the death, there’s still something fishy going on at the Academy. There’s a missing dog, secrets, and lies to sort through.

In her personal life, her boyfriend has a secret of his own, a neighbor asks for pet sitting for an adorable French Bulldog she doesn’t seem to like, a lost kitten, and another dog to take in when an arrest is made.

This is the second in the series. As an ex-cop and former private investigator, Molly Madison has a strong sense of justice and what’s the right thing to do with an inquisitive mind to back up those traits. She’s also got a soft heart where animals are concerned. I thoroughly enjoyed book one, A Deadly Bone to Pick, and this one doesn’t disappoint, it is even better. I’m looking forward to book three.

To enter to win a copy of Playing Dead, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "playing,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen March 11, 2023. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win. If entering via comment please include your email address so we can contact you. 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 which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode went up this week.

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

Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is a 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying her retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband.
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. Sounds like a good read. Would like
    to try it. the dogs add more interest.
    thanks. txmlhl(at)yahoo(dot)com

  2. Sounds interesting! Count me in!

  3. Love dogs in the storyline. Adding to my TBR list.

  4. Readers will sit up and beg for the book Playing Dead by Peggy Rothschild.

    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

  5. Playing Dead interests me greatly. Such a delight. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  6. New author for me, sounds good! tWarner419@aol.com

  7. Interesting, I've never heard of barn hunting. And I love a book with cute animals.

  8. We have a winner!
    Lorie Ham


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