The White Shepherd: A canine mystery set in Oxford (The Oxford Dogwalkers' Mystery)
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First in the brand-new Anna Hopkins dogwalking mystery series: an intriguing new departure for award-winning YA writer Annie Dalton.
Anna Hopkins’ daily walk through Oxford’s picturesque Port Meadow is rudely interrupted one autumn morning when her white German Shepherd, Bonnie, unearths a bloodsoaked body in the undergrowth. For Anna it’s a double shock: she’d met the victim previously. Naomi Evans was a professional researcher who had told Anna she was working on a book about a famous Welsh poet, and who offered to help Anna trace Bonnie’s original owner.
From her conversations with Naomi, Anna is convinced that she was not the random victim of a psychopathic serial killer, as the police believe. She was targeted because of what she knew. With the official investigation heading in the wrong direction entirely, Anna teams up with fellow dogwalkers Isadora Salzman and Tansy Lavelle to discover the truth.
Oxford though? I thought Owen Traherne was Welsh,’ Anna said, to keep up her end of their conversation. ‘He might have been born in Wales,’ Kirsty said in a dismissive tone, ‘but he did his degree and postgrad studies here. He and Audrey made Oxford their home, brought their son up here, and he wrote all his best known poems here. He was Oxford Professor of Poetry for a while. And now he’s buried here. Naturally, Oxford’s literary mafia is going to claim him for their own!’ To her relief, Anna
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seen pictures of me with the Trahernes on family holidays and figured out that I’d been a school friend of Huw’s. My parents were mostly overseas, and Huw’s house in Oxford had become like my second home. Anyway, about eighteen months ago Naomi tracked me down. She was hoping I might be able to offer a new slant on the Trahernes for Kit’s book. I refused.’ He pulled a face. ‘I’m sure you can understand why.’ ‘Yes, I can,’ she said very softly. ‘Then it became increasingly obvious that recent
hard to interpret as a longing for her acquaintance. With Huw present Anna couldn’t bring up the subject of Sara and Dritan. But Kit must have told Huw that they’d talked about Laurie’s death, she thought. So after they’d taken their drinks to a slightly less crowded part of the bar, she said hesitantly, ‘I was so sorry to hear about Laurie Swanson.’ For the first time Huw’s slightly fixed expression wavered. ‘It was a terrible shock,’ he admitted. ‘But I think Laurie’s suicide showed immense
tenderness in Anna’s tone. Her tail gave a friendly thump, then she unexpectedly flipped over on to her back, all four paws playfully pedalling in the air, exposing her vulnerable belly. That’s when Anna saw it. The rusty speck of blood on the underside of Bonnie’s forepaw. Naomi’s blood. For a moment Anna went deaf and blind. Then the horror flooded back in. She had tried so hard to live a background life, a harmless life, yet still the darkness and blood had followed her home. Grabbing