“Knock it off Humph,” I said softly, while covering the speaker end of the phone’s handset. “It’s an ARC. I’m going to review it.”
“Thought you only read romances.”
“I read all kinds of novels. Anyway, it’s got some romance in it, and—”
“Looks like the kind of mystery I read when I was a young bear. I like a good mystery.”
“Don’t take the Kindle.”
“You’ve got work to do. I won’t be long.” He grabbed my Kindle and took off outside, by way of the kitchen. “I’ll devour this puppy,” he called over his shoulder, and then went into gales of laughter over his supposed incredible wit.
Twenty minutes later, I found him stretched out on a lounge, a gin and tonic on the side table, and a stinky old cigar smelling up my patio. I didn’t say anything because I was thankful he was outside, but I pitied my roses.
I shook my head and went back inside to work. At least I could get some writing done without his constant muttering and throat clearing. And eat a tuna fish sandwich that wasn’t flavored with cigar smoke. Around 2pm, I looked up from the computer and realized he’d read right through lunch. If you know Humphrey you’ll know that is really saying something. Although, the package of Fig Newton’s had disappeared. I knew he’d probably hidden it behind a flower pot, so I wandered outside to check. Nope. Right there in full view and only a few left. At least they were the fat free variety.
“She’s very good, this author, Linda O. Johnston. Wonder what the O stands for?” He handed me the Kindle. “I liked her poodles. Her characters are very well drawn. And those scenes with movie making were spot on. I recall my days in Hollywood, and—”
“No spoilers,” I warned.
“I’d never do that. Hate spoilers.” Humphrey lit up a fresh cigar. “Care to refresh my drink?”
“Damn it, Humphrey, get your own drink.”
“Fair enough, but you can’t blame a bear for asking.” He stood up and stretched. “So murder and mayhem in Hollywood and poodles galore. I liked it. That Lauren Vancouver character is a hoot. Apparently she’s always getting herself mixed up in a crime. But then again, her friend is involved and…”
I hurried inside, but the patter of little feet followed. And the incessant chatter.
“…would you happen to have any more of her books? I like how Linda O. wove in the information about the humane society, and the “no animal was harmed in the making of the film” bit. Very clever, and she kept me guessing with lots of red herrings. That’s the sign of a good mystery writer, don’t you think? I gave her story five paws.”
“I thought you would.”
“Yes, devoured it. Herrings. Speaking of which, did you eat all of the tuna?”
“In the kitchen,” I said, ushering him through that door, and away from the computer. Humphrey would start comparing reviews for sure and then he’d take over the computer for the entire afternoon.
“Tell everyone to rush out and buy a copy,” he yelled from the kitchen.
“I will, Humph, I will.”
Linda O. Johnston’s book, Oodles of Poodles, released today, Tuesday, February 5, 2013, and I really enjoyed it.
Linda O. Johnston is the author of the Pet Rescue Mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime, a spinoff series from her Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter Mystery series. The first in the new series, BEAGLEMANIA, debuted March 1, 2011, followed by THE MORE THE TERRIER and HOUNDS ABOUND. OODLES OF POODLES is a February 2013 release. Linda also writes paranormal romances for Harlequin Nocturne and romantic suspense novels for Harlequin Romantic Suspense.
Visit Linda at www.LindaOJohnston.com