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Dead Canaries Don't Sing (Reigning Cats & Dogs Mystery, #1)
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Dead Canaries Don't Sing (Reigning Cats & Dogs Mystery #1)

3.53  ·  Rating Details ·  634 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
As a veterinarian, she’s more experienced with paw prints than fingerprints. But thanks to her dogged persistence and her knack for landing on her feet, Jessie’s got murder on a very short leash.

The sun is barely up and the day is already going to the dogs. Literally. As Dr. Jessica Popper embarks on a house call to a local horse farm, her one-eyed Dalmatian, Lou, and her
Paperback, 400 pages
Published February 3rd 2004 by Bantam (first published February 1st 2004)
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May 07, 2009 Samantha rated it liked it
This is the first book in the Cynthia Baxter "Reigning Cats and Dogs Mystery Series." It got me kinda hooked on them! The book feature Dr. Jessica Popper, DVM and her canine sidekicks Max, a tailess Westie and Lou, a one-eyed dalmation, on her travels throughout Long Island in her moblie veterinary clinic. On her way to a visit with a sick horse, Popper and her dogs discover the dead body of a local PR big-wig that no one was particularly fond of. Max digs up a canary next to the body which gets ...more
Aug 18, 2009 Stephanie rated it liked it
Dead Canaries Don't Sing was a library read which came upon me quite by accident. I was tooling around my town's teeny tiny library and, forlorn that I couldn't find any Christopher Moore (at all!), happened to settle on the paperback mysteries. Blame my softness for animals and the fact that I used to want to be a vet, and voila!

The writing of the book did not necessarily impress me, but the story was enjoyable enough (even if I did predict the ending sooner than I thought I would - hey, I was
May 09, 2009 Janet rated it did not like it
Oh, brother. In Jessie’s world, the cops issue vague warnings and everyone eagerly spills their guts at the least provocation. Baxter clumsily points a finger at one suspect, only to pull a bait-and-switch at the last second. Forget red herring. Baxter’s little gesture is a red whale. I couldn’t decide whether to slap Jessie for being such an idiot, or Baxter for creating such a dithering heroine. The only thing that keeps me from dismissing this author is that it was her first book. I’ll give h ...more
Oct 07, 2011 Shada rated it it was ok
I enjoyed reading the book, but it was nothing special.

However, something that REALLY bothered me is that Baxter was writing about a veterinarian so you'd think she would know at least the basics about animals that she was trying to write about.
The main character Jess has a Blue and Gold Macaw who, at least twice in the story, stands on her finger. Anyone who knows anything about birds knows that Blue and Golds are rather large birds and there is no way it could stand on one finger.
Apr 15, 2008 Kristen rated it really liked it
Shelves: serial-cozy
This is the first book that deals with Dr. Jessica Popper, a DVM who solves mysteries when it deals with a client. This one starts the series rolling. A good read with twist and turns.
Aug 23, 2011 Rebecca rated it liked it
Shelves: rmr-project
It makes me crave English muffins, which, of course, I can't find here in Denmark.
Jan 13, 2017 Pam rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Hard to tell from this single book whether the series will improve or not. At the current point, the book's positive points were that it was well paced, and the main character was relatively interesting. On the down side, Dr. Jessica Popper's profession was only superficially addressed. My favorite cozy mysteries are informative as well having an interesting mystery. Dr. Popper's connection to the murder was only superficial and left you wondering why did she care enough to get involved. Her inv ...more
Aug 21, 2012 Karen rated it liked it
Well, I had wanted to read book # 2 in this series, but by the end of the book my liking it had dropped from a low 5 to a low 3. The book was really cute. I looked forward to reading it. pretty good simple mystery.I really laughed at some of the antics in it.It was nice for me to figure out the perpetrator in advance which I usually cannot. This might be a downfall to some though. things I did not like were I could not figure out why the murderer actually was concerned about the protagonist in t ...more
Julie H.
Jan 04, 2009 Julie H. rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Got the whole series for Christmas and will work my way through them before the semester resumes (thanks, Melanie!). The concept for the series as a whole is that of full-time veterinarian and part-time sleuth Jessica Popper and her dogs Lou and Max who happen upon crimes in the course of their work. Popper works out of a mobile veterinary van whose sign reads "Reigning Cats and Dogs," so the series will likely take her all over Long Island--for lots of variety. This first entry in the series is ...more
Dharia Scarab
Mar 29, 2015 Dharia Scarab rated it liked it

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
Jan 31, 2008 Krystal rated it it was ok
I couldn't for the life of me figure out which book came first in this series, but after reading the reviews I decided that this was number one, but as I write this, I realized...look at the copyright dates, that would be a clue...duh.
Anyway, this is a slow start for seems to be a theme these days, with 3 books so far started, but not making it much past the starting gate...they're not complete rubbish, so I keep on keeping on with em, just at random intervals.
For me the actions and in
G Hodges
Jul 10, 2012 G Hodges rated it liked it
This should be three and a half stars. I enjoyed the main character, and the mobile Veterinary Van as a way of getting around, but I just didn't understand why she should be so interested in the mystery. I loved the locale largely because without using a spoiler, I know from personal experience with the area that what she says is true, still. And she did a great job of mixing up place names (which I assume she'd have to do for fear of retribution)

The thing about cozies is that you pretty much kn
Mar 14, 2009 Sandy rated it liked it
I have read all of Baxter's 'Reigning Cats and Dogs' mysteries, and I like them all. They are not deep or grisly or scary. These are stories about a sweet, young veterinarian who drives a mobile unit all over Long Island, NY, to treat the animals she loves. She does get to solve a crime in her travels though. Despite the constant haranguing from her boyfriend about her involvement, she rises above all that to be the best she can be. I would tell Nick Burby to get lost.
Jun 14, 2010 Felicia rated it did not like it
"Romance, like the rabbit at the dog track, is the elusive, fake, and never attained reward which, for the benefit and amusement of our masters, keeps us running and thinking in safe circles." - Beverly Jones
I liked that the author had cool quotes like this at the beginning of each chapter, but this was a pretty mediocre mystery. I know it's bad when I can figure out who the killer is.
Sep 29, 2007 Pam rated it really liked it
#24 02/23/06 DEAD CANARIES DON'T SING by Cynthia Baxter
GENRE/PUB DATE/# OF PGS: Mystery, 2004, 371 pgs
TIME/PLACE: Present, Long Island, NY
CHARACTERS: Dr. Jessica Popper/veternarian
COMMENTS: Dr. Jessica Popper owns a mobile veternarian
service. While on call to visit a sick horse she finds a
partially buried body.
Nan St.Michael
Jun 20, 2015 Nan St.Michael rated it liked it
The story was pretty good, but a little too much repetition; the main character is a veterinarian but she doesn't seem to know much about being a vet and didn't seem to know a lot about animals either. I didn't care for the way she interacted with her own pets. In spite of that I'll probably read at least one more of her books.
Dec 27, 2013 Vicky rated it really liked it
Another cozy mystery series which is based on a veterinarian and she stumbles on her mysteries by having a vet-mobile to visit her patients which also gives her the chance to find all kinds of murders that she can solve. This series involves animals, but not the talking type. I enjoyed these WHEN I just wanted very light reading….
Feb 23, 2012 Carol rated it liked it
Reminded me alot of the Stephanie Plum series about a bounty hunter by Janet Evanovich. My granddaughter wanted me to read this one. It is a cleaner, not so gross mystery series and I did enjoy the read. The heroine, veterinarian Jessica Popper, is fun but fearless and a bit naive, just like Stephanie Plum.
Jul 28, 2010 Becky rated it really liked it
This is a new mystery series I discovered. The main character is a female vet. I loved the way the author made excellent analogies to animals, but it wasn't overdone. I am going to read more of this series.
Jun 28, 2013 Marjorie rated it really liked it
Cute book. First in the Reigning Cats and Dogs series published in 2004. I love quirky titles and that's what caught my eye at the library. I am considering reading some more in the series. Cynthia Baxter has a couple of other series I have not tried yet.
Annoying protagonist, bad characterization, okay plot, and then she compares someone to "Miss Haversham" and I wondered why people try to use allusions they don't actually understand and I was filled with irritation.
Diane Wachter
Mar 01, 2016 Diane Wachter rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Cynthia Baxter, Reigning Cats and Dogs Series, Bk 1, PB-B @ 2/04, 6/04. Dr. Jessica Popper, veterinarian who does housecalls, stumbles upon a corpse half-buried in the woods. Enlisting the aid of her on-again, off-again lover, P.I. Nick Burby, Jessica works to find the killer. A fun read.
Mar 18, 2011 Wendy rated it liked it
This book was lent to me by a coworker. It's a really fun little mystery! The main character is likable and easy to relate to. I was pleasantly surprised at how clean it was for the most part - however, there is a bit of language, especially near the end.
Aug 02, 2012 ChrisGA rated it liked it
good first in the series about a vet with a mobile practcie who gets involved with solving a murder. She is helped by her old flame Nick, her two dogs, cat and parrot. Will definitely read others in the series
Sep 13, 2012 Judy rated it it was ok
this book was okay. It was alot like the Stephanie Plum series only the main character is a strong willed female vetrenarian who doesn't want a man to take over her life, in essence changing her into someone else.
May 31, 2016 Ann rated it liked it
3.5 stars. I enjoyed this quick read, although the style threw me in that I kept thinking there was something which preceded it in the series - there seemed to be a lot of backstory that it took a long time to pick up on.
Cute story though I started rushing it at the end.
Jan 30, 2015 Daelith rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015-read
Figured this one out rather easily. Plus the main character really annoyed me. I can't imagine a vet having that much time on her hands to snoop around on a murder case.
Valerie McNamee Earl
Nov 15, 2008 Valerie McNamee Earl rated it really liked it
Goodness, that's the thing about goodreads. Books I've completely forgotten about reading show up and it's like, Oh yeah!!!! I love this series. Now I need to put them all up!
Apr 28, 2016 Jenny rated it liked it
This is the first book in the Jessica Popper mystery series. She's a mobile vet, which is an interesting business idea.
Aug 30, 2011 Deborah rated it liked it
A delightful trip with a local vet. Great viewpoint if you have pets or are an animal lover. Would read this series again.
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(from author's website)

Dear Reader,

Thanks for taking the time to check out my web site! I love the fact that the Internet makes it so easy to "talk" to readers (and to hear from them, too - my email address is below).

My favorite thing to do is read - and my second favorite is to write. Since 2003, I've been writing The Reigning Cats & Dogs Mystery Series, which features veterinarian Jessica Po
More about Cynthia Baxter...

Other Books in the Series

Reigning Cats & Dogs Mystery (9 books)
  • Putting On The Dog (Reigning Cats & Dogs Mystery, #2)
  • Lead a Horse to Murder (Reigning Cats & Dogs Mystery, #3)
  • Hare Today, Dead Tomorrow (Reigning Cats & Dogs Mystery, #4)
  • Right from the Gecko (Reigning Cats & Dogs Mystery, #5)
  • Who's Kitten Who? (Reigning Cats & Dogs Mystery, #6)
  • Monkey See, Monkey Die (Reigning Cats & Dogs Mystery, #7)
  • Murder Had a Little Lamb (Reigning Cats & Dogs Mystery, #8)
  • Crossing the Lion (Reigning Cats & Dogs Mystery, #9)

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