The White Shepherd by Annie Dalton

First in the brand-new Anna Hopkins dogwalking mystery series: an intriguing new departure for award-winning YA writer Annie Dalton.

Anna Hopkins’ daily walk through Oxford’s picturesque Port Meadow is rudely interrupted one autumn morning when her white German Shepherd, Bonnie, unearths a bloodsoaked body in the undergrowth. For Anna it’s a double shock: she’d met the victim previously. Naomi Evans was a professional researcher who had told Anna she was working on a book about a famous Welsh poet, and who offered to help Anna trace Bonnie’s original owner.

From her conversations with Naomi, Anna is convinced that she was not the random victim of a psychopathic serial killer, as the police believe. She was targeted because of what she knew. With the official investigation heading in the wrong direction entirely, Anna teams up with fellow dogwalkers Isadora Salzman and Tansy Lavelle to discover the truth.

My rating: 4 stars

If you enjoy mysteries that are very detailed and don’t leave out any possible lead or suspect, then this book will be exactly what you are looking for. I kind of expected a flat, one-dimensional cozy mystery when I picked this up, and was delighted to find that wasn’t the case.

The author took great care with her character building, using a familiar setting and really taking time with her descriptions. You would be hard pressed to figure out the mystery early on in this novel, since she also waits to let the plot unfold  a bit before revealing many clues.

I found this book to be well paced and interesting and am looking forward to reading more of this author’s work. The only thing that bothered me, is that if it is supposed to be a dog walking mystery–perhaps the dogs could have played a slightly larger role than just being companions for much of the story.

Overall, I thought this was really good. Definitely recommended for those who enjoy the whodunnit.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

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