Above the Paw (Paw Enforcement #5) Review
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Cozy mystery series often feature some kind of furry, four-legged friend. But the dog in author Diane Kelly’s Paw Enforcement series isn’t just a pet; she’s a police officer. And in the fifth installment in the series, Above the Paw, this furry sleuth and her two-legged partner take on a new class of criminal.

The story goes back to school with Officer Megan Luz of the Fort Worth Police Department and her K-9 partner, Brigit, to investigate a series of drug-related incidents. After a number of students at a local college fall critically ill after taking the club drug known as Molly, Megan and Brigit are sent undercover to find the source of the deadly drugs. And while Megan scours campus in search of the dealer, she’s also forced to attend lectures, do her homework, and share a dorm room with a moody roommate.

Throughout Above the Paw, Kelly keeps readers in suspense, setting up a number of suspects and possibilities to consider. The dealer has done a good job of covering his or her tracks with burner phone voicemails, public money drops, and post office box deliveries—which means that almost anyone could be involved. The dealer could be Megan’s cash-strapped roommate—or her party animal suitemates. It could even be Megan’s former partner, whose actions make him look more and more suspicious. Though the outcome may not be entirely surprising—and it leaves a few questions unanswered—it will keep readers engaged nonetheless.

Meanwhile, Megan’s adventures on campus help to keep things entertaining. As she tries to solve the case, she also has to deal with the usual college drama: the relationships, the stress, and the close quarters. Especially since she’s not that far out of college herself, her frustration with the bossiness, moodiness, and insecurities of the girls around her can be amusing. And it’s sure to bring readers back to their own days in the dorms.

Brigit, too, adds something different to the story. Though her own short chapters—documenting her thoughts and actions on the case and her surroundings—often feel too silly and gimmicky, her presence on campus and her involvement in the case give this cozy mystery series a fun twist.

Above the Paw isn’t a serious crime thriller—nor is it an especially comical cozy. But if you’re in the mood for an easy-going mystery—and you’d like to relive your days in the dorm—it’s a worthwhile choice for some light reading.

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