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Jingle Bell Bark (Melanie Travis, #11)
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Jingle Bell Bark (Melanie Travis #11)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  803 Ratings  ·  58 Reviews
It's Christmas again, and Melanie Travis barely has time to pencil in some holiday festivities. Especially once she finds herself making a list of murder suspects--and checking it twice. . . This year, all Melanie wants for Christmas is a dull moment. Between her son Davey, her teaching job, and showing her Standard Poodle puppy, Eve, there just aren't enough hours in the ...more
Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Published September 29th 2015 by Kensington (first published 2004)
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Rating details
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Nov 27, 2011 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
May 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle, mystery
The best book yet in the series!
Clare O'Beara
Apr 25, 2014 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
Robert Schneider
Dec 18, 2013 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
Jul 09, 2016 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!
Dec 18, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-reads
This was a fun read. Melanie Travis is a breeder of Standard Poodles, as well as working as a special education tutor at a local school. When the driver of the school bus her son rides every day is murdered, she and her Aunt Peg take it upon themselves to find homes for the deceased gentleman's two Golden Retrievers, but they are also curious as to who poisoned him with anti-freeze.

All of this is happening in the weeks before Christmas, so as if she doesn't have enough to do, Melanie tells Aunt
Mar 11, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The writing in this book was so tedious that I stopped reading after the first chapter. It felt like an introductory nonfiction book about dog breeds and dog care. When the author wasn't being didactic, she was establishing the background by describing in excruciating detail an ordinary day in an ordinary family. Jill Churchill's Jane Jeffry mysteries, also using the backdrop of ordinary family life, are much more enjoyable because of the humor Churchill injects. Berenson could use some levity t ...more
May 30, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars
Good installment for this series. I really like how Melanie and other main characters are evolving.
Nov 10, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a short murder-mystery book that has a lot to do with dogs. There are poodle show dogs and golden retrievers featured.
Fern Boyle
fun light read and enjoyed the dog show background
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Much better!
Jun 06, 2008 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
Dec 27, 2015 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
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
Dec 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Christmas read!

Nice Christmas story for dog lovers! A little mystery, little suspense and a ,out of good dog info! Perfect for Christmas Vacation reading!
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
Aug 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Puppies and a Baby for Christmas

Melanie has more help than usual in this story. Her aunt takes the lead is this investigation. 2 golden retrievers are rescued and taken to Aunt Peg's kennel after their owner, Davey's bus driver is killed. Then, after his daughters arrive and start making trouble about their lost property, Peg decides the only way to get rid of them is to solve the murder.
Dog shows, Bertie and Frank's over due baby and Christmas play practice don't slow Aunt Peg or Melanie down,
Lisa Morin
Jun 01, 2016 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 02, 2015 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
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
Jan 07, 2016 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
LOVE. LOVE. LOVE these stories. I have this sneaking suspicion I will be reading all of them and getting to know Melanie Travis as if she is a dog friend in the neighborhood.... Makes me want to go to a dog show too. Uh-oh. I think my mom and Laurien Berenson have created a monster. And it makes me love my family all the more for introducing us to the Standard Poodle world, even though my husband and I have gone the way of beagles. I love what I learn about breeds and showing with each book. PS ...more
Emily Cullen
Dec 09, 2015 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
Jul 22, 2008 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
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
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
Allison Miller
Dec 31, 2014 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.
Dec 23, 2007 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.
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Laurien Berenson is the bestselling author of the Melanie Travis canine mystery series. Her books revolve 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 twenty-two Melanie Travis mysteries, including the newest book, RUFF JUSTICE.

Berenson is a four time winner of the Maxwell Award for Fiction fr
More about Laurien Berenson

Other books in the series

Melanie Travis (1 - 10 of 22 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?” 1 likes
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