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Animals in Focus Mystery #3
Animal photographer Janet MacPhail is training for her cat Leo’s first feline agility trial when she gets a frantic call about a “cat-napping.” When Janet and her Australian Shepherd Jay set out to track down the missing kitty, they quickly find themselves drawn into the volatile politics of feral cat colonies, endangered wetlands, and a belligerent big-shot land developer. Janet is crazy busy trying to keep up with her mom’s nursing-home romance, her own relationship with Tom and his Labrador Retriever Drake, and upcoming agility trials with Jay and Leo. But when a body is discovered on the canine competition course, it stops the participants dead in their tracks—and sets Janet on the trail of a killer.
"Animal photographer Janet MacPhail's latest adventure will delight dog lovers, cat lovers, and mystery lovers. Janet is excellent company, and although Leo the cat plays a starring role, I'm happy to report that Leo does not eclipse Jay the Aussie, who has become one of my favorite fictional dogs. Indeed, if Jay ever needs to move out of the pages of Sheila Boneham's mysteries and into a nonfiction house, he'll be more than welcome in mine. Five stars for CATWALK!" ~ Susan Conant, Author of BRUTE STRENGTH and other novels in the Holly Winter series of Dog Lover's Mysteries
The Money Bird
Animals in Focus Mystery #2
Animal photographer Janet MacPhail knows that trouble is in the air when Labrador Retriever Drake fetches a blood-soaked bag holding an exotic feather and a torn one-hundred-dollar bill during a photo shoot at Twisted Lake. One of Janet's photography students reports seeing a strange bird at the lake, but he turns up dead before Janet can talk to him. When she learns that the mysterious retreat center near the lake is housing large numbers of tropical birds, Janet is sure there's a connection and decides to investigate between dog-training classes, photo assignments, and visits to her mom at Shadetree Retirement. With help from her Australian Shepherd Jay and her quirky friend Goldie, Janet is determined to get to the bottom of things before another victim's wings are clipped for good.
"A photographer must rely on her loyal dog and cat companions to solve the case of a murdered colleague...Equal parts mystery and dog appreciation, with a dash of romance thrown in for good measure, this second case for Janet and her pals (Drop Dead on Recall, 2012) is accessible to fans of all three." ~ Kirkus Review
Drop Dead on Recall
Animals in Focus Mystery #1
Now available from Pomegranate Books, your local bookseller, and amazon in print, ebook, large-print, and Audible formats.
When a top-ranked competitor keels over at a dog obedience trial, photographer Janet MacPhail is swept up in a maelstrom of suspicion, jealousy, cut-throat competition, death threats, pet-napping, and murder. She becomes a “person of interest” to the police, and apparently to major hunk Tom Saunders as well. As if murder and the threat of impending romance aren’t enough to drive her bonkers, Janet has to move her mother into a nursing home, and the old lady isn’t going quietly. Janet finds solace in her Australian Shepherd, Jay, her tabby cat, Leo, and her eccentric neighbor, Goldie Sunshine. Then two other “persons of interest” die, Jay’s life is threatened, Leo disappears, and Janet’s search for the truth threatens to leave her own life underdeveloped – for good.
"The intricate plot [of Drop Dead on Recall] has plenty of surprises, red herrings, and interesting details about animals. Fans of Laurien Berenson or Susan Conant will especially enjoy this pet-centered mystery." — Amy Alessio for Booklist.
[Drop Dead on Recall], which supplements its menagerie of human suspects with oodles of information on obedience trials, will delight dog fanciers. ~ Kirkus Reviews
"If I were a dog and not just a dog lover, my tail would have been wagging all through Sheila Boneham's first mystery. (Cat lovers needn't be put off; a heroic tabby inhabits the book as well.) Boneham's narrator/protagonist, dog handler and photographer Janet MacPhail, is so delightful and comfortable I wished I could be her eccentric, perceptive aging flower-child neighbor Goldie Sunshine. Janet's views of the dog world, the onset of middle age, and Boneham's cast of diverse and well-rounded characters are spiced throughout with benevolent humor as she tries to find out why one of her fellow handlers dropped dead in the show ring and becomes endangered herself as she plunges deeper into the mystery. At the same time, she's called on to juggle with the problems posed by a senile but charming mother and an equally charming but far more rational and possibly dangerous potential lover. Fascinating canine and botanical lore strews the twisted paths of this intriguing mystery along with a few skillfully drawn red herrings and marvelous glimpses of the beauty of a spring in Indiana. As a typical whodunit-loving old English prof, I've loved the best--Sayers, Innes, Marsh, Allingham, et al.--and I'm impatiently awaiting the next Sheila Webster Boneham mystery." - Lucia Robinson
"Sheila Boneham's delightful debut mystery combines a likeable sleuth, a keep-'em-guessing plot, and wonderfully authentic portrayals of the human and canine denizens of dogdom. Boneham's knowledgeable, respectful, and loving depictions of dogs are entirely free of the anthropomorphism and sentimentality that often mar writing about animals. Firstplace with a perfect score!" -- Susan Conant, Author of BRUTE STRENGTH and other novels in the Holly Winter series of Dog Lover's Mysteries
"Sheila Boneham’s mystery, Drop Dead on Recall, is drop dead good. The writing sparkles and the dog-obedience competition setting unleashes a surprising hotbed of motives and opportunities for multiple murder. Animal photographer Janet MacPhail makes a, yes, dogged amateur investigator, dealing with her mother’s Alzheimers’s and maybe a new midlife beau between finding a vicious murderer. The dogs, Labs and Aussies, and cat, Leo, are of course key players in the proceedings. Five enthusiastic arfs." - Carole Nelson Douglas, bestselling author of the Midnight Louis mystery series
Sheila's short mystery story, "Tracks" features animal photographer Janet MacPhail and her Australian Shepherd, Jay, who are main characters in the Animals in Focus mystery series.
"Tracks" appeared first in the Racing Can Be Murder anthology put out by the Speed City (Indianapolis) Sisters in Crime, and was a finalist in the fiction category of the Dog Writers Association of America writing competition. In a review of the anthology that appeared in Publishers Weekly, "Tracks" was called a "standout."
Racing Can Be Murder, a collection of mystery stories all connected in some way to the Indianapolis 500, is available from your local bookseller, or on-line.