Tried and True in Dog Town (Dog Town #3)

By: Sandy Rideout

She’s the new judge in Dog Court. Someone is out to reveal her four-legged secret. Can she save her dog, her job and her marriage before it’s too late?

Marti Forrester hates saying no, especially to the Mayor of Dorset Hills. When he appoints her to preside over Dog Court, she steps up—even though Hank, her loveable mutt, is the poster dog for poor training. Hank’s misdeeds nibbled away at her marriage until husband Oliver took a break…and the dog.

Now Hank is back and she’s scrambling to cover his dirty tracks to avoid a scandal. Can she do some good for the bad dogs of Dog Town despite this canine conflict of interest?

When someone threatens to expose Marti and imperil Hank, she digs deep into the secrets of Dog Town’s old guard. The politics turn deadly, giving her one chance to save her beloved pooch and her floundering marriage before she loses them forever.

Tried and True in Dog Town is part of the “Dog Town” series of romantic comedies. If you like charming small-town capers with lots of heart and a little mystery, you’ll love Sandy Rideout’s novels.

Sink your teeth into this Dog Town confection today!

Dog Town series in any order. If you want to travel the seasons with the residents of Dorset Hills, however, here is the list:

Bitter and Sweet in Dog Town (Labor Day)

A Match Made in Dog Town (Thanksgiving)

Lost and Found in Dog Town (Christmas)

Tried and True in Dog Town (New Year’s)

Chapter 1

New Year’s Eve had never been more than an afterthought in Dorset Hills. Christmas was the main event, and people put so much time and effort into making it special that they were happy enough to stand down till Valentine’s Day. But this year, just before Christmas, a dognapping had changed everything. It was unthinkable that a crime like that could happen in Dorset Hills, a small city known as the best destination for dogs and dog-lovers across the country. For it to happen at Christmas was catastrophic, at least as far as City Council was concerned. Dogs were their brand, and dognappings were therefore bad for business. There was an immediate and unanimous vote to divert funds into damage control.

That was how New Year’s Eve turned into a festival that attracted thousands of people and their dogs to Bellington Square outside City Hall on Saturday December 31st. Fireworks weren’t an option, out of respect to the dogs, but an epic light show did a fine job of letting the community know that all was well again. There was something for everyone: live music, games, free food, and even a black-tie parade for dogs and their owners. It would be all over the news for days to come, and that was exactly the plan.

Marti Forrester was still in her office in City Hall when the revelry began. She normally did her best work after eight, when the lights automatically went out, but the noise and the pulsating, multicolor beams from the gathering outside gave her a headache. Her goal had been to ignore New Year’s Eve completely, just as she had Christmas, but Council had made attendance mandatory for all staff. She could only avoid it so long.

Rubbing her temples, she read the same sentence over again. A lot hung on the presentation she was writing and she wanted to get every word right.

Her phone rang and she checked the time as she picked up. “Hey, Tonna.”

“Marti, where are you?” Tonna asked. “I’m turning into a lifelike ice sculpture.”

“I’m only five minutes late,” Marti said.

“Fifteen by the time you get here.” Tonna was shouting, but only to be heard over the cacophony of music, voices and barking in the square. “Have mercy on my freezing butt.”

“Where’s Levi? Isn’t your butt his business?”

Tonna laughed. “It sure is. But he got a last-minute gig, so I need you. Like you have a choice, anyway. Duty calls, my friend.”

Putting the phone on speaker, Marti tapped out another bullet point. “I know. I’m just fine-tuning my pitch for Council.”

“I’m sure it’s perfect already.”

“It needs to be better than perfect. I have to blow their socks off on Monday, so they’ll greenlight the community health centers.”

There was a pause at the other end, as if Tonna were choosing her words. “I know how important this is to you, Marti, but they’ve done a bait and switch on you before, no? You can’t trust politicians.”