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Smoky Mountain Tracks (Raine Stockton Dog Mysteries Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Donna Ball
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The first in the Raine Stockton Dog Mystery series...

"An exciting, original, and suspense-laden whodunit..."
--Midwest Book Review

As a native of the small town of Hansonville, North Carolina,and a wilderness rescue worker, Raine Stockton knows the Smoky Mountains as well as anyone could, but she gave up her Search and Rescue work after a tragic loss. Now she reluctantly returns to active duty to help find a young child who has been kidnapped and taken deep into the forest. But as Raine's young golden retriever, Cisco, picks up the trail, his enthusiasm fails to make up for his lack of experience, and their first foray into the forest results in disaster...and the discover of the kidnapper-- shot dead.

Suspecting there's more to the case than meets the eye, Raine struggles to overcome her personal demons, turns her search in new directions... and learns to trust Cisco to lead the way.

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Product Description

About the Author

Donna Ball is the author of over a hundred novels under several different pseudonyms in a variety of genres that include romance, mystery, suspense, paranormal, western adventure, historical and women’s fiction. Recent popular series include the Ladybug Farm series by Berkley Books and the Raine Stockton Dog Mystery series. Donna is an avid dog lover and her dogs have won numerous titles for agility, obedience and canine musical freestyle. She lives in a restored Victorian Barn in the heart of the Blue Ridge mountains with a variety of four-footed companions.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 572 KB
  • Print Length: 273 pages
  • Publisher: Blue Merle Publishing (15 Dec. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003H9LJW4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #314,770 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic! 27 Jun. 2013
By Sam
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I very rarely leave reviews, but I really loved this book so I felt I had to.

I think very often in books the animals (dogs especially) are written very 'lassie' like (seemingly perfect in every way with no apparent training) but in this book the dogs seemed normal, they barked, jumped up and didn't always listen, and they were all the more realistic and loveable for it. As someone who competes in agility and obedience I loved the references to the dog world, I've read other books where the author hadn't researched the dog world very well but in this book the author either has first hand experience or is very thorough with her research, even the references to the dog magazines were accurate! There aren't many books where I feel I could be friends with the main character but his was one of them.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I struggled to put it down, and bought the second in the series straight away.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lassie for the modern generation 4 Jun. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book will be loved by all dog lovers who will enjoy the story of this adorable young golden retriever tracking the missing girl. Certainly there is a mystery that has to be solved, but this is simply the background for a doggie adventure story. In some ways it reads like Lassie for the modern generation. One warning however and that is, I would discourage you from reading the reviews on as in my view they are spoilers telling you too much about the story itself.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother 6 May 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Exept for the golden retriever 'hero' dog I found this book repetative and no depth of story. Heroine,who called her self a dog trainer was dense, did nothing for me and I won't be buying any more in the series, even though I am a golden Retriever nut.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 26 May 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As doggy adventures go not a bad read will be reading more of this series
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  216 reviews
96 of 97 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "Golden" Start to a Fabulous New Series! 15 Aug. 2006
By L Smith - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In the 1st book in the Raine Stockton Dog mystery series, we meet "retired" dog-tracker, Raine Stockton and her dog, Cisco. The team has been reluctantly called out to assist in a troubling case of a missing child in the Smoky Mountains of Hanover County, North Carolina. Raine has given up working as a Search and Rescue team after the death of her favorite dog, Cassidy. Cisco is not the dog that Cassidy was, and Raine is embarrassed when he alerts to a find that appears only to be an open can of baked beans. Stumbling back to her vehicle and working Cisco around a bridge that he is petrified of, Raine hurts her "bad" knee while falling next to the dead body of the little girl's kidnapper. Laid up with her injury, Raine is taken off the search team. Determined to help find the missing girl, Raine continues her search and finds peace with the death of her beloved dog, Cassidy, and the knowledge that she has another great dog still willing to go to work helping people.

Every once in awhile, I find a fantastic new series that grabs my attention from the beginning, and seizes my heart along with it. While reading this magnificent book, I felt a wide range of emotions, and was sad when it came to the end. Raine is a strong female character still reeling from the death of her beloved, devoted Golden. She doesn't trust the abilities of Cassidy's grandson, Cisco, but learns over the course of the book that she must let go of her grief and begin to trust her intelligent, sensitive young dog. I laughed at the dog's antics, I cried at the description of Cassidy's death, and went through the ups and downs of this twisting tale right along with this great team. As a dog lover, I am continually amazed at what these wonderful animals can do for us and it was great to see some of them highlighted in this extraordinary new series!

The next book in this series is "Rapid Fire". Enjoy!
52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New Dog Queen 12 May 2006
By Ripleygold - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
As a friend and website host for late Bloodhound Mystery author Virginia Lanier, I've mourned not only my friend but the end of a great dog mystery series. With Smoky Mountain Tracks by Donna Ball, I feel I've found a new and wonderful friend.

Set in the North Carolina mountains, the sense of locale and characters is wonderful, and I hope to see the characters developed more fully in upcoming books. For those of us who love dogs, the details of the training and personalities of the dogs was great to read. While I occasionally "saw things coming," there were enough twists and turns to keep me interested right to the end, and I enjoyed every page.
40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Its a......DOG COZY!!! 20 Mar. 2007
By Jennifer A. Jackman - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Travelling outside my regular crime series is always interesting. With this book, Donna Ball's first "Raine Stockton Dog Mystery", I am amazed to find that there is a already a full-blown sub-genre of crime fiction in existence: dog cozies. Donna Ball has apparently written near one hundred other books as well under pseudonyms. It shows. She obviously knows and loves her hounds also and the reader can't help but be drawn in. Her protagonist, Raine, is a dog trainer who is lured back into search and rescue work out of a sense of duty to her community and a missing child. Her reticence is tangible as she battles with doubts about her latest canine companion, Cisco, a golden retriever.

The reader is presented with a carefully thought out set of characters and Ball really does well with establishing her setting, a small community in the Smoky Mountains. She obviously also loves them mountains, because her descriptions have you feeling the mountain air and picturing the colours. The tension she sets up around her feelings for her heroic Cassidy, dead in action and her replacement dog, Cisco - a gift from her sometimes ex-husband Buck - is quite remarkable, I really felt for her. I enjoyed learning about the role dogs and their handlers play in search and rescue and also the different roles they play ie. Raine and her dog do search and rescue, Cisco is NOT a cadaver dog (thankyouverymuch)!

I devoured this book and immediately picked up her next, "Rapid Fire" and will be looking out for "Gun Shy". The three star rating just reflects small imperfections: some of the characterization is a little stock standard (such as Maude, her British 'lady companion') and the writing is a little 'lumpy' ie. it doesn't always flow. However, I believe Ball is really onto a winner for this series, in this genre. Dog lovers are an assured audience, and crime lovers will also wander across it as I did in the never ending quest for 'something to read'. My preference is more hard-boiled (again reflected in my rating), but Ball's work will do very nicely thankyou in the meantime.
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fabulous mystery 8 Mar. 2006
By Harriet Klausner - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Hanover County, North Carolina, nestled in the Smoky Mountains, is home to Raine Stockton, the estranged wife of Deputy Sheriff Buck Lawson. She is a dog trainer extraordinaire and used to go on search and rescue missions but since her beloved canine Cassidy died, she hasn't had the heart for it any longer. That is until she receives a frantic phone call at three in the morning from Buck asking her to take her SAR dog Cisco to help in the search for Cindy Winston and her daughter Angel.

When they fail to find them, she starts to return home when Cisco and Raine trip over the murdered body of Luke Pickens, a drug user and alcoholic, who kidnapped the two females but no proof of Cindy or Angel, is nearby. Cindy walks home to her mother's house injured by a bullet Luke put in her with no idea where Angel is. Upset that Cisco failed to find the missing girl, Raine starts asking questions, discovers that the whole episode might have to do with a land deal and continues to use her SAR canine to hunt for clues in Angel's disappearance.

Donna Ball is a famous multi-faceted author who has written compelling novels in the horror, romance, paranormal and women in jeopardy genres. Now she turns her considerable talent to mystery writing and has provides an exciting, original and suspense laden who-done it that will please her myriad of fans who have been waiting too long for her to publish another book. SMOKY MOUNTAIN TRACKS is a simply fabulous mystery starring a likable dedicated heroine; anyone who reads it will eagerly await the next book in the series.

Harriet Klausner
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Liked the story, but... 3 Mar. 2013
By Nana Kate - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
While I liked the storyline and the well-developed characters, it absolutely drives me crazy to read such an ill-edited book! There were typos all through this novel where it looked like words were globally corrected via computer and thus some words got "caught up" in the corrections. For instance, every time the word "corner" was supposed to be the word, it read "comer". Unacceptable! It breaks the concentration of the reader and dilutes the story.

Since I otherwise enjoyed the book, I sincerely hope the same frustration doesn't occur with the remainder of the series. It would be extremely disappointing.
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