I'm Linda O. Johnston, and I'm a real animal lover. That's why I write the Pet Rescue Mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime. The latest Pet Rescue Mystery, TEACUP TURBULENCE, was just published this month. I usually have a theme involving pet rescue in this series, and TEACUP TURBULENCE is no exception. It focuses on people who care enough about animals to move them from one location, where they might not find new homes, to someplace where that particular kind of pet is more in demand. Sometimes it's done by pilots relocating them by flights in private planes. Those flights can be direct, or in relays, as they are in TEACUP TURBULENCE. People can also drive the pets from one locale to another. The point is to move the animals from places they might be in danger to those where they can more easily be taken in by a loving family.
I believe that this happens more with dogs of different sizes, breeds or backgrounds than it does with cats. As far as I can see, cat lovers may have certain types they prefer, but I believe that people will adopt cats who are available nearest them and don't necessarily resort to long-distance rescues. But, Rocco, feel free to correct me.
In any event, the small dogs featured in TEACUP TURBULENCE were saved from a puppy mill far from Los Angeles, where my protagonist Lauren Vancouver runs her wonderful no-kill pet shelter HotRescues. Although there are usually too many teacup-sized dogs in Los Angeles, in my story they're highly in demand thanks to a special ad campaign run by Dante DeFrancisco, the benefactor of HotRescues, who also owns a major chain of pet stores called HotPets. HotPets is selling HotPets Bling collars for dogs. The popular ads show tiny dogs wearing them, and people become so enamored of their cuteness that they want to adopt those little dogs. That puts the dogs highly in demand--which is a great thing for those rescued pups, who aren't being adopted quickly around where the puppy mill was located. It's a win-win situation for everyone... except, since it's a cozy mystery, someone gets murdered. In fact, in the Pet Rescue Mysteries, "no-kill" refers to pets, not people!
These kinds of rescues actually occur. There are quite a few wonderful organizations with volunteers who use their own private planes or other vehicles to relocate animals to the places where they're most likely to be adopted. I applaud every one of them!
How about you?
Linda O. Johnston’s first published fiction appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and won the Robert L. Fish Memorial Award for Best First Mystery Short Story of the year. Since then, Linda has published more short stories and novellas, plus 35 romance and mystery novels, including Harlequin Romantic Suspense as well as the Alpha Force paranormal romance miniseries for Harlequin Nocturne.
Linda’s Pet Rescue Mysteries, a spinoff from her Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime, feature Lauren Vancouver, a determined pet rescuer who runs a no-kill shelter. In this cozy series, “no-kill” refers to pets, not people!
And watch for Linda's new Superstition Mystery Series coming soon from Midnight Ink!