Woof at the Door is the first in a cozy mystery series revolving around Grace Wilde, an animal behaviorist or trainer who has an ability to converse telepathically with animals, both domestic animals and wildlife and she uses her skills to save animals from harm and help solve behavior issues for problem pets for her clients. Think Doctor Doolittle or Animal Whisperer.
But Grace keeps her abilities a secret from everyone except her sister. So her clients all just assume that she simply has a knack with animals.
There’s a murder and a witness
So the story starts when Grace is called out to aid the police with a traumatized and angry guard dog, a Doberman named Jax. Jax witnessed the murder of his owner, the star quarterback of the Florida Jaguars, Mark Richardson. Richardson is also the son of the current Governor, so he’s a relatively high profile person.
The poor dog is suffering from trauma and Grace knows that it’s going to take a while before the Jax’s mind allows him to fully remember who was responsible for the death of his owner. At the moment, all Grace can sense from him is his feelings of utter betrayal. So Grace takes Jax to her home to care for him – a home that she shares with her sidekick and best friend Moss, a wolf hybrid fiercely protective and loyal to Grace.
Being a veterinarian herself, Grace is able to calm the Doberman and hopes to find him a home. It’s interesting to note that the reason that Grace didn’t pursue a career in veterinary medicine, by the way, was because of constant chatter in her head from all the animals. It’s also worth mentioning that Grace’s “pet whispering” talent is handled in a realistic and entertaining way in the book, and the author does an excellent job of presenting her talent has believable.
Chatting with a Jaguar
So Grace hopes that the police will solve the case so she doesn’t have to get involved any further in such a high profile case but the crime just will not go away. In fact, Grace is next called back out to calm a Jaguar owned by a friend of hers. It just so happens that this friend also had an altercation with Richardson shortly before his murder, making him the primary suspect in the killing.
The jaguar, however, shows/tells Grace that her owner did not commit the crime and was home asleep on the couch when the murder took place. The problem is how does Grace inform the police sergeant in charge of the case without disclosing her abilities, and will he believe her?
Grace becomes an amateur sleuth
Now its up to Grace to figure out exactly what Jax has seen, so she takes it upon herself to find concrete evidence to give to the homicide detective in charge, the handsome Kai Duncan leading to some quite humorous situations, especially when giving obviously vague answers to the detectives questions, making her look guilty in the process. Not that Grace is in any hurry to let anyone else know about her ability. She was once burned pretty badly when she revealed her talents to a boyfriend, so she’s determined not to disclose her gifts to anyone else.
This was a lovely cozy mystery and a fun whodunnit, with plenty of suspects, along with numerous twists and surprises, that I didn’t see coming. It had a gripping multi-layered plot with a superb supporting cast of characters. I especially loved Grace’s character – she was feisty, independent and strong, an all-around lovable character. The story was also wrapped up nicely at the end with a satisfying conclusion.
If you’re an animal lover and a mystery buff then you might want to check out Woof at the Door. I give this 5 stars, and I can’t wait to read more books in this series. ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐