Kindly country veterinarian Travis Kellman is astonished when his stepmother Alicia tries to blackmail him. He can't imagine what she has on him and she won't tell him, but it will change his whole life if she speaks. When Alicia turns up dead, the entire family becomes suspects. The only witness to the murder was the victim's poodle, but even a veterinarian like Travis can't learn anything from a dog - or can he? When Travis starts his own investigation he comes into conflict with the village police chief, his lifelong enemy. The middle of a murder investigation is no time to fall in love, but Travis can't help himself when the woman is as enticing as JayBee. But she finds it difficult to trust him after what her last boyfriend did to her. The boyfriend's release from prison signals trouble, because he's out for revenge. Travis must deal with old and new family secrets, a three-legged dog, seven cats, the consequences of an old romance, and somehow track down the real murderer - before the killer gets to him. Reader Advisory: This book contains references to child abuse.