‘A Nose for Mischief’ by KT Lee
When materials engineer Zoey Butler lands her dream job at Future State Energy, she believes her research in renewable energy will make headlines. Unfortunately for her, she’s right. Zoey is working on her latest experiment when FBI Special Agent Alexis Thompson and her K-9 partner, Waffle, raid Future State and arrest the head of the development for fraud. Zoey helps the FBI find answers in the aftermath, but she soon finds herself jobless and unemployable. Desperate and out of options, she reaches out to Alexis, the one person who knows Zoey was duped like everyone else.
Liam Graham is an FBI special agent and instructor at Riverbend K-9 Academy. When Alexis brings in a new recruit with an unusual background, Liam pairs her up with Tasha, a dog in need of a handler to stay in their competitive program. Zoey is thrilled to put her past behind her and give the mischievous rescue dog her own second chance. However, shortly after she arrives, the FBI realizes the Future State case is far from closed. And Zoey may be the key to solving it.
Zoey offers to go back to Future State to help the FBI end things once and for all. Only this time, she’ll have Liam and Tasha for backup. But, the problems at Future State are more explosive than any of them suspect.
This is one of those novels which just come along and you think, “That’ll do for me!” FBI and dogs? I need no more invitation than that.
What was very interesting is the link (unintentional? Intentional?) between this novel and VW Emissions scandal from 2016. So, this novel becomes a cross between Turner and Hooch meets the VW Emissions swindle filtered through Elon Musk. Which, if we’re being honest, kinda sounds plausible.
Personally, I enjoyed ‘A Nose for Trouble’ very much. In Zoey, KT Lee has created a very interesting central character: an innocent abroad unfairly tarnished with the events at an unscrupulous company out of her control. Slightly high on the control freak scale (“You mean I’m an excellent planner,” she tells her sister at one point), Zoey is also charming and very well equipped to analyse data for her new employers utilising her science background.
KT Lee is clearly in love with her core characters and wants to invite you in to spend time with her motley crew of FBI agents and charming hounds. It is a little like that 90s classic Northern Exposure in its gentle charm.
If I have a criticism at all, it is that perhaps Lee uses Zoey’s “disgrace” as a motivation to drive the plot along past the point at which anyone would really care and it takes Zoey too long to realise the power of her own abilities. On the other hand, haven’t we all worked with people who persist in not recognising how amazing they really are while over confident charlatans push past them on wings buoyed by hot air and unwarranted confidence? So maybe – unfortunately – not unrealistic.
Ann Richardson does a fine job as narrator and, most importantly, Lee gets the dogs right. I am delighted to know there are more books in the Riverbend series. I can’t wait to revisit our crime fighting canines and their kindly trainers.
Author Bio –
K.T. Lee is a writer, mom, and engineer who grew up on a steady diet of books from a wide variety of genres. She’s the author of multiple books, including those in the Riverbend K-9 Series and The Calculated Series.
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Ann Richardson has been happily sequestered away narrating in her home studio since 2008. She narrates for large audiobook publishers such as Blackstone, Penguin Random House, MacMillan, Oasis, Tantor, and many others, in addition to smaller, independent publishers and directly with authors. Her performances have garnered several Earphones awards and glowing reviews in AudioFile Magazine. She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area, but spent her youth in the Midwest, where she grew up surrounded by animals and cornfields. “I’m so lucky to have discovered what I was truly called to do with my talents and energy. I fall in love with nearly every book I narrate, and am also incredibly grateful to work with such talented authors and publishers in this cohesive, supportive industry.”
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