Cynthia Baxter

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MURDER PACKS A SUITCASE MYSTERY SERIES

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AUTHOR'S NOTE

THE REIGNING CATS & DOGS MYSTERY SERIES
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DEAD CANARIES DON'T SING

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 tailless Westie, Max, stumble upon something unexpected: a corpse half buried in the woods. As Max happily digs up the dead canary planted near the body, Jessie realizes that this corpse was clearly about to sing. But about what? Or whom? Enlisting the aid of her on-again, off-again lover, PI Nick Burby, Jess applies the stubbornness of a bloodhound and the agile moves of a cat to identify a menagerie of suspects; including one who wants her off the case badly enough to kill again.

Cover of Dead canaries don't sing

PUTTING ON THE DOG

Standing in for a fellow vet at a charity dog show has Jessica hitting the road with her faithful one-eyed Dalmatian, Lou, and her tailless Westie, Max, for the palatial summer estates of Long Island's fabled East End. When she arrives, the posh seaside community is crawling with stars eager to take best in show for their beloved pooches. But it's murder most tacky when a celebrity photographer is felled by a giant ice sculpture at a $500-a-plate fund-raiser.

The question isn't who wanted the sleazy paparazzo dead - it's who didn't. Unable to resist the scent of the hunt, Jess is soon investigating a casting director's dream of potential suspects, from a macho action hero with more secrets than muscles to a sexy Hollywood heartthrob Jess finds all too tempting - until her on-again, off-again lover, PI Nick Burby, shows up to help.

But somebody doesn't want the case closed. And if Jess isn't careful, she just might become the next victim of a killer determined to prove she's barking up the wrong tree.

Cover of Putting on the dog

LEAD A HORSE TO MURDER

When full-time vet and part-time sleuth Jessica Popper is asked to treat a billionaire's ailing horse, she gets a deadly glimpse into the lifestyles of the rich and felonious....

Murder gallops after Jessie when an emergency call sends the traveling vet to a posh Long Island estate with her one-eyed Dalmatian, Lou, and her tailless Westie, Max. A prized Arabian steed needs minor medical care-but it's the rider who grabs Jess's attention. The handsome young horseman exudes plenty of animal magnetism as he canters across the field...and then takes an inexplicable, fatal fall.

The dead man was one of the finest polo players in the world, but it was no accident that killed him. The culprit was poison. And as Jess soon discovers, a number of people had the means, motive, and opportunity for foul play, from the hostile barn manager to the businessman's disgruntled wife. But Jess will have to temper her feline instinct with good old-fashioned horse sense if she's going to stop a killer from leading a certain sleuth to her death.

Cover of Lead a horse to murder

HARE TODAY, DEAD TOMORROW

It's harvest time, but this season's crop includes chardonnay, merlot... and murder. The victim is heir to one of the North Fork's most prestigious wineries-and if the crime isn't shocking enough, the prime suspect is one of Jessie's closest friends!

Between managing her menagerie of pets, including Lou, the one-eyed Dalmatian, her tailless Westie, Max, and a tiger kitten who thinks she's queen of the jungle, commitment-phobic Jess struggles to adjust to a new addition to her household: live-in boyfriend Nick Burby. But even that proves easy compared to the challenge of catching a killer who's left nothing behind but a "hare"-a stuffed bunny rabbit. To clear her friend's name, Jess must maneuver through a warren of bizarre twists and more suspects than a bunny has offspring-and she'll need her own lucky rabbit's foot to avoid becoming this killer's next victim!

Cover of Hare today dead tomorrow

RIGHT FROM THE GECKO

Surf's up . . . and so are the stakes when veterinarian and amateur sleuth Jessica Popper escapes to the land of hula, hibiscus, and geckos for a professional conference. The last time she and boyfriend Nick Burby touched down on the island of Hawaii, Nick caused a volcanic eruption when he unexpectedly popped The Question to commitment-phobic Jess. But this trip proves just as dangerous when Jess befriends an ambitious young reporter whose body later washes up on the sand . . . and someone thinks Jess holds the clue to the killer's motive.

There's no end of suspects among the exotic flora and fauna, from the victim's journalistic rivals and a mystery boyfriend to an eccentric beachcomber and a governor's aide with ties to a controversial biotech firm bringing progress to paradise. One of them is a killer with the chameleon-like ability to stay hidden and if Jessica doesn't uncover hula-dunnit in time, she'll be saying aloha . . . permanently.

Cover of Right from the Gecko

WHO'S KITTEN WHO?

When it comes to murder this sleuth isn't pussyfootin' around...

Veterinarian and amateur sleuth Jessica Popper takes center stage in the cast of an up-and-coming Long Island playwright's last production and the fur flies as Jess finds the theater world littered with clues to Simon Wainwright's murder. Was the killer the actress who's a real glamour-puss? Or her rival for Simon's affections, a disheveled costume designer who looks like something the cat dragged in? Or how about the fat-cat Broadway producers?

Jessie's no scaredy-cat when she's on the prowl, but she loses her cool when her future in-laws and their monstrous Maltese descend on the tiny cottage she shares with fiance Nick Burby, Lou the one-eyed Dalmatian, rambunctious Westie Max, and the rest of her menagerie. Between coping with the "Invasion of the Burbarians" and playing cat and mouse with a killer, Jess could use nine lives herself. But curiosity killed the cat - will that be Jessie's fate by the time the curtain falls?

Cover of Who's Kitten Who?

MONKEY SEE, MONKEY DIE

Is a certain vet detective about to become an endangered species?

It's been over a decade since Jessica Popper spoke to vet-school friend Erin Walsh. So when Erin calls out of the blue, Jess agrees to meet her. When Erin doesn't show, Jessie begins to suspect that her old pal was making a monkey out of her until she learns that Erin was murdered.

Jessie can't resist getting involved, but her sleuthing quickly pulls her into a jungle of suspects. Did Erin's husband, Ben, kill her - or was it the eccentric lizard-loving coworker with whom she may have been monkeying around? Was Ben's outrageously wealthy new partner trying to cover up some monkey business? Or was it Erin's ambitious boss, a distinguished primate specialist determined to remain top banana in her field? With the killer going ape to stay hidden, even Jess's animal instincts might not save her from a fate more fatal than a barrel of monkeys...

Cover of Monkey See Monkey Die

MURDER HAD A LITTLE LAMB

Who better than a pet detective to expose a wolf in sheep’s clothing?

Things get wild and woolly when Jessica Popper’s wedding to longtime fiancé Nick Burby is interrupted by the sound of bloody murder. The sacrificial lamb is the black sheep of the Burby flock, a long-lost relative Nick has never even met. In fact, no one thought Cousin Nathaniel would return to the fold for the event – except his killer.

Now, instead of enjoying her honeymoon, Jessie finds herself playing Bo Peep to a growing list of suspects, none with a past as white as snow. All the clues lead to an exclusive private school in Long Island’s high-toned Bromptons, where snobby socialites and a smattering of locals on scholarship take classes in African drumming and field trips to Europe.

But shearing away the thick fleece of politics, tension, and rivalries reveals a very different animal under the school’s progressive appearance. And just when Jess thinks she’s about to herd in the killer, she realizes she’s being led like a lamb to slaughter . . .

Murder Had a Little Lamb

CROSSING THE LION

Veterinarian Jessica Popper is still basking in newlywedded bliss when neighbors Betty and Winston beg her to investigate the suspicious death of Linus Merrywood, king of the corporate jungle. On stormy Solitude Island, the Merrywoods have enjoyed the lion’s share of wealth for generations. But from the suspects to the surroundings, Jess feels as if she’s walked straight into an old-fashioned game of Clue – except here the stakes are life and death.

There’s the butler named Jives, a sexy assistant named Scarlett, teatime in the conservatory, and a house with secret passageways, moving walls, and a wailing aunt locked in the attic. With a storm raging around the island and Jess’s least favorite police detective assigned to the case, things are looking dire until Jess’s lionhearted husband, Nick, braves his way to Solitude to rescue her.

Now it’s the two of them against a family steeped in secrets – and a killer on the prowl who’s ferociously determined to protect the biggest family secret of all.

Crossing the Lion

I always enjoy hearing from readers, so please don't hesitate to write and say hello. In the meantime, I hope you continue to enjoy both mystery series!

Contact Cynthia:

Cynthiab1@optonline.net