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Jingle Bell Bark (Melanie Travis #11)

3.91  ·  Rating Details  ·  624 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
Between teaching, mothering, and prepping her Poodle for the next show, Melanie Travis barely has time to pencil in some Christmas festivities. Especially since she finds herself making a list of suspects--and checking it twice--when murder comes home for the holidays...

This year, all Melanie wants for Christmas is a dull moment--but she's not going to get it. Between her
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 1st 2004 by Kensington (first published 2004)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,101)
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Dec 11, 2011 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
PB/mystery: I needed something to get me in the holiday mood; why not murder? This is book 11 in the Melanie Travis series and my first read of the story. I did not have a problem understanding the who, what, where. I will start by telling you that I am not only a dog person, but a believer in animal shelter dogs. I think breeding dogs for pets is ridiculous.
That being said, I really liked the book. I like the heroine; she is a bit of a slacker mom who believes in spending time with her kid ove
Jane Reads (Jane in SC)
May 13, 2016 Jane Reads (Jane in SC) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
The best book yet in the series!
Clare O'Beara
Oct 08, 2014 Clare O'Beara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dogs, america-crime
The only trouble with following both this author and Susan Conant is that the books tend to repeat one another. Both feature amateur sleuths showing large pedigree dogs and so they have to face the same issues of show rivalries, show nerves, grooming, puppy production at less than ideal standards, re-homing older pedigree dogs and more. These all occur in this book.

As Christmas approaches Melanie finds that her son's school bus driver has been replaced. He's died, sadly, and left two Labradors
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
Jul 09, 2016 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very Christmasy, plus all the dog talk and the neighborhood setting made this a very cozy read. I also learned a bit about poodles, how dogs get pedigrees, and the dog show world. A great read!
Lisa Morin
Jun 02, 2016 Lisa Morin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great cozy mystery

I'll admit it, I'm a HUGE fan of this series. Aunt Peg, Melanie, Sam, Davey and all the other wonderful characters in this series feel like family.
In this particular story, a well liked bus driver is found dead and his two golden retrievers are left alone, with only a neighbor stopping by to feed them.
Of course when Melanie hears this, she has no problem taking the pair into her custody.
Since Aunt Peg has a kennel, it only seems logical to board the dogs with her. Once Aunt Pe
Chelsea Moeller
Dec 03, 2015 Chelsea Moeller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm new to the Melanie Travis Mystery series but, since I wanted a nice holiday read, this fit the bill.
Melanie Travis and her Aunt Peg land in hot water again when they decide to involve themselves in murder-solving. This time a beloved bus driver dies suddenly and his replacement spurns strong desires of finding out why... In-between raising their poodles, pseudo-adopting the dead bus driver's golden retrievers, and getting ready for Christmas, this tale of mystery is great for the mystery-lov
Jayme(the ghost reader)
This is a new to me author. It is the 11th in a series. I didn't realize is was part of a series. I thought the title was cute. It is a cozy mystery. It is about a woman, Melanie, who is an amateur sleuth. She raises and shows poodles. One day, her son's bus driver mysteriously disappears. She and her best friend go check on him. What is thought of a heart attack turns into murder.

Being a dog lover, I can appreciate the research the author invested into finding out about dog shows. I also could
Jan 09, 2014 Bookadventurer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Second one of the series I've read, and I didn't enjoy as much as the first one I read Gone With the Woof, but I still liked it.

I caught a few editing boo-boos, like when Melanie waits until the last minute to get a Christmas tree and states her and Davey ended up with smaller but fuller tree, and then a few pages later there is a whole scene of Melanie fighting to get the tree in the house because it was just too large, and Davey had to call his dad to come help.

While I enjoy the characters a
Dec 27, 2015 Kristin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Other than the fact that it was set in mid-December, this book doesn't really have anything to do with Christmas, and only a little to do with the Golden Retriever on the cover. The premise of the book is that Melanie's son, Davey's, bus driver dies suddenly, and while it seems like a natural death, it is later found that he was murdered. Where Melanie figures into the story is that the man had 2 Golden Retrievers, which, when she goes over to his house to check on him before learning of his dem ...more
Jun 06, 2008 Nolan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First, if you’re looking for the blood and gore kind of mystery, you won’t find it in this book. This is very much a cozy, but it’s well written. So if you’re not a cozy mystery fan, but you’ve come up with the courage to try a new genre, you may find this book a pleasure to read. The first thing you’ll notice is that single-mom schoolteacher amateur sleuth Melanie Travis is immediately and wonderfully likable. The second thing that may strike you is Berenson’s talent as a writer. Her prose aren ...more
Shazza Maddog
I've a thing for reading books with animals in them. Melanie is a divorced school teacher with a son, Davey, an aunt, Peg, an ex-husband, a brother, a sister-in-law and a fiance'. Oh, and two Standard Poodles, all of whom play pretty big roles in the ongoing series.

This particular story takes place during the time leading up to Christmas and besides the above characters, includes a trip to a dog show, a lot of really good information about how to choose your dogs for purchase, tidbits about Pood
Emily Cullen
Dec 12, 2015 Emily Cullen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I haven't read the Melanie Travis mystery series in years but I picked one up because it had a Christmas theme. I forgot how good it is! Melanie is a teacher who shows Standard poodles and often finds herself right in the middle of a murder. This time her son's beloved bus driver is poisoned and it's Melanie's aunt Peg who decides to investigate, with a little help from Melanie. This is a great series but this is also a fun holiday read that you can just pick up without ever reading any of the o ...more
Overall I liked this cozy mystery. It did take a bit for me to get into and the ending, while it came as a surprise, seemed rushed. There was a lot of information given about dog breeding and showing that I found interesting on a personal level, as I am an avid dog person myself, but this information had little if anything to do with the story itself. I admit that I have not read books 1-10 in this series, but even so, I was not feeling lost so it does function well as a stand alone novel as wel ...more
Allison Miller
Jan 05, 2015 Allison Miller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dog-books, mystery
In this lighthearted mystery, Melanie Travis and her Aunt Peg set out to try and solve the murder of Melanie's son's school bus driver. We get to see Melanie's every day life along the way with Davey, her fiancee Sam and her ex-husband Bob. She rescues 2 beautiful golden retrievers from the house of the bus driver after he has been taken to the hospital. They leave them in Aunt Peg's kennel and try to solve the crime while getting ready for Christmas.
Sharon Thrasher
Feb 15, 2015 Sharon Thrasher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a good writer.

I just love the characters un this book. Aunt Peg is a blast. Davy is smart and so are the dogs. Melanie is the best. So much caring and love and mystery they are just great. I just wish Sam and Melanie would tie the knot. Ok on to the next book and maybe they will.
Robert Schneider
Dec 29, 2013 Robert Schneider rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i bought this just because I needed one more book for the sale. It was a Christmas themed mystery so maybe I'll like it. It is the first book in the series I have read. The mystery itself only takes up about a quarter of the book, if that, and you know what? I didn't mind at all. I liked the main characters and their lives. I wasn't sure at first what with the major ungracefull info dump in chapter 1. And I pretty much skipped the dog show chapter, way to much intricate detail about points and d ...more
Jan 07, 2016 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my first Melanie Travis canine mystery, and while I still prefer the Rainer Stockton series by Donna Ball, this was an enjoyable read. I appreciate that I could step into book 11 and feel comfortable with the series. I did feel the first part to be too preachy....
Berenson was really on her soap box about back yard brèeders to the point that it came across as lecturing & off putting. However, once we moved forward, the book was interesting and I enjoyed learning about the show Poodles
Aug 01, 2015 Earbest rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tears of joy

You know your invested in the characters when you get tears in your eyes as the writer describes the birth of a new baby. Love these books
Oct 13, 2014 Pat rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Bus driver is poisoned.
2 goldens left in his house.
Aunt Peg takes dogs.
Bus driver's daughters from hell create havoc.
Aunt Peg almost gets murdered.
Ara of My Book and My Coffee
“I’ve learned a lot about Standard Poodles on this one. It’s rather fascinating! The murder mystery is quite engaging.” – My Book and My Coffee

This is the 11th book in the Melanie Travis murder mystery series. I haven’t read the others yet but I do have “Doggie Day Care Murder” (15th book) on my TBR pile. And I am actually hoping to read the first one in this series as I think it’ll be worth it and fun!

Read more ... My Book and My Coffee Book Review: Jingle Bell Bark by Laurien Berenson

- Ara of
Jake Artis
Jan 19, 2016 Jake Artis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I chose this book because I really like dogs.

Alex Cunningham would like this book because he likes dogs too.
If you love Christmas cozies, you'll enjoy the 11th book in the Melanie Travis series. Right before Christmas, Melanie is getting ready for the holidays with her son Davey, and planning her wedding with Sam. Meanwhile, when Henry Pruitt, her son's bus driver, doesn't show up for work the next day, it's up to Melanie and her Aunt Peg to find out what happened to him. While dealing with his daughters and two dogs, Melanie learns more about Henry's life. And as she digs deeper, someone ends up get ...more
Jul 29, 2008 Jen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't aware there was a rival "dog lover's" mystery series until I saw this one, and several others, sold in sets in a dog-themed gift catalog.

I much enjoy Susan Conant's Dog Lover's Mysteries, with the heroine, Holly Winter, so I thought I'd give these a go.

Sadly, this is the only one of Laurien Berenson's "Melanie Travis" mysteries that my library carries.

I enjoyed it, though I felt it wasn't quite as warm and friendly as Conant's works. It was a good read. I definitely didn't see the
Jean Cable
Really enjoyed, fun read
Jan 06, 2015 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First one in this series that I read. It was pretty entertaining.
Cute read, mostly fluff, but for this time of year, it's exactly what you need to read with so much going on.
Nov 30, 2013 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who enjoy dog-themed books and cozy mysteries
A fun, enjoyable romp with Melanie and her family. Dog fans will enjoy the Poodles and the Golden Retrievers, and serious dog lovers will appreciate the details provided on all sorts of dog information, from the show ring to the backyard breeder.

Some might enjoy reading the series in order, but it's not absolutely necessary to enjoy the book on its own.
Dec 27, 2007 Rob rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: holiday-cheer
Well written characters and mystery. The book goes off track at times and becomes more of a lecture on poodles, dog shows, how to buy a puppy, etc. I like the lead characters well enough that I'm going to try another book of hers. If you're a dog lover or animal lover (I'm into mules), you'll relate to this book.
Dec 26, 2014 Pat rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Very mediocre, tortured narrative. Plot was slightly better. I learned something about dog shows & puppy mills but I felt lectured to.
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Laurien Berenson is the author of thirty novels that have sold more than two million copies worldwide. Her cozy mystery series revolves around the world of dog shows, a milieu she knows well as her family has been involved in the sport of dogs for three generations. There are currently eighteen Melanie Travis canine mysteries, including the newest book, THE BARK BEFORE CHRISTMAS. The next title in ...more
More about Laurien Berenson...

Other Books in the Series

Melanie Travis (1 - 10 of 19 books)
  • A Pedigree to Die For (Melanie Travis, #1)
  • 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)

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“Your list of suspects, of course. Don’t you watch TV? Don’t you read books? How do you expect to solve a mystery if you’re not keeping a list?” 0 likes
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