I read this book a year ago and was revisiting Amazon recently when I read the review by "booklover" ("Good Dogs, Bad Books") and was very surprised to find someone who obviously hasn't even read this book writing a review of it! How does this happen? Why?
I can understand differences in taste. "booklover" recommends Susan Conant and Laurien Berensen in place of reading Kelley's dog mysteries. I've read one book each by these authors and found them to be below average -- actually not much better than a third grade level compared to Kelley's electric writing, at least IMO. Meanwhile I love Kelley's characters, his storytelling style, and think his writing is fresh, first rate, and far above a third grade level, which I suppose if you hadn't read Hemingway and Faulkner you might not appreciate. I doubt "booklover" would agree with me on this, even if she had read "Murder Unleashed", though she clearly hasn't: I had the pleasure of re-reading this book over the weekend, just to be sure I was right about some of the nonexistent plot points she mentions.
First of all, no one has framed the lead character, Jack Field, for murder in this novel, especially not Sheriff Flynn. In fact, nobody at all is framed for murder! It's not part of the plot! I have no idea where she'd get that idea if she'd actually read the book.
Second, while it's true that Jack and Sheriff Flynn were antagonistic toward one another in the first novel, they actually like each other in this book, and work together to solve one part of the mystery.
Third, Jamie, the state medical examiner, who is Jack's love interest, is not his "married lover", as this so-called reviewer states. Yes, she was legally separated in the first novel but was waiting for her divorce to be finalized. In "Murder Unleashed" she is finally divorced, which gives Jack an opportunity to propose to her. (Does he? I won't say!)
As I said before, I understand that different readers have different tastes. I'm sure that Susan Conant and Laurien Berensen sell more novels than Mr. Kelley, despite the fact that he's the better writer. What I don't understand is why someone would want to "review" a novel they haven't even read!! Please!
This is a funny, suspenseful, intelligent, and superbly written novel. Five stars.