‘Lie to Her’ by Melinda Leigh is another satisfying murder mystery in the ‘Bree Taggert’ series

While the mysteries in Melinda Leigh’s “Bree Taggert” series all work as stand alone novels, those who start the series with the latest addition, “Lie to Her,” will miss out on some great backstories which are shared in the previous novels. Such readers will still enjoy the twists and turns that Bree Taggert, the female sheriff in a rural upstate New York county, must unravel in her search for a serial killer. But those who have read the previous five books will understand why Bree is living in this rural area and raising her sister’s two children. They will have met Matt, Bree’s boyfriend, and Dana, Bree’s former partner from the police force. And they will understand the backstory regarding Bree’s former fear of dogs. She has overcome that fear and now has a rescue dog of her own.

In this mystery, Leigh adds to the suspense by introducing us immediately to the killer, the perpetrator of the dastardly deeds. We are encouraged to try to understand the killer’s thoughts and motivations because Leigh writes the killer’s narrative in first person. We know why that person is targeting the men who are murdered, but we don’t know the identity of the murderer, and Leigh keeps that suspense going masterfully. I must admit, I completely made the mistake of falling for her red herring, even though the whole time I knew there had to be another suspect.

Leigh raises the suspense and the intensity of the action by making one of Bree’s family the target of the killer. And along with following the investigation, we see Bree’s interactions with her family and Matt and Dana. We watch as she juggles being a caretaker with a full-time, very demanding career. A career, in fact, that can be deadly.

In addition to writing a gripping mystery, Melinda Leigh is passionate in advocating for the rescue of homeless animals. Like Leigh’s own rescue dog, Ladybug, main character Bree’s rescue dog with the same name is also a chubby friendly rescue who is exuberantly cheerful and affectionate to all creatures, big and small. Leigh’s own Ladybug acts as an emotional support dog for her other, high anxiety rescue. In this novel, we watch as Bree and Matt visit a horse auction where animals who are not sold for riding or farming are sold for slaughter. It’s a heartbreaking reality that not many people know about — the fact that unwanted horses, often including winning, retired race horses who no longer earn their keep, end up getting shipped to Mexico for slaughter. These once-beloved companions will end up in dog food cans or on the plates of Europeans who fancy horse meat steaks.

Read “Lie to Her” and the other books in the series for these compelling murder mysteries. Start with “Cross Her Heart.” Appreciate the realistic characters who struggle with the same things we struggle with—work/life balance, too many commitments, feelings of not doing enough, and self-doubt. Enjoy the rescue animals and the huge heart the characters in this series demonstrate by their actions.

Note: This review was first posted by Bookreporter.com.