I received complimentary copies of Murder in the Dog Park/Dog Spelled Backwards by Jill Yesko for review purposes. My review was not influenced by this. This post contains Amazon affiliate links; thank you for supporting my blog.
Murder in the Dog Park by Jill Yesko
Discovering a brutally murdered boy in a rainy dog park sends misanthropic private detective Jane Ronson on a journey through Baltimore’s gritty underbelly. Aided by a sexy cop, a bad-ass bull terrier, and an only-in-Baltimore cast of characters, Jane must use her computer-hacking and street-fighting skills to save her only family member from being framed as the killer.
This first novella in the series introduces us to Jane Ronson. She’s a no-nonsense, tough, private investigator. I liked the development of Jane as a character and I can totally see what a bad-ass she is. I felt the mystery in this story fell a bit short and didn’t really have a conclusion. I wasn’t expecting the story to end when it did. The book has an enjoyable plot and I liked the characters. It was a quick read and I read it all at once, wanting to find out what happens to Lenny and Jane. Good idea for a mystery, but like I mentioned before, it just seemed to drop off at the end without much of a conclusion. I did like the story and looked forward to reading the second one.
Dog Spelled Backwards by Jill Yesko
Private investigator Jane Ronson suffers from oppositional defiant disorder, the uncontrollable urge to punch first then ask questions later. When a rabbi with a shady past offers her a bag of cash to spy on a rival rabbi, Jane jumps at the chance to make what she thinks will be easy money. To get her cash, Jane impersonates an Orthodox Jewish woman and infiltrates a black market kidney ring in Baltimore’s Orthodox community. Between Russian gangsters and double crosses, Jane is number one on everyone’s hit list. To save her life, she forms an alliance with a religious woman and confronts a family.
In this second book starring Jane Ronson and her dog Archie, Jane is hired by a rabbi to get the inside details on another rabbi who is running an illegal black market kidney operation ring. Jane ends up involved in much more than she anticipated and in deeper than she should be. I liked how we got to know a little more about Jane as a character in this book. We visited some of her childhood and also it felt like this story was a bit more personal. Really enjoyable mystery as well. Definitely worth the read. I actually think that maybe combining the first novella with this book would have been really good – more character development and stronger mystery. It was a quick read for me also, as the mystery kept me interested. I did enjoy it and would like to read more about Jane, Archie, Don, Lenny and Eve in other stories.
About the Author
Jill Yesko’s 20+ year writing career has included stints as a sport writer, NPR commentator and investigative reporter. She’s written about everything from body piercing to human pyramids in Spain. After a solo trek around the world, Jill was profiled as an “adventurous traveler” in O, the Oprah magazine. Before becoming a writer, Jill was a national-class cyclist and graduate and cartographer. A New Jersey native, Jill now patrols Baltimore’s dog parks with her basset hound.