It's Christmas time, and for Raine Stockton and her Search and Rescue dog, Cisco, Hansonville, North Carolina is just like a Norman Rockwell painting-- except for the rash of thefts of baby Jesus figurines from nativity scenes, an abandoned box of golden retriever puppies that someone leaves beside her mailbox, and a mysterious gift from one of Cisco's a grateful admirers. Raine already has her hands full with her own misbehaving pooches, unexpected house guests, and a complicated new relationship. But when a newborn is abandoned in the manger of the town's living nativity and Raine walks in on what appears to be the scene of a murder, she has more to worry about than keeping the Christmas spirit alive.
I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review. I have blogged about my love for the Raine Stockton Dog Mystery series before, and this story set at my favorite time of the year is the best one yet. Without rehashing the plot, there are several story lines going on, yet they all come together in the end in a very satisfying conclusion. I had mixed feelings at first on the addition of a new character, Miles' 9 year old daughter Melanie, (must admit my feelings about kids lean towards Raine's LOL), but I came to just love her, and enjoyed how she became Raine's "partner in crime". Look forward to reading more about her and her new pup Peppermint in the future. I also got several chuckles from the Aussies' Christmas decorating. Raine has an absolutely delightful critter crew and I hope there are many more books to come in this series!