Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Aloha to Diane Kelly and ABOVE THE PAW (Paw Enforcement Book 5) - Book Review


The crime-fighting duo of Megan Luz and her K-9 is back―and on the prowl. . .

When a rash of college students falls seriously ill after ingesting Molly, a “club drug” also known as ecstasy, Officer Megan Luz and her K-9 partner Brigit are tasked with tracking down the dealers. Going undercover at the university leads Megan closer and closer to infiltrating the drug trafficking ring. But when the investigation implicates her former partner and workplace nemesis, Officer Derek Mackey, Megan’s powers of discernment are put to the test.

Thwarted when the Feds seize control of the investigation and frustrated by the lack of attention the DEA is putting into the case, Megan continues her own unofficial investigation with Brigit’s help. But when the trail leads them in an unexpected and dangerous direction, Megan and Brigit find their own lives at risk. Can the K-9 team take down those in power? Or are some criminals simply above the law―and paw?

ABOVE THE PAW is the fifth book in Diane Kelly's series featuring Police officer Megan Luz and her K-9 dog partner Brigit - 
available December 6, 2016, from St. Martin's Press (link).

Public Domain (link)

No man is above the law and no man is below it: nor do we ask any man's permission when we ask him to obey it. - Theodore Roosevelt

ABOVE THE PAW is Book Five in the Paw Enforcement series featuring Officer Megan Luz and her canine partner, Brigit. They patrol the streets of Fort Worth, Texas, as a formidable team - Megan is proficient with the police baton and Brigit has a nose second to none. They have successfully taken down a bomber, murder, thief, and pervert, leading to public accolades as they work the crowd during the Fourth of July celebrations. Despite the scorching heat, Brigit still sniffs out street drugs among the crowd entering the venue. Her nose discovers Molly, a crystalized form of ecstacy that has wreaked havoc at the nearby college campus. As Megan witnesses the effects on a coed, she volunteers to go undercover to catch the drug dealer.

The story unfolds in three parts - Megan's first person perspective, Brigit's third dog perspective, and the unknown villan's third person perspective. It is the same MO for each novel in the series, offering a unique storytelling method that is effective in setting the tone for the mystery ... and allowing Brigit to add her two scents, er, cents. ABOVE THE PAW takes a page from LAW AND ORDER, ripping the plot from the headlines with student overdoses from the club drug (Kelly also added a secondary "ripped from the headlines" plot that revealed itself in the climax - no spoilers here). I applaud Kelly for Megan's dedication to research the drug before she morphs into an epilepsy student with a service dog. I enjoyed Megan's step back in time as she relieved her own college days ... and I relived mine. It also gave me pause as I have a son who is a college sophomore - ABOVE THE PAW hit a nerve that college students are still just kids finding their way. Luckily, Megan and Brigit helped a their coed "friends" make better choices in the face of peer pressure. 

ABOVE THE PAW can be read as a stand alone novel since Kelly offers enough backstory to understand Megan's relationship with Brigit, other officers in the precinct, and even her budding romance with Seth, a hunky firefighter with a bomb sniffing dog, Blast. Seth and his backstory is worthy of his own book in the future. Still, I recommend any reader new to this series to start from the beginning with PAW ENFORCEMENT to see Megan's confidence grow with each story. Luckily, Brigit remains the same comic relief in search of her next belly rub.

ABOVE THE PAW kept my attention - I did not want to put it down. I was a bit sleepy at work after staying up too late just as Megan was making progress in the investigation. ABOVE THE PAW is more than a mystery - it has heart as Megan maintains a "can do spirit" in a male dominated profession. ABOVE THE PAW also offers humor as Brigit shares her thoughts on smelly squad cars, dimwitted perps, and pepperoni pizza.

Recommended read for fans who appreciate realistic characters with a side of dog hair.

I look forward to more adventures with Megan and Brigit.

Learn more about Diane and her books at

Check out my review of PAW ENFORCEMENT (link), PAW AND ORDER (link), LAYING DOWN THE PAW (link), and AGAINST THE PAW (link).


I am giving away a book choice from my convention stash. To enter the giveaway,

1. Megan goes undercover at Texas Christian University (TCU) - the mascot is the Horned Frogs.  What the mascot of your alma mater or a college near you?

I am a Spartan from the University of Tampa!

2. Due to shipping costs, this giveaway is open to US residents only.

3. Comments are open through Saturday, October 30, 10 pm in Baltimore. I'll post the winner on Monday, October 31.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Image result for aloha on my mind umbc
True Grit is the mascot of the
University of Maryland - Baltimore County (link).


  1. The colleges around here don't have mascots.

  2. One of them near me is a bulldog

  3. We have the UCONN Huskies. My husband was a K( officer for a bit. Fascinating.

  4. The Univ of Illinois....Chief Illinwek!

  5. Blue Raider from Middle Tennessee State University.

  6. You ask such interesting questions on your blog, Kim! The mascot for my New Mexico State University Aggies is Pistol Pete, a rough looking pistol packing cowboy. NMSU was my Dad's alma mater too and since I wanted to "get away from home" (in SoCal) I selected an out-of-state school. :-) BTW, I love the PAW series!

  7. I agree with Janice, your questions are great! We have a Griffin for one hockey team. Our local school mascot is a Scot (fighting Scots).

  8. I am an LSU Tiger. Thanks for a fun review/post.

  9. Longwood Lancers - Elwood the horse - tho I prefer the school's patron hero Joan of Arc (chosen as a strong female to represent what for a long time was a woman's college).

  10. We have the Pitt Panthers and the Nittany and my high school was Tigers - all cats so just perfect for me!

  11. When I attended, my college mascot was the politically incorrect Braves. Several years ago they did an student and alumni surgery and changed the mascot to a wolf.