Laurien Berenson Books in Order

The Laurien Berenson books have become so popular over the years that generation after generation, people keep going back to them.

If you're just starting with it and want a reading list, you're in luck. Here we list out all the Laurien Berenson books in order; keeping in mind various factors like the publication year, reviews, its popularity among readers, etc.

It’s always a good idea to read such book titles in sequence so that you don't miss out on the story plot and its discussions in the book clubs.

Publication Order of Melanie Travis Books

A Pedigree To Die For

Berenson, Laurien 1995

Win, Place. . .Or Die.The apparent heart attack that killed kennel owner Max Turnbull has left seven pups in mourning, and his wife Peg suspecting foul play. But the only evidence is their missing prize pooch--a pedigreed poodle named Beau.Enter Melanie Travis.

With her young son happily ensconced in day damp, the thirty-something teacher and single mother is talked into investigating her uncle's death--unofficially, of course. Posing as a poodle breeder in search of the perfect stud, Melanie hounds Connecticut's elite canine competitions, and finds an ally in fellow breeder Sam Driver.

But her affection cools when she's put on the scent of Sam's questionable past. . .and hot on the trail of a poodle-hating neighbor and one elusive murderer who isn't ready to come to heel.For, as Melanie soon discovers, in a championship dog-eat-dog world, the instinct for survival, and winning, can prove fatal.

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Underdog

Berenson, Laurien 1996

Being An Underdog Can Be Murder. . .Amateur sleuth, single mother, and pedigreed poodle owner Melanie Travis returns to Connecticut's elite canine circles--and unmasks a murderer lurking among the handlers and their prize-winning pets. . . When Melanie's education in breed-handling at Connecticut's classiest obedience school is cut short by sudden death, she smells a murder.

So, with her rambunctious puppy, five-year-old son, and sexy fellow breeder Sam Driver in tow, she hits the championship circuit. In this dog-eat-dog world where winning is everything, Melanie discovers that more than one suspect had a bone to pick with the victim, including a kennel owner whose secret recipe for dog biscuits isn't the only thing she's guarding.

Between laps around the show ring, Melanie learns some tricks of her own. But will she learn fast enough to collar an unleashed killer who's begging for the dogged detective to play dead?

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Dog Eat Dog

Berenson, Laurien 1996

Welcome to an elite Connecticut kennel club where shocking secrets gnaw at the best of the breed and competition has a sharp--and deadly--bite. As if raising her son Davey, training her rambunctious Poodle Faith for the show ring, and grooming fellow handler Sam Driver for romance aren't enough, Melanie Travis's entrée into the exclusive Belle Haven Kennel Club has been met with a grisly murder.

Unfortunately, the only witnesses to the crime were the victim's startled pair of Beagles. And they aren't talking. . . Melanie hadn't intended to do any serious snooping, what with coping with the unexpected arrival of an ex-husband out to get joint custody of the son he's never known.

In need of some serious distraction, she's off to sniff out dangerous secrets. . .only to discover that everyone at Belle Haven has something damning to hide. As the shocking truth slowly comes to light--and her own domestic drama moves center stage--Melanie finds herself eager to put the bite on a dogged killer who's desperate enough to strike again.

"A story as controlled as a well-behaved dog on a lead." --Publishers Weekly

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Hair of the Dog

Berenson, Laurien 1997

The dog days of summer have just begun, and Melanie Travis is looking forward to savoring each lazy afternoon. And where better to enjoy herself than at her Aunt Peg's Fourth of July barbecue? It sounds ideal, until an uninvited guest proves that even the laziest dog day of the year can suddenly turn vicious.

Melanie knew someone should have kept Barry Turk on a short leash. The star poodle handler and ladykiller had a habit of chicanery that bred contempt in the dog show circuit, particularly among its female members. But when Barry is shot dead in his own driveway, even Melanie is stunned at how unsporting the competition can get.

Soon Melanie is investigating a litter of suspects which includes Barry's ruthless young assistant, her hot-tempered boyfriend, A Blue Ribbon judge with a grudge, and even Barry's last lover, Alicia. Now, as Melanie digs for clues deep under Connecticut's well-groomed surface, she finds herself sniffing around in the killer's own backyard, and counts herself lucky to have the animal instincts to keep herself alive.

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Watchdog

Berenson, Laurien 1998

It's autumn in Connecticut. Melanie Travis has just started a new job, and with the added excitement of showing her Standard Poodle, Faith, in the fall shows, the last thing she wants is to become embroiled in yet another of her brother Frank's moneymaking schemes.

His current brainstorm--remaking an old store in stylish suburban Fairfield County into a trendy coffee bar--already has the neighbors snarling. Worse, wealthy Marcus Rattigan, who's bankrolling the project, is found murdered on the premises, and the police think Frank did it.

"Fresh, lively writing, a tough mystery, light humor, and insight into the peculiarities of human and canine behavior."--BooklistAlways the family watchdog, and faced with Frank's imminent arrest, Melanie has no choice but to take on the investigation.

Drawing on her connections in the dog world, Melanie is soon successfully unmuzzling the dead man's nearest and dearest, including a bitter ex-wife, a spurned mistress, and an ambitious second in command. But Melanie is about to learn that being a watchdog can sometimes be dangerous--especially when every clue she uncovers leads her one step closer to a murderer who is desperate enough to kill again.

. .

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Hush Puppy

Berenson, Laurien 1999

Melanie Travis loves her teaching job at Connecticut's elite Howard Academy, where plans are underway for a Spring Pageant to honor the school's fiftieth anniversary. Immersed in the preparations, Melanie is hurrying to retrieve a painting of one of the illustrious co-founders when she comes upon a disturbing scene: Eugene Krebbs, the Academy's elderly caretaker is arguing loudly with a girl half his size.

Before Melanie can learn more than the girl's first name--Jane--she disappears.It's clear that Jane isn't a student at Howard Academy, so what is she doing there? Melanie doesn't have a chance to answer that question before more problems arise. Two days later, Krebbs is discovered stabbed to death right on the school grounds.

Now Melanie is embroiled in a full-fledged homicide investigation as she tries to find out who's added murder to the school's curriculum. And when Melanie's trail leads her dangerously closer to the truth, she must race against time to track down a cunning killer before she becomes the next victim to be hushed.

. .forever.

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Unleashed

Berenson, Laurien 2000

Summer means two things to Melanie Travis: a break from her teaching duties at Connecticut's elite Howard Academy and a chance to plan the perfect wedding to her fiancé, Sam. She certainly doesn't need the unwelcome arrival of a dinner invitation "peace offering" from Sam's ex-wife, Sheila Vaughn.

And dinner proves to be only the beginning of her problems. Sheila's new man turns out to be Brian Endicott, an old buddy-turned-enemy of Sam's. To make matters worse, Sheila announces her temporary stay in town is now permanent: she's accepted a job as co-publisher of Woof!, a new gossip rag for the dog show world.

But before the first issue is even out, a hotter story breaks when Sheila is found dead, strangled with a leather dog leash.As far as Melanie's concerned, the woman should have been on a leash long ago. And it seems she isn't alone in her dislike of Sheila.

Some of Woof's salacious stories threatened to expose the dirty paws of quite a few important exhibitors, and someone on Sheila's staff may have found her high-handed attitude worth silencing. Then there's the question of the life insurance policy Brian took out only days before Sheila's death.

Even more troubling to Melanie is her faltering relationship with Sam, who's hiding secrets--secrets that put him more deeply under Sheila's spell in death than in life. Now, it will take the instincts of a bloodhound to sniff out a killer who's bent on putting an end to Melanie's amateur sleuthing.

. .With Unleashed, Laurien Berenson has delivered her most engaging, suspenseful novel yet, full of her signature, razor-sharp wit, and fast-paced plotting that's guaranteed to have mystery lovers sitting up and begging for more of Melanie Travis.

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Once Bitten

Berenson, Laurien 2001
When a fellow dog-handler mysteriously vanishes and a body is found, Melanie Travis finds herself confronted with a wealth of suspects, from a disgruntled dog groomer to a bitter ex-boyfriend, and as she digs deeper to catch a killer, her ex-husband arrives, further complicating matters. Reprint. Read More

Hot Dog

Berenson, Laurien 2002
While a mysterious stalker terrorizes her life, Melanie Travis also deals with the amorous advances of both her ex-husband and ex-fiance, and sets out to find a missing Dachshund puppy, the victim of a divorced couple's tug-of-war. Reprint. Read More

Best in Show

Berenson, Laurien 2003

Murder's on the ticket when intrepid poodle breeder Melanie Travis travels to Maryland for a world-famous dog show where the competition isn't the only thing that's cutthroat. . .There are dog shows. And then there's The Poodle Club of America National Specialty Dog Show.

For poodle purists, it's the pinnacle of the season, drawing competitors and spectators from all over the world.Once in Maryland, Melanie is put to work selling raffle tickets by the co-chairs of the raffle committee, Betty Jean and Edith Jean Boone.

Sixty-ish steel magnolias from the South, the reclusive sisters make few appearances. But this year, they have a silver Toy puppy that has already caused quite a buzz on the show circuit.While the poodles remain well behaved, it's their owners and handlers who start acting up.

And when Betty Jean is found dead at the host hotel, murder takes center stage. But this is the PCA--and the show must go on. As Edith Jean staunchly resumes her duties, Melanie starts searching for clues, and comes up with a compelling cast of suspects whose actions prove that in the dog-eat-dog world of showing, a life can be as easily lost as a blue ribbon.

And that unlike cats, dogs--and their owners--have only one to risk. . .

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Jingle Bell Bark

Berenson, Laurien 2004

It's Christmas again, and Melanie Travis barely has time to pencil in some holiday festivities. Especially once she finds herself making a list of murder suspects--and checking it twice. . .This year, all Melanie wants for Christmas is a dull moment. Between her son Davey, her teaching job, and showing her Standard Poodle puppy, Eve, there just aren't enough hours in the day.

But when Davey's usual bus driver, Henry Pruitt, disappears and is replaced by a surly, pierced, twentysomething, Melanie is concerned. The elderly, amiable Henry was a friend to all in the neighborhood, so she decides to check on him. . .only to find that he died two days earlier, under suspicious circumstances.

As if that weren't bad enough, Henry's two Golden Retrievers are now bereft of both master and home. Melanie can't just abandon them, so she brings them to her Aunt Peg, the most stubborn woman on the planet, who's now determined to find out the truth about Henry's death, no matter what it takes.

Soon, the indomitable Aunt Peg has Melanie leashed to another murder investigation. And unless she sniffs out this Scrooge of a killer fast, a lump of coal in her stocking may not be the worst thing Melanie gets this Christmas. . ."Delightful. . .As ever, the author provides a captivating behind-the-scenes look at the world of show dogs.

" --Publishers Weekly"Melanie Travis is a terrific character."--Romantic Times

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Raining Cats and Dogs

Berenson, Laurien 2005

Melanie Travis has her hands full these days, what with adding a husband and three more dogs to her already cramped home. The advanced obedience training for her dog Faith is a welcome respite from the stresses of house hunting--until murder forces Melanie to the head of the class.

. .Even amidst the chaos, Melanie somehow manages to eke out a bit of time to get Faith enrolled in "school." The South Avenue Obedience Club looks like fun, even if there are enough sexual and political undercurrents in the group to power a small generator.

Melanie is especially eager to bring Faith to the program at the Winston Pumpernill Nursing Home. Club member Paul Lennox initiated the outings to please his Great Aunt Mary, and since many of the other residents are also dog lovers, the trips are now a treasured tradition.

Melanie and Faith are warmly welcomed at the home, but their very first visit ends in tragedy when Aunt Mary is found suffocated in her bed. There's no shortage of suspects--from the wealthy victim's ne'er-do-well son to the staff to the secret-laden club members themselves, there's motive and opportunity aplenty.

All Melanie has to do is follow the trail--and watch her back. . .

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Chow Down

Berenson, Laurien 2006
Finalists in a contest to become the "spokesdog" for a new dog food, Melanie Travis and her standard poodle Faith watch in horror as the competition turns deadly when the handler of a Yorkshire terrier is murdered. Reprint. Read More

Hounded To Death

Berenson, Laurien 2007

As the dog days of summer turn to the playful nip of autumn's chill, Melanie Travis is ready for a little relaxation. Her Aunt Peg has the perfect solution--a five-day symposium for dog show judges in Pennsylvania's idyllic Pocono Mountains. While Peg and Melanie's sister-in-law Bertie welcome the opportunity to socialize with the dog world's elite, the very pregnant Melanie embraces the chance to simply unwind.

But when renowned judge Charles Evans delivers a keynote address that irritates many of the attendees, the symposium's agenda takes a deadly turn. For later that evening, Charles is found floating face-down in the outdoor hot tub.With few clues to go on, the police are baffled.

But Melanie decides to take matters into her own hands, suspecting that a cold-blooded murderer may lurk among her fellow dog-lovers. . ."This canine cozy is absorbing enough to delight even cat lovers."--Publishers Weekly"The mystery keeps the book rolling along, but it's the entertaining relationships Melanie has with her family that keep the reader involved.

"--Romantic Times

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Doggie Day Care Murder

Berenson, Laurien 2008

Melanie Travis thought her sleuthing days were behind her. She has a new baby to take care of--not to mention five Standard Poodles. These days, the closest Melanie gets to detective work is scoping out the scene at the local doggie day center for her friend Alice Brickman.

As Melanie learns, it's a dog's life at the Pine Ridge Canine Care Center--and life is good. Everyone seems blissfully happy. Everyone canine, that is, as Melanie soon discovers there are some simmering resentments among the Pine Ridge staff. And when Steve Pine, the center's charming, good-looking co-owner, is found shot to death on the floor of his office, there's no shortage of suspects.

With the police at a loss for leads, it's now up to Melanie to go undercover and sniff out a killer whose secrets lie buried in a dog's paradise that's proving to be anything but. . ."Warm and fuzzy. . .another cute tail-wagging puzzler."--Publishers Weekly"A top-notch mystery.

. .Newcomers to the series will be hooked, and returning readers will continue to enjoy Melanie's relatable nature and charm."--Romantic Times

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Gone with the Woof

Berenson, Laurien 2013

Despite Melanie's domestic demands - a toddler and a house full of Standard Poodles - helping Edward March pen his life story is an opportunity she can't pass up. Of course Edward turns out to be a growly old man who wants his book - "Puppy Love" - to consist mainly of his amorous encounters with women from the dog show community.

It's juicy gossip, but not dangerous...until Andrew, Edward's son, pays Melanie an angry visit to stop her from working on the book. When Andrew suddenly turns up very dead, the victim of a seemingly intentional hit-and-run, the police are looking at Edward as Suspect No.

1. There was lots of bad blood between Andrew and his father, but Melanie is looking at the bigger picture. Would some of Edwards' ex-trysts have gone after Andrew to shut Edward up? How about all of those husbands and boyfriends with bones to pick? And who is that woman who everyone is avoiding at the funeral? Between getting caught up in the bafflingly dysfunctional March family, sorting out two generations of disgruntled ex lovers, and uncovering a shocking case of secret hoarding, Melanie's running into dead ends almost as fast as she's running out of time.

The longer the killer stays unleashed, the sooner she may end up in the dog house for good.

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Death of a Dog Whisperer

Berenson, Laurien 2014

"If you like dogs, you'll love Laurien Berenson's Melanie Travis mysteries!" --Joanne Fluke, New York Times bestselling authorBetween her boisterous sons and a house full of Poodles, there's never a dull moment for Melanie Travis. But no matter how hectic life gets, she can always pick up the scent of a howling good mystery--and she'll stop at nothing to dig up the truth.

. .It's summer in Connecticut, and Melanie's life has become an endless string of dog shows, soccer camp, and the antics of her energetic toddler. She hardly has time to pay much attention to her Aunt Peg's new protégé, Nick Walden, a self-proclaimed "dog whisperer" with an uncanny gift for decoding dog-speak.

The well-heeled dog owners of Fairfield County are lapping up his alleged talents, anxious to discover exactly what their pampered pets are thinking--that is until the pooches start spilling their secrets. When Nick is discovered dead in his home, his sister Claire enlists Melanie to help track down the killer.

Now, as she juggles the demands of marriage and motherhood--not to mention her six beloved Poodles--Melanie can scarcely even begin to nose through the growing list of suspects. But just when she thinks she's barking up the wrong tree, she'll find herself face to face with a purebred murderer.

. .Praise For Laurien Berenson And Her Melanie Travis Mysteries!"Laurien Berenson just keeps getting better and better." --Harlan Coben"Berenson throws dog lovers a treat they will relish." --Publishers Weekly"A wonderful reason to celebrate--Melanie Travis is back on the job in this always charming and clever series.

" --Earlene Fowler, author of The Road to Cardinal Valley and the Benni Harper mysteries   "A special treat." --Library Journal"Delightful. . .Four paws for this one." --Carolyn Hart"Fun reading." --Dog NewsPRAISE FOR GONE WITH THE WOOF"A sprightly pooch-packed escapade.

With unexpected twists, humor, and a wealth of information about the story's milieu, Berenson wraps up this caper in a tail-wagging finale." --Publishers Weekly "Berenson, who has a nose for balancing fun and fright, devises another story that will appeal to dog aficionados and cozy lovers alike.

" --Kirkus"Berenson's canine frame story will have dog lovers' tails wagging, and it doesn't detract from either the savvy heroine or the smart mystery." --Booklist "A wonderful novel. Even better if you read it with a dog on your lap." --Suspense Magazine

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The Bark Before Christmas

Berenson, Laurien 2015

“If you like dogs, you’ll love Laurien Berenson’s Melanie Travis mysteries!” —Joanne Fluke, New York Times bestselling authorMelanie Travis has her hands full with her two young sons, a part-time job, and a half dozen Poodles to her name. But even with the busy holiday season approaching, she still has time to sniff out a Christmastime killer…There’s nothing lovelier than Christmas in Connecticut, but Melanie can scarcely find a moment to enjoy the festivities.

With her youngest son approaching toddlerhood, she’s decided to return to her old job at Howard Academy, a posh private school attended by the children of Greenwich’s well-heeled gentry. Balancing work, motherhood, and the hectic dog show circuit takes some fancy footwork, especially when the headmaster taps her to be the chairman of the school’s Christmas Bazaar.

The Christmas Bazaar is Howard Academy’s biggest and most important fundraiser, so Melanie feels the pressure to make it a huge success. She even enlists her longsuffering sister-in-law Bertie to help with the Santa Claus and Pets Photo Booth. But everything goes awry when a prize show dog goes missing and Santa turns up dead.

The dog’s owner is one of the school’s most perfectly pedigreed alums, and she enlists Melanie to help find the purloined pooch. But just as Melanie starts pawing at the truth, she digs up a sleighful of sinister secrets that leaves everyone feeling less than merry…

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A Christmas Howl

Berenson, Laurien 2015

A special novella that looks back on Christmas past, as a young Melanie Travis teams up with her aunt to solve a family mystery…Ever wonder what Melanie and Aunt Peg were up to before solving murders? Let’s step back in time, when college-aged Melanie and her indomitable Aunt Peg were little more than strangers…   It’s Christmas in Connecticut, and Peg Turnbull can’t wait to spend her favorite holiday cozying up to husband Max and their clan of pedigree Poodles in Greenwich.

But Peg’s spirits drop when the family of Max’s estranged brother Michael invites the pair over for Christmas dinner. Could her in-laws want to settle the long-standing feud over Nana’s will? Peg isn’t expecting any miracles, but it’s been ages since Peg last saw her niece and nephew.

Little Melanie must be out of pigtails by now…   When they arrive at the Turnbulls’, Peg is not just surprised by how much Melanie has grown up. The family has spared no expense in preparing for the festivities—unusual, considering Michael blew his inheritance after years of financial troubles.

Peg suspects there’s an awful secret tucked beneath her brother-in-law’s ostentatious good cheer, and she’s determined to get to the bottom of it. Once she does, someone’s ending up in the doghouse… “If you like dogs, you'll love Laurien Berenson's Melanie Travis mysteries!”—Joanne Fluke, New York Times bestselling author

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Live and Let Growl

Berenson, Laurien 2016

"If you like dogs, you'll love Laurien Berenson's Melanie Travis mysteries!" --Joanne Fluke, New York Times bestselling authorWhen her Aunt Peg lands a gig as judge at a Kentucky dog show, Melanie Travis welcomes the opportunity for a road trip. Too bad a killer has planned a deadly detour .

. . For a dog lover like Melanie, the opportunity to attend the Kentuckiana Dog Show Cluster is not to be missed. Fortunately, the timing coincides with her spring break from teaching, so she heads for central Kentucky with her sister-in-law Bertie and Aunt Peg, who's accepted a week-long judging assignment.

Once there, Aunt Peg reconnects with an old friend, Ellie Gates Wanamaker, a former Standard Poodle exhibitor and a member of a well-heeled Kentucky family. Miss Ellie has been out of the dog show world for more than a decade, but when Melanie invites her to spectate at the Louisville Kennel Club dog show, she's eager to accompany her.

Miss Ellie's presence at the expo center, however, provokes mixed reactions from exhibitors she hasn't seen in years, including some outright animosity. The following day Melanie learns that Miss Ellie has suffered a fatal accident while exercising her dogs.

Aunt Peg, however, suspects foul play. Wishing to avoid any scandal, Miss Ellie's pedigreed family prefers to let sleeping dogs lie, but as Melanie begins to sniff around, she discovers Miss Ellie had many secrets, both in the dog show world and amongst her Kentucky kin .

. . Praise For Death Of A Dog Whisperer"Melanie's engaging narration, with its slightly sarcastic flair, makes her utterly relatable. Fans will roll over with joy, and new cozy readers will likely scoop up the rest of the series." --Publishers Weekly"Berenson cleverly weaves in interesting details about different breeds and showmanship.

Fans of Miranda James' Cat in the Stacks series may also enjoy Berenson." --BooklistPraise For Gone With The Woof"Berenson, who has a nose for balancing fun and fright, devises another story that will appeal to dog aficionados and cozy lovers alike." --Kirkus Reviews"A wonderful novel.

Even better if you read it with a dog on your lap." --Suspense Magazine

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Murder at the Puppy Fest

Berenson, Laurien 2017

Frolicking with dogs is Melanie Travis’s idea of heaven. So when she’s invited to be a “puppy wrangler” at a benefit for a local dog rescue, the last thing she expects is to be chasing after a tricky killer...As a busy mom and pedigree Poodle owner, Melanie has little time to spare.

Still, she doesn’t mind helping out at Puppy Fest, an annual fundraiser to benefit Puppy Posse, a local dog rescue organization. Considering the venue—Belle Haven mansion, owned by wealthy philanthropist Leo Brody—it’s shaping up to be the can’t-miss charity event of the summer.

Unfortunately, when Melanie’s breeding background lands her in the doghouse with Jane, Leo’s snappy daughter who runs the rescue, Melanie finds herself simultaneously managing Puppy Fest and the millionaire’s hopelessly fractious family.But once Puppy Fest kicks off, Leo is nowhere to be found—until Melanie discovers his current mistress crouching over his dead body.

According to police, the father of nine’s severe nut allergy went into overdrive after he accidentally consumed a contaminated cookie. However, Libby, one of Leo’s children and a friend of Melanie’s Aunt Peg, believes someone deliberately put him down for good.

And now, she’s begging a reluctant Melanie to unearth the secrets hidden by the Brody pack. But the closer Melanie gets to fetching answers, the higher the stakes become—and the more she realizes that she’s chasing a criminal who’s been groomed to win.

..

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Wagging Through the Snow

Berenson, Laurien 2017

“If you like dogs, you’ll love Laurien Berenson’s Melanie Travis mysteries!” —Joanne Fluke, New York Times bestselling author Melanie Travis needs a little peace from her busy life this Christmas. But the usual holiday hubbub is a joy compared to the killer surprise she finds tucked underneath the tree .

. .   With a demanding teaching job at Connecticut’s elite Howard Academy and five poodles scampering around the house, Melanie barely has energy for the upcoming Christmas rush. But she unwraps an unexpected challenge when her brother and ex-husband, elated by the recent success of their country café, make a spontaneous bid on a dilapidated pine tree farm.

Although the ten-acre lot had been a popular seasonal destination while the original owner was still alive, it’ll take some sprucing up—and a small miracle or two—before the neglected place is in shape for December.   Unfortunately, the impromptu business venture goes cold when the group discovers a purebred Maltese whimpering in the snow-covered grove—right beside a dead body.

Pete, a squatter who camped out on the land, apparently met his end after a fallen fir tree branch knocked him on the head. But as Melanie and Aunt Peg investigate Pete’s history and the terrible habit that cost him everything, it’s clear his death was no accident.

Now, Melanie must run through a flurry of likely suspects and muzzle a dogged murderer in time—or she’ll be next on someone’s deadly list.

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Ruff Justice

Berenson, Laurien 2018

As owner of prize-winning Poodles, Melanie Travis knows how to handle fierce competition. But when a conformation show turns deadly, it’ll take every trick in the book to outsmart a murderer who refuses to lose . . . With the excitement of the spring dog show season sweeping Connecticut, Melanie is determined to help her son finally lead his Standard Poodle toward a championship title.

Aunt Peg even skips the judging panel to exhibit a pup of her own, and she’s set on standing out from the pack with a handmade leash from Jasmine Crane, a talented canine portrait artist who also crafts stunning accessories for discriminating show-goers.

Jasmine’s handiwork is to die for—but Aunt Peg didn’t expect to discover the woman murdered behind the concession booth, strangled by one of her dazzling custom creations . . . Another shockwave ripples through the close-knit show community when Amanda, Aunt Peg’s longtime dog sitter and a renter on Jasmine’s property, ominously vanishes that same day.

While nosing around for clues, Melanie suspects a dangerous connection between Amanda’s disappearance and the homicide case—a hunch that grows as her investigation reveals sketchy secrets about the late artist. Juggling a demanding teaching job, the pressures of the show ring, and a daunting suspect list, Melanie finds herself entangled in a mindboggling murder mystery .

. . and hot on the trail of a desperate killer . . .

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Bite Club

Berenson, Laurien 2019

Thanks to Aunt Peg and her enthusiastic pedigree dog show pals, Melanie's aptly named Bite Club reading group has book lovers all over town burying their noses in thrilling murder mysteries. But another pet project surfaces when Melanie reluctantly agrees to train a Bulldog puppy for elusive member Evan Major.

Between the unusual bruise on his face and a bizarre run-in with an unknown dog-show attendee, introverted Evan can't dodge trouble. It even sends him to an early grave -- while landing Melanie in the hot seat for homicide . . .

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Here Comes Santa Paws

Berenson, Laurien 2019

It’s the most wonderful time of the year in Connecticut, but Melanie Travis finds surviving this December may take a real Christmas miracle when a yuletide murderer comes to town . . .     As Melanie attempts to deck the halls in a house overrun by pampered Poodles, her event planner friend, Claire, is busy playing Santa—beard and belly not included—for the wealthiest clientele on Connecticut’s Gold Coast.

A personal shopper gig in the affluent town of New Canaan seems like business as usual. Except Claire’s stylish stint comes at a higher price than she bargains for when she stumbles over her newest customer’s dead body on the job. Named a prime suspect for murder, she begs for Melanie’s help, then vanishes like cookies and milk on Christmas Eve .

. .   Determined to track down Claire, Melanie and her nosy Aunt Peg dash into a dizzying investigation that leads to even more questions. Why was homicide victim Lila Moran, a secretive woman with an untraceable past, permitted to live on a well-known socialite-turned-recluse’s private estate, and is Claire keeping her own incriminating secrets under wraps? Now, with a grinchy New Canaan detective on their case and disturbing clues piling up like presents beneath the tree, the crime-solving duo must rein in a sinister Kris Kringle before they’re the next ones on someone’s deadly wish list .

. .

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Game of Dog Bones

Berenson, Laurien 2020

Standard Poodle owner Melanie Travis is an excellent judge of dogs—and people. But what happens when an unnamed killer emerges at one of the fiercest all-breed competitions ever?   As Greenwich, Connecticut, slows down during a bitterly cold February, Melanie and her spunky Aunt Peg head to the city that never sleeps for the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden.

Aunt Peg can’t wait to demonstrate her judging chops on national TV, even after being hounded by frustrating mishaps—all seemingly orchestrated by Victor Durbin, an ousted Paugussett Poodle Club member with a bone to pick. But the bright lights of the show ring grow dim when Victor is found murdered, and she’s the one topping the suspect list .

. .   Driven to solve the crime on her aunt’s behalf, Melanie fetches hair-raising clues about the victim. Victor didn’t score many friends with his unethical breeding practices, sketchy puppy café, and penchant for mercilessly scamming others to get ahead.

He burned so many bridges that his own business partner admits to being delighted by news of his death. It appears Victor finally toyed with the wrong person, and as Melanie digs up more chilling evidence, she realizes that exonerating Aunt Peg means confronting a murderer who’s in it to win it .

. .

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Howloween Murder

Berenson, Laurien 2020

As the town of Greenwich, Connecticut, counts down to a spooky celebration on October 31st, a horrifying murder leaves Melanie Travis pawing for clues in a hair-raising game of trick-or-treat . . .   With just a few days left before Halloween, everyone at Howard Academy is anticipating the guaranteed sugar high they’ll experience from gorging on Harriet Bloom’s famous marshmallow puffs.

The private school’s annual costume party revolves around the headmaster’s assistant and her seemingly supernatural batches of gooey goodies. So, it's a shock when Harriet’s elderly neighbor is suddenly found dead with the beloved dessert in his hand.

In a snap, police start questioning whether Harriet modified her top-secret recipe to include a hefty dose of lethal poison . . .   Melanie knows her tenured colleague would never intentionally serve cyanide-laced puffs to a defenseless old man. But as explosive neighborhood gossip reveals a potential culprit, it also brings her closer to sealing her own doom.

Because on an evening ruled by masked revelers, bizarre getups, and hidden identities, Halloween might just be the perfect opportunity for a cold-hearted killer to get away with murder once again—this time sending a nosy, unsuspecting sleuth to an early grave!

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Sweet Temptation

Lautien Blair 1984

"Candy is Dandy - But an affair with architect Simon Farlow would be quicker and more instructive. Lucy Whitcomb proprietress of The Sweet Tooth was in a hurry to learn about love. After twenty five years of too much indulgence in her own wares, she finally had slimmed down to an adorable size eight and was ready to give in to new cravings.

"Sweets to the sweet" had always been her motto, and what could be sweeter than Simon's delicious kisses? But would the handsome playboy agree to lead her into temptation?"

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Come as You Are

Berenson, Laurien 1985
Come as You Are (Loveswept) [paperback] Berenson, Laurien [Jan 01, 1985] … Read More

Double Dare

Laurien Berenson 1986

Winner Take All

Laurien Berenson 1987
Winner Take All by Laurien Berenson released on Jun 24, 1987 is available now for purchase. Read More

Lucky In Love

Laurien Berenson 1989
Lucky In Love by Laurien Berenson released on Apr 24, 1989 is available now for purchase. Read More

Talisman

Berenson 1990
Talisman by Laurien Berenson released on Jun 22, 1990 is available now for purchase. Read More

The Sweetheart Deal

Berenson 1991
The Sweetheart Deal by Laurien Berenson released on Aug 23, 1991 is available now for purchase. Read More

Night Cries

Berenson, Laurien 1992
When her infant daughter, Amanda, is snatched from her crib only four months after her birth, Jesse Archer finds her dreams shattered, and is further harassed when someone--the kidnapper perhaps--begins playing a cruel game. Original. Read More

Deep Cover

Berenson, Laurien 1994
While investigating the mysterious death of her neighbor, whose murder could be the result of her abusive husband, Gwen Harding, a former New York City reporter, realizes that her own life is threatened, as well as that of her young son. Original. Read More

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

Christmas Dogs

Berenson, Laurien 2005

Dogs may be man’s best friend, and they definitely are considered part of the family. As any dog owner will attest, a home just doesn’t feel the same without a dog. Whether protecting that home, or being a willing playmate, or just raising our sagging spirits, dogs are trusted confidants and true companions.

The unique bond between dogs and their owners at Christmastime is captured in this charming, heartwarming anthology of original and previously published pieces. Included are works from such authors as Willie Morris, Jon Katz, James Herriot, Shel Silverstein, and Susan Orlean, as well as new pieces from PBS’s Uncle Matty, Pat O’Haire, the editor in chief of Modern Dog magazine, and pet advocates from the Humane Society, the ASPCA, and others.

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And that's the end of the complete list! Now that you have it - the next step for you is to of course purchase them and dive into reading Laurien Berenson books. Worry not, we've done the tedious job for you and added amazon direct book links including AudioBook, Kindle, Paperback and Hardcover versions as applicable.

Happy reading!


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