“Paw Enforcement” by Diane Kelly – slightly amusing, light-weight, comedy that lacks bite.

Paw Enforcement Sadly this book did not live up to its corny-but-clever title and its cute cover.

It made me smile a few times and made me laugh once in a little over 300 pages. It was an easy, light read (if you can live with lapses of grammar and at least one continuity problem) but I had had higher hopes for it.

So, how do you fail to have a hit on your hands when you write about a rookie cop with a temper, that led her to taser her partner’s balls, being assigned to work with a talented but stubborn, shoe-eating, police dog?

Start by having a main character who is bad-tempered, childishly competitive, knows nothing about dogs and not much more about people, who demonstrates none of the skills she needs to move up from street cop to detective, and who bursts into tears or has heat “flushing through her core” so often that  the only sustainable response is an eye-roll.

Add a dog to the story, even give it its own Point Of View chapters and then give it nothing particularly important to do and completely fail to get inside its head.

Stick to frantic fun even when the main character’s life is in peril so that the tone and the pace stay the same throughout.

Lard in research on Texas murderers and psychopaths but don’t make it relevant to solving the crime.

Finally, add a narrator who seems to be giving a sight-reading rather than a thought-through performance and who pronounces hypocrisy as HYPO – as in needle Crisy as in crisis, with no apparent awareness of its meaning.

There are two more books in the series, so someone must have liked them but life’s too short to add them to my TBR pile.


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