These books aren’t “unique” necessarily. I just mean that they aren’t commonly featured on Booktube/Blogs that I’ve seen! I’m going to keep doing this until I run out of books!! hehe
#1 Laurien Berenson
My very FAVORITE series that doesn’t get enough attention on Booktube (in my opinion) is the fabulous Laurien Berenson’s Melanie Travis series!!! (cannot gush…must seem professional…)
Ok, I am a dog lover and a mystery lover. A few years ago, I stumbled into these books. I can’t remember how, but I’m forever grateful. As I said, I started these books quite a few years ago. So the beginning is fuzzy, but I don’t wanna give away any spoilers! (I want to do a re-read very badly, but somehow lost my entire collection in a move 😦 It seriously breaks my heart!) Here’s my summary!
Melanie Travis is such a fun character to follow. She’s very relatable and you feel like you somehow know her. Maybe she’s your best friend, sister, cousin…you? We all know someone like her. She entertaining. She’s a mom with mommy drama. She has an ex relationship that makes you giggle and her roll her eyes. Lastly, she eventually meets a man that makes her/you swoon.
Along comes Melanie’s, Aunt Peg. She’s a firecracker waiting to go off. She’s nosy and dramatic. She’s down right obnoxious, but only in the completely HYSTERICAL way. Well, maybe not to Melanie. hehe Aunt Peg is part of the Dog Show world. She used to have an entire kennel of dogs.
Side Note: I don’t know much about dog breeding, dog shows, etc but Laurien Berenson’s books opened my eyes. Please don’t feel like you need to understand that world. You really don’t. If you love dogs/mysteries, you’re set!
Back to Aunt Peg! She was (still is) the crème-de-la-crème in the dog community. She is highly respected and she’s use to getting her way. A force to be reckoned with…that’s Aunt Peg. When Aunt Peg yanks Melanie into one situation or another, Mel has no chance of escaping. It’s glorious fun!!!
Now, I said MYSTERY right??? Ok, so at this Dog Show….someone will die. They die before or they die after. Someone always dies (lol) and poor Melanie is somehow stuck in the middle of it. If she finds her way out, meddling Aunt Peg shoves her face first into the drama! It’s fantastic!
As a reader, you follow Melanie’s love life, life as a mom, a poodle owner and finally her journey to solving a wonderful mystery! The characters are funny and creative. You feel like you know them. I blew through book after book. I never wanted to stop and read something else. For me, that says A LOT.
Also, I felt I needed to point out that this series includes an amazing gay relationship. These characters are in each and every book. They aren’t stereotypical in my opinion. They are respectful of the community and realistic. Now-a-days, I feel like maybe some people put LGBTQ persons in a book just to include them. Lauriens’ books have been out for quite awhile and I never got the feeling that she did it for those reasons. I think she stayed true to the Dog Show community and all the many kinds of people you will find there. It’s all very positive and those 2 characters are my faves! I hope that I’m wording my thoughts on this very clearly. I respect the LGBTQ community very much and I wanted to point out an author who has done the same for many years.
In summary, the mysteries are adorable and I enjoyed them. Sometimes, I would have a vague idea who the killer could be, but was never sure until the end. They are definitely page turners and quick reads. I highly recommend them, as you can tell, and I can’t wait to pick up the last 2 books that she’s released! They’ve been on my list for ages!!! Grrr! lol