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Underdog (Melanie Travis #2)

3.85  ·  Rating Details  ·  893 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
Melanie Travis is back. Now, the Connecticut teacher and single mother returns to elite canine circles, this time as the owner and handler of her own pedigreed poodle -- and uncovers a killer lurking among the dogged handlers and their prize-winning pets.

It's not easy being the underdog, but what Melanie and her five-month-old pup lack in experience, they make up in enthus
Paperback, 336 pages
Published November 1st 1996 by Kensington (first published January 1st 1996)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,342)
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Oct 24, 2013 Carol rated it really liked it
Shelves: dead-tree, mystery
Another fun (if you can call murder fun) mystery set in the dog sow world. This one seemed to be more centered on the actual handlers, breeders, etc. than others and, like all competitive sports, it showed both the upbeat, fun side as well as the nasty, "win at any cost" side of competition. Little inserts about the behavior of other breeds (the Finnish Spitz rocketing out of his crate brought the biggest smile)clinches these books for me as I've had breed rescues as well as mutts over the years ...more
Jennifer N
Sep 26, 2013 Jennifer N rated it it was amazing
Shelves: laurien-berenson
A great second book of one of the best series I have ever read!!! I recently finished reading this and I can honestly say the ending was surprising!!!! I am not going to add spoilers no matter how bad I want to! If you enjoyed the first of this series, A Pedigree To Die For, then you will enjoy this one! even if you haven't read the books in order since you can't get a hand on them, like me, this is still a great book, although like most series books, there may be a few spoilers of the the previ ...more
Susan Ferguson
Feb 20, 2015 Susan Ferguson rated it liked it
The second Melanie Travis. As a reward for her help in recovering Beau, her Aunt Peg has given her a female puppy named Faith and assures Melanie that she is going to take the dog through her championship points. Melanie has pretty given up arguing with Peg about certain things - Peg never hears her snyway when she doesn't want to. So Melanie has enrolled with Peg in a puppy handlers class. The Maguires are teaching the class. Mel likes Jenny who seems to be a nice person and is really good with ...more
Lis Carey
Mar 05, 2014 Lis Carey rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, dogs, fiction
After the summer's entirely too exciting events connected to the theft of Melanie's Aunt Peg's prize standard poodle, Beau, Melanie herself is now the owner of a standard poodle puppy named Faith, whom Peg expects her to show to her championship. While she begins to enjoy dog ownership along with her five-year-old son, Melanie is also taking dog show handling classes with a well-known handler, Jenny Maguire. Melanie and Jenny are becoming friends, and when Jenny tells her that Ziggy, Jenny's muc ...more
Again a charming mystery of murder in the dog show world. Competitiveness brings out the worst in people sometimes. A woman is murdered by those who want her out of the way for various reasons. Later another victim falls pray to the same killer. Meanwhile Melanie gains more experience in showing her puppy and moves along further in her relationship with Sam.
Apr 07, 2015 Daelith rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015-read
Disappointing and extremely easy to figure out. Mel really annoyed me at the end of the book with her stupid antics too. I have one more in this series in my TBR pile, but I doubt I will be adding more.
It was good enough to read ONCE but so not something to read again. It was a filler book, as in, fill in the time until a better book comes along. The book drone on too much about the show dog competition practices and going ons that was not even pertinent to solving the mystery. Also the killer was predictable and so was the reason why. I know who did it shortly after the first murder but I just didn't know how they did it without being under suspicion. There were a lot of red herrings that did ...more
Angela Raedel
Aug 04, 2015 Angela Raedel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was awesome! Melanie (and I) learned a lot about dogs and dog shows in this book. It was fun reading about her new standard poodle pup named Faith. The mystery was done well. There were plenty of suspects and though I guessed who the killer was, I was still surprised at how it played out.

Also, I listened to the audio version through Audible. The narration was fantastic! The narrator did a great job with all the character voices. She had distinct voices for Melanie, Aunt Peg, Davey and
Doward Wilson
Dec 10, 2015 Doward Wilson rated it it was amazing
Leap into the world of show dog competitions and breeding. Melanie Travis, teacher and new standard poodle owner, gets involved in the murder of her dog handling teacher. Her investigation is helped by her five year son and her aunt who breeds and shows standard poodles. I found the characters and background setting fascinating. Showing and breeding dogs is a whole new adventure. Combining it with devious and ingenious murder plots kept me turning the pages. I recommend this long running series ...more
May 15, 2015 Carlin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: on-kindle
I love this mystery series and am enjoying getting back to it after so many years. Between 1995 and 2005 Laurien Berenson wrote 15 Melanie Travis mysteries then stopped. I was thrilled to see she started writing again and has published two more since, 2013. To be honest I doubt I've read all of the first 15. I wasn't reading quite as voraciously during that time frame when I was building my law practice. Now that I've retired I'm trying to catch up on my favorite series oftentimes re-reading boo ...more
Jayme(the ghost reader)
I started this series in the middle of the series so I went back and read the first book and now second book. Melanie Travis is a Special Education teacher turned amateur sleuth who happens to show dogs on the side. Now she has her own standard poodle to show and still new to the dog show world. She puts her puppy in training classes. Everything seems to go well until the teacher of the training class is murdered. It is up to her to figure out the killer. Will she place Best in Show when it come ...more
Nov 14, 2014 Donna rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, pulse, 2014
Really enjoyed this story. With most of the background information provided in the previous book, the plot caught my interest quickly and I was fully engaged in the mystery throughout the entire book. I've really warmed to Melanie, too. Plus, I've developed an overwhelming urge to buy a poodle. Great pacing and a smooth writing style have made me a fan of this series. Recommended for those readers who enjoy cozy mysteries.
Jul 13, 2012 Rebecca rated it really liked it
Shelves: dog-mysteries
Second in series. A well known and successful handler, Jenny McQuire that Melanie has started taking classes from with her poodle pup is found dead. Melanie finds herself questioning all the people in Jenny's life and slowly discovers that it is murder that caused Jenny's death. It is not until a second murder of a competitor happen at a dog show that Melanie is able to close and confront the murderer.

Good, fast, easy read. The "romance" with Sam is developed more in this book too and Melanie c
Emily Cullen
Jan 12, 2016 Emily Cullen rated it really liked it
When Melanie learns the teacher of her puppy kindergarten was murdered, she seeks justice for the woman she was beginning to call friend. I really enjoy this series; the characters and the ongoing storylines. The series revolves around the dog show world and is pretty detailed so dog haters need not apply!
Jan 05, 2015 Kat rated it it was amazing
I really enjoy this series. This is a well-written mystery with good insight into the dog-show world. Like the interaction between Melanie and her Aunt Peg. All of the characters are well developed and add to the story. Will continue to look forward to Ms. Berenson's books.
Bernette Beals
Feb 22, 2015 Bernette Beals rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Underdog review

Underdog is the second book in the Melanie Travis Mystery series written by author Laurien Berenson. The mystery part of the story is good, but there is an overload of information about dog shows.
Aug 11, 2014 Nanci rated it it was amazing
I read this series years ago. I am enjoying them again. Melanie is a single mom, a school teacher and now is getting involved in owning and showing a standard poodle named Faith. There is a murder to work on along the way.
john richards
May 19, 2015 john richards rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun light read

I enjoyed the characters and situations. An easy summer read. The dog showing world is quite Interesting. I would like to find out more about this family.
Mar 03, 2015 Earbest rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How does she do it

Once again laurien Berenson has written a winner. I loved this o e as much as all the others and I can't wait for the next one.
Oct 07, 2015 Marianne rated it liked it
Enjoyable quick read ... brought back lots of memories of years of showing dogs ... plus add a little mystery, and it's right up my alley!!
Oct 13, 2014 Pat rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Good story.
Melanie begins to show her puppy poodle, Faith.
Dog handler/trainer dies by arsenic poisoning.
Was it suicide or murder?
Aug 31, 2014 Nancy rated it liked it
Love these cozies that take place inside the world of dog shows. Plus the main character is a teacher. Nothing great here. Just fun, easy reads. I've already put the next in the series on hold.
Jun 25, 2014 Mary rated it it was amazing
This is my 3 rd book from this author throughly enjoyed this one.
Apr 05, 2014 Natalie rated it liked it
Light easy mystery...this one I did figure out but still enjoyed it! Perfect wait in the car read!
Nov 18, 2014 Jmlwallis rated it it was amazing
Another fine read by this author. She has a great way of keeping it interesting.
Jody Hamilton
Oct 10, 2015 Jody Hamilton rated it did not like it
Nothing special. Too much detail on dog shows.
Cnc Lubricants
Jun 25, 2014 Cnc Lubricants rated it really liked it
Loved it :) Such a good story
Jon Munch Jr.
Mar 23, 2015 Jon Munch Jr. rated it really liked it
Sep 24, 2014 Homerun2 rated it really liked it
Solid and readable. The dog stuff is interesting but a little overwhelming at times. Very enjoyable series.
Jan 22, 2009 Susan rated it really liked it
Fun, quick, quirky murder mystery. Second in the series. Again a "dog" book that doesn't require you to cry. A single mother of a 5 year old boy, solves the murder of her obedience class teacher and a fellow dog handler.

Fun read. Part of a series of about 15 books. I will keep reading.
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Other Books in the Series

Melanie Travis (1 - 10 of 18 books)
  • A Pedigree to Die For (Melanie Travis, #1)
  • 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)

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