Professional organizer and amateur sleuth Charlotte Adams gets her next slightly obsessive outing in Mary Jane Maffini’s The Busy Woman’s Guide to Murder (April 5, 2011)
It's Charlotte Adams here and I admit it. I hardly slept last night. I am so worried. Call it test anxiety. Oh, not for me. For my dogs. Some of you may know that Truffle and Sweet Marie are taking their third test for Woodbridge Therapy Dogs on April 5th. That’s right. The third. Let’s just say that the first two did not end well. Ahem. This is their last chance! In their defense, Truffle and Sweet Marie have had a tough life. They are rescued mini-dachshunds. They were found on a patch of grass near the Interstate where their previous owners must have dumped them to die. They were half-starved and in serious need of a vet. They have come a long way since my friend and landlord, Jack Reilly, rescued them and encouraged me (an understatement of some magnitude) to adopt them or them to adopt me. Either way, they have wormed their wicked little hearts into my life, my sofa, my clean laundry. You name it. They have chewed my shoes, shredded mountains of toilet paper, napped on my freshly ironed pillow cases and hidden my cell phone. But I have learned to overlook these small challenges. Truffle and Sweet Marie are the first pets I’ve ever owned. Or been owned by. They are very affectionate and they always make me feel better as soon as I see them. They love to get dressed up (very vain) and always make me laugh, except when I am tearing my hair out. I figure this pair of pooches would be ideal to visit a hospital, a nursing home, a school. They could bring some joy to someone who needs it. If only they could pass the darn test. But if they blow it this time, there goes a year and a half training down the drain. They do everything right. Loose leash walking. Coming when called. Walking past a tantalizing piece of food without eating it. But from time to time, they can’t resist a bark. Barking is a no no. Of course, dogs do bark, especially dachshunds. Apparently they were bred to bark. Short of duct-taping their mouths closed, I am at a loss.
If they don’t make it, we will have to adopt different names and sneak into another Therapy Dog group in another community and start over and hope no one blows our cover. I’d just hate all that driving and the deceit too, of course. I just keep dreaming of seeing them in their snazzy little therapy dog scarves. Will that dream even come true?
Please send advice!
Mary Jane Maffini is so thrilled about The Busy Woman’s Guide to Murder coming out, that she’s having a contest. Yes, as a matter of fact, it is to do with Truffle and Sweet Marie. You could win this snazzy little watch if you answer the following question correctly:
In The Busy Woman’s Guide to Murder, what happens at the test? Does Truffle pass? Sweet Marie? Neither? Both? None of the above? Send your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org and your entry may be drawn from the fedora. You might have to wait until April 5th or you may have ESP.