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A Pedigree to Die For (Melanie Travis Mysteries, #1)
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A Pedigree to Die For (Melanie Travis #1)

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3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  1,674 ratings  ·  161 reviews
Melanie' Travis's life is going to the dogs. With school out for the summer, a stint as a camp counselor falling through, and her sometime boyfriend dumping her for a Las Vegas chorus girl, the thirty-something Connecticut teacher and single mother figures that things can't get any worse.

She figures wrong...

Everyone knew that Melanie's Uncle Max had a weak heart. When Au
...more
Paperback, 286 pages
Published February 1st 1996 by Kensington (first published 1995)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,837)
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Kathryn
I don't know anything about dog breeding, aside from what video snatches of dog shows I happen to catch on Animal Planet as I'm flipping channels. I don't even own a dog (apartment rules, sigh), so when I picked up A Pedigree to Die For I had hoped for at least enough coherent explanations of the breeding and show process to help me understand what was happening in the story without detracting too much from the mystery.

I'm happy to say Laurien Berenson, in this debut installment of Melanie Trav
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Lis Carey
School's out for the summer, and single mother and teacher Melanie Travis is not enjoying the easy summer days.

Her boyfriend has dumped her for a chorus girl, her summer job as a camp counselor has fallen through, and her Uncle Max has died suddenly of a heart attack. All that would be bad enough.

But then her Aunt Peg, Max's wife, calls with the news that one of her and Max's prize poodles, Beau, has been stolen. She wants Melanie to help her convince her brother Frank to help track him down. Th
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Dharia Scarab

Since I don't normally write reviews unless I have something specific to say, here's the break down of how I rate my books...

1 star... This book was bad, so bad I may have given up and skipped to the end. I will avoid this author like the plague in the future.

2 stars... This book was not very good, and I won't be reading any more from the author.

3 stars... This book was ok, but I won't go out of my way to read more, But if I find another book by the author for under a dollar I'd pick it up.

4 sta
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Jane
I read A Pedigree to Die For because it was Overdrive's Big Library Read title in June 2014. For two weeks, it was available for checkout and download from our library's ebook service for as many people who wanted to borrow it. I appreciate the author and her publisher making it available.

This is a straightforward, quick read. It passed the time quickly for me on a travel day involving waiting at airports and sitting on planes. I'm not especially a fan of mystery series involving dogs, so that n
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Rebecca
Ok, I found this series from my Romantic Times Book Review mag. I've not been a fan of animal based mysteries although I know they are quite popular. So I figured, dog oriented I'd give it a try. It was ok. Not something I'll be hanqering to buy but cute. My only real complaint is that it was more a description of the dog show industry rather than a murder mystery. The author pulled a "Clancy" and I feel spent too much time explaining the "dog show" world, full of more egocentric and elitist ind ...more
Judy
My library bookclub set this for our June read as part of the Big Library Read. It was okay although not the kind of mystery that I'm used to reading. It was an easy read but I don't think I'll be reading any of her other books. I'm not much of a dog person.....
Jmlwallis
It was cute. I learned a lot about poodles. I like the way it is written.
Carla Johnson-Hicks
I read this book because it was the Big Library Read selection for 2014. It was an easy read, and I did enjoy it, but there was not much substance. I probably will not read the rest of the series, at least not right now, but for a summer read, it was okay.
Kristin
While I've read other of Berenson's books in the Melanie Travis series, somehow I'd missed this one, the first one. I got it as a free eBook and while I enjoyed it, I probably wouldn't have purchased it at full price. Immediately, Berenson introduces readers to Travis and her eccentric aunt Peg, who breeds, raises, and shows black poodles with her husband, Max, who is the brother of Travis' late father. Unfortunately, the book opens with Max found dead in the kennel and their best dog missing. W ...more
Stephen
I have to describe this book like potato chips. Its good in small doses, but too much and your belly will start to hurt. The dialog only really serves to move the plot along, the characters have their own personalities but they lack depth. Also its the premise of it is weird, a special education teacher turned sleuth to help her aunt find a prize dog...

It's fun though! The book really explains enough of the dog show rules and the world that I didn't feel like I was missing anything. The plot was
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Stanley McShane
Not over-joyed about the cover, but anything "dog" catches my interest. Not really a poodle person either, but fortunately you don't have to be to enjoy this little romp into the characters behind the dogs in the dog shows that most would not watch unless they had a vested interest. Ms. Berenson seems to know her dogs pretty well as she weaves this tale (no pun intended) in and out of the explanation behind all the pomp and circumstances. It is Aunt Peg who breeds and raises champion standard bl ...more
Altivo Overo
Not quite what I was expecting. The dogs are nice enough, and a couple of them even have smarts and personality, but this isn't the kind of mystery where the dog tells the story or even helps to solve the crime. I imagine a single mother might feel more empathy for Melanie as she finds herself pushed into the world of standard poodles and snooty dog shows in an attempt to solve what might be her uncle's murder and certainly is the theft of a valuable stud dog. Not being a single mother, and know ...more
Kristen Wampner
*****SPOILER ALERT*****

Oh what drama can come from a pedigree show dog and their owners! This is a story about a missing high class poodle and the search of it's whereabouts. To shake things up there is a murder that took place during the night the dog disappeared. Can you figure out who it is before the secrets are revealed? I wasn't able to and was totally surprised at who was responsible for these acts of felony.
I give this 3 out of 5 stars because there was some unnecessary language used
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Mary
A very funny mystery about standard poodles and the trials and tribulations of breeding and showing them in Connecticut.

Melodie Travis is a single Mom of a five year old and just lost an uncle and is asked to help her aunt Peg find out who killed Max in their kennel and stole their prime breeder dog.

Melodie learns that show dogs are a large responsibility and in trying to track down Uncle Maxs killer, she comes face to face with many people who could have done away with poor Uncle Max.

The book i
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Joanna Peterson
It took me a few days to really get into this murder-mystery-dog-napping story. I think what really was hard for me to get over was all the dog jargon. There was a lot of information on breeding of poodles, types of poodles, description of how poodles are groomed, and - the part I found least interesting - how poodles are judged at dog shows.

But, once I got past all the factual writing and into the story, I found I really couldn't put it down.

The whole premise is that a woman thinks her husband
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Badseedgirl
I read A Pedigree To Die For by Laurien Berenson as part of the R.E.A.D.S. Overdrive “Big Library Read”. This worthy program provides unlimited numbers of digital copies of one particular book to libraries around the world. So thousands of patrons will be reading the novel at the same time. Think a gigantic on-line book club. I have been meaning to participate the last couple times they had one, and this was the offering this time.
This is a mystery novel set in the world of competitive show dogs
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Ellen
Oct 03, 2014 Ellen rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Doglovers
Shelves: nook, mystery
Fun dog mystery. I learned that poodles were German hunting dogs. There "fancy" trim was really designed to give them an advantage when retrieving in water. They have thick hair so were shaved to help keep them from getting bogged down in the water. The areas around their heart, lungs, and kidneys were kept long to keep those organs warm, as were their joints. The "topknot" was keep long to keep their head warm. The tail was kept long so the hunter could see them better in the water. I like book ...more
Bam
Big Library Read 6/2014: a cozy mystery with lots of info about show dogs and breeding that seemed fairly accurate to me from our years of showing dogs. I thought the plot was a bit too contrived though--I'm afraid I would have told the aunt to hire a private investigator to find her stolen dog. The twists at the end had me scratching my head, with the murderer being a character who was barely mentioned. I probably wouldn't have read this book if it hadn't been chosen for the Big Library Read an ...more
 Gigi Ann
Melanie' Travis's life is going to the dogs. With school out for the summer, a stint as a camp counselor falling through, and her sometime boyfriend dumping her for a Las Vegas chorus girl, the thirty-something Connecticut teacher and single mother figures that things can't get any worse.

She figures wrong...

Everyone knew that Melanie's Uncle Max had a weak heart. When Aunt Peg finds him dead on the cold floor of their championship kennel, surrounded by eleven whining, prize-winning Standard pood
...more
Courtnie
Big Library Read 2014

The first half was difficult to get through, in fact I'm not sure why I held on. None of the characters are particularly endearing. Melanie is a pretty passive character and somewhat bland, but she does come around in the end.(view spoiler) There is a very large amount of info dumping around dog breeding and dog shows. Some of it ended up being
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RC
The author Laurien Berenson does a good job, I think, of balancing the dog show world and the mystery. I do feel that there were the initial search for suspects took a little long, but once things started moving in the story it was hard to put down.

Having a four year child myself, I had to laugh at how much free time the main character Melanie has to solve a murder. She is a divorced mom with a four year boy. Granted she is a teach and it is summer vacation... and by the way totally true that i
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Barbara Huskey
I went ahead and borrowed this from my public library because it was offered as the book for The Big Library Read which I never heard of but decided to try. I am glad that I did. I love dogs and I love mysteries so I figured it would be an okay book, but I thought it would be too cutesy. I was pleasantly surprised to find I did enjoy it a lot. It's not my favorite because I really like more realistic murder mysteries with forensics and stuff, but this was good and I have added the series to my l ...more
Evelyn
The author's writing style was nice and breezy. She wrote a great first chapter where she introduced the crime and the main characters, but she lost me at the dog show when the descriptions got long, and she began using dog show vernacular. After that I started skimming to find where the plot picked up again. The entire story went on that way. I'm not saying this novel is not interesting. I'm sure it it to those who are involved with dog shows. It just wasn't for me.
Darlene
This is not a book I would have chosen for myself but my library was offering it to everyone so I thought why not. It was very interesting anaad kept my attention throughout. I kknow nothing about show dogs and really wasn't interested in the subject but Ms Berenson wrote in such a way that I didn't mind learning all about them. Very interesting information. I'm not sure I will read any more of her books just because there are so many books to read but I enjoyed this one very much.
Donna
This was an entertaining book. It started off a little slow and I was confused a few times because of all the characters who were introduced early in the book, but as the story evolved, it caught and held my interest. Learned quite a bit about poodles and dog shows too. I will admit to laughing each time I read the phrase "herd of poodles". It created quite the image in my head.

Enjoyed the book and will definitely read the next in the series.
Karen
I read this for the Big Library Read 2014. I'm a fan of mysteries books and TV shows too. This book was mystery lite. Nothing too scary or life threatening. Just good beach reading. The writing style reminded me of the Stephanie Plum mysteries by Janet Evanovich. Both heroines find themselves trying to make ends meet in a job for which they have few qualifications. And their quirky families both have Catholic backgrounds.
Michele DeJong Kaiser
This popped up as a Big Library Read, so I thought, what the heck? I will preface this by saying that I am a dog and cat lover. I know precious little about show dogs, but we have family who shows and breeds horses. This is a fun mystery that is not terribly deep and moves along nicely. The character development could be stronger. Perhaps as the series progresses that will happen. I'd call it a good beach or pool read.
Linda
This was a surprise read. I found it on electronic library as an "always available" book for the month, and grabbed it. It was my first experience with Laurien Berenson. I found it to be a well-written quick read murder mystery based in the world of dog breeding and showing. In addition to being a good mystery, it taught me several things about the business.
Jean
I loved this book! Maybe because I love the Westminister Dog Show every February, even though I am not really a "dog person." The story told me lots about owning and showing dogs and the behind the scenes of dog shows. The mystery was really good on top of all that and I enjoyed the characters. I am looking forward to reading more of Laurien Berenson's works.
Lorin Cary
Welcome to world of dog shows and dog breeding. [I couldn't help but think of the fun movie "Best of Show"....] Melanie's Aunt Peg loses her husband and her prime stud standard poodle and Melanie plungs into the quest for the dog. It turns out that foul play is afoot. Believable characters, some good tension and a plausible ending to a story that's fun.
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Mid-Continent Pub...: Big Library Read is Back! 3 13 Jun 05, 2014 11:57AM  
Arapahoe Library ...: Big Library Read - A Pedigree to Die For 2 12 Jun 03, 2014 08:01AM  
The Dog Mystery L...: Melanie Travis 2 7 Apr 02, 2014 09:49AM  
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Other Books in the Series

Melanie Travis (1 - 10 of 18 books)
  • Underdog (Melanie Travis, #2)
  • Dog Eat Dog (Melanie Travis, #3)
  • Hair of the Dog (Melanie Travis, #4)
  • Watchdog (Melanie Travis, #5)
  • Hush Puppy (Melanie Travis, #6)
  • Unleashed (Melanie Travis, #7)
  • Once Bitten (Melanie Travis, #8)
  • Hot Dog (Melanie Travis, #9)
  • Best in Show (Melanie Travis, #10)
  • Jingle Bell Bark (Melanie Travis, #11)
Underdog (Melanie Travis, #2) Dog Eat Dog (Melanie Travis, #3) Hair of the Dog (Melanie Travis, #4) Best in Show (Melanie Travis, #10) Watchdog (Melanie Travis, #5)

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