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This Dog for Hire (Rachel Alexander & Dash, #1)
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This Dog for Hire

(Rachel Alexander & Dash #1)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  715 ratings  ·  68 reviews
She gets top billing.But he's the real teeth of the operation.In the search for a killer, they make the perfect team....

She's thirty-eight, too independent for most men's taste, and too suspicious for her own good.In her back-alley Greenwich Village cottage, private investigator Rachel Alexander has one ace in the hole: Dash, the devoted, barrel-chested pit bull terrier
Paperback, 293 pages
Published December 1st 1997 by Dell (first published December 1st 1996)
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Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  715 ratings  ·  68 reviews

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C.J. Prince
May 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Waiting for Hamish only personal reading problem...but one will pick up anything in a series to get on with the satisfaction of everything being solved in the end. Totally unlike life. That's why it's called fiction.

But I digress--I was browsing around Half Price Books in Seattle and found three books in a series by Carol Lea Benjamin. "This Dog for Hire". Now if you're a dog fan or a cat fancier, you'll still find the tension amping up in this book.

The main character, Rachel
Clare O'Beara
Sep 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dogs, america-crime
First in a series about New York PI Rachel Alexander and her American Pit Bull, Dashiell.

Each of the books involves a dog in some way and Rachel here investigates the murder of a struggling artist on a downtown pier and his missing champion Basenji, a barkless dog, called Magritte. Rachel is divorced and a former police officer, with contacts in the force. PIs today do a lot of their work by computer but Rachel has no option but to walk the streets looking for clues and talking to artists,
Mike Finn
I liked "This Dog For Hire". It kept me entertained from beginning to end. It also kept refusing to be the easy-to-classify book I thought I'd bought.

I was expecting a cosy mystery with a sassy woman PI accompanied by a cute-but-muscular dog that saves the day. It sort of is that, but it mostly isn't.

Rachel Alexander is more spiky than sassy. She's a hard-bitten New Yorker who's too tough to intimidate or to bullshit. She's a thirty-eight-year-old, recently divorced woman who gave up her dog
Mar 14, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
"Animal mysteries must have been a fad that everyone jumped on. This writing is just bad. I should write doggie mysteries instead."
Jul 28, 2008 marked it as to-read
Manhattan P.I. Rachel Alexander and her formidable canine partner, Dash, search for a witness to the murder of a New York artist--the victim's barkless dog. Finding the champion Basenji and solving this case will have Rachel and Dash checking out the Westminster Dog Show and the SoHo art world. Carol Lea Benjamin's debut mystery (she's also written nonfiction books about dog training) won the 1997 Shamus Award for Best First P.I. Novel; if you enjoy it, check out the next book in the series, The ...more
May 21, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
with high hopes, I dove into this novel of a woman detective and her dog partner, Dashiel. I liked the setup, and the mystery involved quirky characters and was set in the dog-showing area (featuring a Basenji, of all breeds, which the author authentically portrayed). The fact that her partner is a dog is simply a side note. In this story, while he did eventually play a vital role, it was almost as an afterthought. Perhaps some of the other stories in the line have the dog more involved. I do ...more
Tracy Weber
Sep 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who like dogs
Carol Lea Benjamin's books are wonderful in so many respects. Great mysteries, good writing, and very realistic portrayals of a dog breed often misrepresented in American society. I'm crushed that she's not continuing this series anymore.
Feb 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Excellent start to a great series. Thoroughly enjoyed the twists and turns and of course the fab pit bull that is always where he needs to be. ;)I read some of her other books in the series first and they get better and better. Interesting settings, complex storylines and suspenseful.
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
I found the depiction of people in a retired living facility to be in poor taste.
Waverly Fitzgerald
There's no joy quite like reading a great book that's part of a series and knowing you have at least eight more books to enjoy. Haven't been this happy since I found the Jane Austen mysteries by Stephanie Barron. This Dog for Hire is the start of a series of mysteries about a PI, New York based Rachel Alexander, and her dog, Dashiell. In this first book in the series, they are investigating the death of a gay artist at the Christopher Street pier, notorious as a spot for hook-ups. The plot ...more
Jeannette M. Hartman
Aug 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
It's so rare to have a book featuring a dog that isn't sappy. This book features two -- Dashiell (aka Dash) the pit bull and partner of private investigator Rachel Alexander, and Magritte, a champion basenji who goes missing when his artist owner is run over and killed.

This book is filled with interesting characters and an intriguing and complex mystery. Rachel Alexander is sassy and committed to avoiding the conventional life her mother and sister are hell-bent on directing her to.

Author Carol
Nov 13, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scribd, 2018
This is the first in the Rachel Alexander and Dash book series. I think I read these decades ago.

This time Rachel and Dash are investigating the death of a Greenwich village artist who was just about to get his big break in the art world. But then he's killed by a hit-and-run driver in the wee hours of the morning. And his champion Basenji is missing.

Rachel goes into the art world and the dog show world looking for answers. She finds them eventually.

It's a first novel. It's not bad. And there
Jul 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, read-in-2017
3.5 stars. I read at least one in this series back when they were first published but don't remember any details. A bundle of the first three came across as a Kindle deal so I picked it up. It started out a bit rough but settled down nicely. The plot had some interesting turns and I like Rachel. It's a bit dated (90's) and that 80's-90's time period is hard to ignore. Earlier and it feels different enough that it's not distracting but this time period is tough--it's too similar and yet totally ...more
Lori Roberts miller
Good Suspense

I love books about dogs so this was right for me. This was an interesting read as well as a suspenseful read till the end. I enjoyed all the interesting twists which gave me pause to think about rescue shelters, dog shows, homeless shelters, pet therapy, etc in general. This was a book I enjoyed and would recommend.
Katie McCloy
I liked it, until the very end. It was slightly comical and I liked the main character, but the end was a twist of dark sadistic motive out of nowhere. I found it depressing and it darkened the whole book. I own another in the series but I'm afraid to read it for fear it will blindside me out of nowhere. Awesome dog, though...
Nov 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a series of good stories that I consider interesting with characters that will steal your heart. I look to books like these when I want a light read. Felt like I was barking up the right tree!
I was given an ARC of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Dec 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Tries too hard to be noir. I knew who the killer was from the get go. Probably because author wrote that it could be so-so but no it's not, when yep-it was him. just a little to cheesy and predictable.
Jun 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Quick read. dective with a dog
Katrina Mitchell
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Love these! Wish there were more in the series!
Sep 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was reasonably interesting but not special. Worth reading a few more in between better books.
Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Even if you're not a dog person this series is a wonderful read.
Aug 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Yay!!! Another Doggy Detective!!!! :)
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love all of Benjamin's books about Dash the pit bull
Sep 21, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, animal
I liked this one more than book #2 - more dogs :)
Norma Huss
Apr 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries
Learned a lot about dog shows. Kept me fairly well engrossed. Some confusing aspects, which is usually good for reader solving of mystery. But not always.
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Glad i discovered this series; looking forward to the rest; excellent writing, loved the main character and dash, little rough reading towards the end however I enjoyed reading this book
Dec 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Despite some 4 letter non-cozy words, I would classify this as at least a classic mystery. I really liked Dash and his human and the storyline combining the art world with the dog show world.
When I first started reading the book, I had trouble getting into it. The author was trying too hard to imitate Dashiell Hammett or Raymond Chandler. Then she hit her stride in her own style and then I really got into it. It took me until the end to figure out who the bad guy really was, so that was good. I read so many of these I can usually figure it out by halfway through the book. The storyline got a little choppy in some places. There were some points towards the end where I kept rereading ...more
May 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a fairly good book in what appears to be a great series (I have not read any others in the series). Rachel runs a PI business along with her faithful rescue dog companion Dash. Dash has no special powers, but is a very well trained dog, who can assist and does assist Rachel whenever he can. Dash does uncover some important clues in this mystery and helps Rachel discover who has killed a new artist and owner of a show winning basenji breed dog as well as taken the dog. Although this can ...more
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A noted dog trainer and former detective, Carol Lea Benjamin is the author of books on canine behavior and training as well as the Rachel Alexander and Dash mystery series. She has been honored by the International Association of Canine Professionals with her election to their Hall of Fame. Ms. Benjamin lives in Greenwich Village with her husband and their dogs.

Other books in the series

Rachel Alexander & Dash (9 books)
  • The Dog Who Knew Too Much (Rachel Alexander & Dash, #2)
  • A Hell of a Dog (Rachel Alexander & Dash, #3)
  • Lady Vanishes (Rachel Alexander & Dash, #4)
  • The Wrong Dog (Rachel Alexander & Dash #5)
  • The Long Good Boy (Rachel Alexander & Dash, #6)
  • Fall Guy (Rachel Alexander & Dash, #7)
  • Without a Word (Rachel Alexander & Dash, #8)
  • The Hard Way (Rachel Alexander & Dash, #9)