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The Dog Who Knew Too Much

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The key to a beautiful woman's tragic death is locked in a dog's broken heart. P.I. Rachel Alexander is stepping into a dead woman's life. Hired by the young t'ai chi teacher's grieving parents, Rachel is determined to find out why their apparently happy daughter jumped from the window of her Greenwich Village martial arts studio. Wearing Lisa's clothes, studying with her m The key to a beautiful woman's tragic death is locked in a dog's broken heart. P.I. Rachel Alexander is stepping into a dead woman's life. Hired by the young t'ai chi teacher's grieving parents, Rachel is determined to find out why their apparently happy daughter jumped from the window of her Greenwich Village martial arts studio. Wearing Lisa's clothes, studying with her mentor, meeting her friends, provoking her enemies, Rachel soon learns that even with her pit bull, Dashiell, at her side, the path to enlightenment is a dangerous place to be. With the answer Rachel seeks as difficult to fathom as a Zen riddle, yet as close by as the victim's sad-eyed Akita, one truth begins to unfold: Lisa never would have abandoned her dog without a cruel push. . . .


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The key to a beautiful woman's tragic death is locked in a dog's broken heart. P.I. Rachel Alexander is stepping into a dead woman's life. Hired by the young t'ai chi teacher's grieving parents, Rachel is determined to find out why their apparently happy daughter jumped from the window of her Greenwich Village martial arts studio. Wearing Lisa's clothes, studying with her m The key to a beautiful woman's tragic death is locked in a dog's broken heart. P.I. Rachel Alexander is stepping into a dead woman's life. Hired by the young t'ai chi teacher's grieving parents, Rachel is determined to find out why their apparently happy daughter jumped from the window of her Greenwich Village martial arts studio. Wearing Lisa's clothes, studying with her mentor, meeting her friends, provoking her enemies, Rachel soon learns that even with her pit bull, Dashiell, at her side, the path to enlightenment is a dangerous place to be. With the answer Rachel seeks as difficult to fathom as a Zen riddle, yet as close by as the victim's sad-eyed Akita, one truth begins to unfold: Lisa never would have abandoned her dog without a cruel push. . . .

30 review for The Dog Who Knew Too Much

  1. 5 out of 5

    C.J. Prince

    I picked up the first three books in this series at Half Price Books in Seattle, one of my favorite stops. The first book offered some character disappointments but in book two, I found P.I. Rachel Alexander had found her niche. As she researches the murder of a dead woman, she assumes her identity, wearing her clothes, perfume, scarf and begins to study Tai Chi. She is an incredibly fast learner in the ancient Chinese martial art (my personal observation) and becomes the favored student as was I picked up the first three books in this series at Half Price Books in Seattle, one of my favorite stops. The first book offered some character disappointments but in book two, I found P.I. Rachel Alexander had found her niche. As she researches the murder of a dead woman, she assumes her identity, wearing her clothes, perfume, scarf and begins to study Tai Chi. She is an incredibly fast learner in the ancient Chinese martial art (my personal observation) and becomes the favored student as was the murdered woman. Yes, there is something a bit creepy about this which makes it all the more intriguing when the former boyfriend shows up. Always in Carol Lea Benjamin's books, there is great character development of the dogs. I like series and watching characters evolve. I look forward to reading more in this series.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Shomeret

    I wanted to read it for the Tai Chi content which was mildly interesting to me. It was being taught from a Zen Buddhist perspective. As I understand it, Tai Chi is Taoist which is far more ancient than Buddhism. Someone who is interested in the melding of Tai Chi and Zen Buddhism might rate this book more highly than I did. Based on the title and the fact that the author is a dog trainer, I expected the book to be more centrally about dogs than it turned out to be. So I can't recommend it to peop I wanted to read it for the Tai Chi content which was mildly interesting to me. It was being taught from a Zen Buddhist perspective. As I understand it, Tai Chi is Taoist which is far more ancient than Buddhism. Someone who is interested in the melding of Tai Chi and Zen Buddhism might rate this book more highly than I did. Based on the title and the fact that the author is a dog trainer, I expected the book to be more centrally about dogs than it turned out to be. So I can't recommend it to people who love dog mysteries.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Devi

    I didn't enjoy this one as much as the first book in the series. Often seemed the author was trying to make the story more complicated than it needed to be. I didn't enjoy this one as much as the first book in the series. Often seemed the author was trying to make the story more complicated than it needed to be.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Janice

    This is the second book in the Rachel Alexander and Dash mystery series. Rachel is called in to investigate the apparent suicide of a tai chi teacher. Apparently this involves Rachel stepping totally into this other woman's life, sleeping in her apartment, wearing her clothes and jewelry, and stepping into her spot as apprentice to the main teacher at the tai chi studio where Lisa (the dead woman) trained. I thought all that was a little creepy, honestly. I kinda didn't buy how fast she progressed This is the second book in the Rachel Alexander and Dash mystery series. Rachel is called in to investigate the apparent suicide of a tai chi teacher. Apparently this involves Rachel stepping totally into this other woman's life, sleeping in her apartment, wearing her clothes and jewelry, and stepping into her spot as apprentice to the main teacher at the tai chi studio where Lisa (the dead woman) trained. I thought all that was a little creepy, honestly. I kinda didn't buy how fast she progressed in tai chi and various other physical pursuits she undertakes. But maybe that's because I've never been very athletic, and the one time I tried a tai chi class, I learned S-O S-L-O-O-O-O-W-L-Y that I never really mastered even the basics. :( And then, when she had her answers, she just ... drops it all. Ok. Ooookay. It just seemed weird to me, in an uncomfortable way. And Rachel really doesn't seem to care for Akitas. (Full disclosure: I owned an Akita in the 80s. She was A Good Dog.) Not really bad, but not my favorite so far. And yes, I read the 1st, 2nd, and 7th books pretty much back to back in about 4 days.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    I'm liking this series but not loving it yet. The dog aspect is understated which I like. Dash is just a dog--he doesn't talk, doesn't detect on his own--he's a companion. The plot was good but the tai chi angle was a bit overdone. The oddest part to me and what knocked it down one star was Rachel wearing the victim's clothing and jewelry and sleeping in her bed--just weird and creepy and unnecessary. I'm in for the next book though. I'm liking this series but not loving it yet. The dog aspect is understated which I like. Dash is just a dog--he doesn't talk, doesn't detect on his own--he's a companion. The plot was good but the tai chi angle was a bit overdone. The oddest part to me and what knocked it down one star was Rachel wearing the victim's clothing and jewelry and sleeping in her bed--just weird and creepy and unnecessary. I'm in for the next book though.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Raucous

    I typically don't read much mystery but this one was recommended to me because of the Tai Chi angle. The Tai Chi in the book felt surprisingly authentic as, of course, did the dog training aspects. Good boy! I was a bit put off by the way that the main character manipulated the suspects as part of her investigation and some of the coincidental meetings were hard to believe (this is NYC!), but that may just be me not knowing the genre or the city. Overall I still really enjoyed the book. I typically don't read much mystery but this one was recommended to me because of the Tai Chi angle. The Tai Chi in the book felt surprisingly authentic as, of course, did the dog training aspects. Good boy! I was a bit put off by the way that the main character manipulated the suspects as part of her investigation and some of the coincidental meetings were hard to believe (this is NYC!), but that may just be me not knowing the genre or the city. Overall I still really enjoyed the book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Toni Maddi

    I liked the titles of this series, I mean, who can resist a book called "The Long Good Boy"? I read the first book and liked it enough to get the second one. Unfortunately, it didn't hold my interest. I finished it just to see who the killer was. I almost stopped at page 158 where the author used "jive" instead of "jibe". Seriously? Her Editor didn't even catch the error? I I liked the titles of this series, I mean, who can resist a book called "The Long Good Boy"? I read the first book and liked it enough to get the second one. Unfortunately, it didn't hold my interest. I finished it just to see who the killer was. I almost stopped at page 158 where the author used "jive" instead of "jibe". Seriously? Her Editor didn't even catch the error? I

  8. 4 out of 5

    Gaenolee

    Great Female NYC mystery I thoroughly enjoyed this, as a woman married to a N'Yawkah, as a Tai Chi teacher, and as a big mystery lover. My main quibble is as to WHICH version of Tai Chi they were doing. Great Female NYC mystery I thoroughly enjoyed this, as a woman married to a N'Yawkah, as a Tai Chi teacher, and as a big mystery lover. My main quibble is as to WHICH version of Tai Chi they were doing.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lois Johnson

    Excellent book Wow. This was my first book of Ms. Benjamin but certainly not my last. Carol Lea has the ability to draw you into the story. I felt as if I were actually there. Excellent author.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Karel

    Another Enjoyable Cozy Mystery with a Dog Companion I enjoyed this book very much. The characters are interesting as the dogs are very protective! The plot is well-written and moves you along quickly as you really want to know what the truth is. A good, quick read!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kathei

    So far I have loved each of Carol Lea Benjamin's books. I've never been a dog person but I've fallen in love with her pitbull therapy dog Dash. She really knows dogs and I've learned a lot from her about them. Always a good read. So far I have loved each of Carol Lea Benjamin's books. I've never been a dog person but I've fallen in love with her pitbull therapy dog Dash. She really knows dogs and I've learned a lot from her about them. Always a good read.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Cheekyxika

    Like many others, I thought her moving into the dead woman’s apartment and wearing all her clothes and jewelry quite creepy and weird. I found the portrayal of Asian American Paul Wilcox to be quite offensive.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Bernice

    I enjoyed the second in the series, characters are developing further, not as much about dogs but interesting info on tai chi. I will read book 3

  14. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    Another lovely peek inside the Village and this time, the world of tai chi, with some dogs added.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Connie Mollo

    A slow moving mystery. I don’t know if the dog was too helpful in solving mystery but he was a nice diversion.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Davies

    Cute mystery. Liked all the dog references. Discovery of the killer was a bit abrupt and ended quickly.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jan C

    I enjoy this series but the cut of the book was really irritating. I felt that there were bad margins and the print went too close to the edge of the page and I think some pages may have started to come loose. I know it is a paperback but still, there should be some standards. Rachel uses her pit bull Dashiell in her private detective work. And I have to say I would like to see a pit bull (or any other dog, for that matter) bring me a Kleenex, a trick he repeatedly performs in this book. Here, n I enjoy this series but the cut of the book was really irritating. I felt that there were bad margins and the print went too close to the edge of the page and I think some pages may have started to come loose. I know it is a paperback but still, there should be some standards. Rachel uses her pit bull Dashiell in her private detective work. And I have to say I would like to see a pit bull (or any other dog, for that matter) bring me a Kleenex, a trick he repeatedly performs in this book. Here, neighbors of her aunt want her to look into their daughter's suicide. They don't believe she threw herself out of a window like the police said. Problem is - she left a note - "I'm sorry. Lisa." Who is it to? What is she sorry for? Throwing herself out the window? Or something much more mundane? Lisa, the daughter, was into t'ai chi ... heavily into it. And the window she went through was at the t'ai chi school. Rachel immerses herself into Lisa's former life. And I have to admit I found this a bit ncreepy. She was wearing the dead girl's clothes, sleeping in her bed, seeing her ex-boyfriend. I understand that she wanted to get into her head ... but it just seemed a little creepy. These books are light mysteries, heavy on the dog aspect, and they are fairly quick to read. Generally fairly enjoyable. But I did learn a fair amount about t'ai chi. Too much discipline for me, I fear.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Roberta

    Oddly reminds me of Agatha Cristie's Miss Marple books in the way that Miss Marple didn't really "detect" so much as she went around poking her nose into other people's business like picking at a scab until it starts bleeding. The other similarity is that in many Miss Marple books there are so many good suspects that I can't always remember a week later who ultimately turned out to be the murderer. The gimmick in this series is that Rachel Alexander's assistant is Dash, an American pit bull. Wha Oddly reminds me of Agatha Cristie's Miss Marple books in the way that Miss Marple didn't really "detect" so much as she went around poking her nose into other people's business like picking at a scab until it starts bleeding. The other similarity is that in many Miss Marple books there are so many good suspects that I can't always remember a week later who ultimately turned out to be the murderer. The gimmick in this series is that Rachel Alexander's assistant is Dash, an American pit bull. What I like is that Dash is that he does not solve crimes on his own, he does not talk (or even communicate psychically) and he does not have a sarcastic cat side-kick. He is a regular dog who was rescued from an abusive situation by Rachel and is now trained to assist her in various ways, protect her in certain situations and he is also a certified therapy dog. The "special guest dog" in this book is an akita. This book appeared to be better edited than the first one since I noticed fewer misspelled words. The cover artist gave up trying to get the pit bull right and chose instead to show the akita in the dark so we can't see it too well but, from what I can see, I'm not impressed.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Phillis

    This is book 2 in the Rachel Alexander and Dash Mysteries. I enjoyed the first one. I don't feel this was as good. But it is a second book and I won't judge the author yet. I still have a few more Rachel and Dash books to read. This storyline is about a well to do, have everything, and knows where she is going young woman who supposedly commits suicide by defenestration. Her family hire Rachel to find out what really happened. Racel litterally puts herself in the girls shoes to see if she really This is book 2 in the Rachel Alexander and Dash Mysteries. I enjoyed the first one. I don't feel this was as good. But it is a second book and I won't judge the author yet. I still have a few more Rachel and Dash books to read. This storyline is about a well to do, have everything, and knows where she is going young woman who supposedly commits suicide by defenestration. Her family hire Rachel to find out what really happened. Racel litterally puts herself in the girls shoes to see if she really did kill herself and if not who did and why. These books not only have Rachel and her dog Dashiell, but there is always another dog involved.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Margaret

    First time reading this series - not bad but not great, so not sure if I'd read any others. This detective's approach kind of seemed to be detection by becoming the murdered victim, which oddly others did not question. Found it unlikely that her dog would be so readily accepted everywhere although I thought his playful habit of pulling kleenexes out of the box was endearing (and helpful at one point to her). Kind of liked the somewhat mystical t'ai chi angle to the story. First time reading this series - not bad but not great, so not sure if I'd read any others. This detective's approach kind of seemed to be detection by becoming the murdered victim, which oddly others did not question. Found it unlikely that her dog would be so readily accepted everywhere although I thought his playful habit of pulling kleenexes out of the box was endearing (and helpful at one point to her). Kind of liked the somewhat mystical t'ai chi angle to the story.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Snap

    I almost gave this book 4 stars. Really enjoyed this one. I'm also having a good time searching for these books. Rachel is hired by a couple to find out why their intelligent, beautiful daughter studying to be a Zen priest, committed suicide. Rachel resembles Lisa (the dead girl) and she walks into Lisa's life ... wearing her clothes, living in her apartment, taking Tai-Chi, getting to know all of the people in Lisa's life. Was Lisa's death an accident, suicide or murder? I almost gave this book 4 stars. Really enjoyed this one. I'm also having a good time searching for these books. Rachel is hired by a couple to find out why their intelligent, beautiful daughter studying to be a Zen priest, committed suicide. Rachel resembles Lisa (the dead girl) and she walks into Lisa's life ... wearing her clothes, living in her apartment, taking Tai-Chi, getting to know all of the people in Lisa's life. Was Lisa's death an accident, suicide or murder?

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen O'Nan

    My first book of 2016 was this fun read. This is the 2nd in the series featuring P.I. Rachel Alexander and her "partner," the pit bull named Dash. She does make this dog very personable as well as the Akita that is featured in this particular tale. Decent story, decent detecting. I'll continue with the series. My first book of 2016 was this fun read. This is the 2nd in the series featuring P.I. Rachel Alexander and her "partner," the pit bull named Dash. She does make this dog very personable as well as the Akita that is featured in this particular tale. Decent story, decent detecting. I'll continue with the series.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Rosie

    Love the story of a detective and a pit bull. Want to read more of this series.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Leslie Angel

    fairly good, kept my interest. Dog appears but does not talk or solve the mystery. takes place in and around a tai chi center.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Teesa

    Can't go wrong, a strong woman doing a man's job and a terrier, what's not to like. Can't go wrong, a strong woman doing a man's job and a terrier, what's not to like.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Helen

    lots of suspects, kept tension well, good char.

  27. 5 out of 5

    John Stewart

    Good book if you like dogs and murder mysteries.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Shawn Zegular

    Great read I love how she uses a pitbull in her novels awsome

  29. 5 out of 5

    Karen-Leigh

    Rachel and Dash are special.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jan

    Maybe it was comparing Zen and dog training or definitely the wearing of the victim's clothing and jewelry...., but I just couldn't get into this one. The flashes of sass were partially redeeming. Maybe it was comparing Zen and dog training or definitely the wearing of the victim's clothing and jewelry...., but I just couldn't get into this one. The flashes of sass were partially redeeming.

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