Expected publication: June 7th 2011 by Berkley Trade (ISBN13: 9780425241196)
It's pug night at the New York Metropolitan museum of art in honor of Daphne Markham, one of the museums largest donors and a celebrity socialite in her own right. Hope McNeill, one of the museum's restorers, is in attendance with Max, her boyfriend Ben's pug. She's dog-sitting Max while Ben is working out of the country.
When Hope discovers the painting, Pansies, on her work table and not on the wall, she knows something is very, very amiss. After speaking to the director, he cautions her not to tell anyone that the painting she found is a copy and the real one is missing. He insists that the department will look into it without involving the police. He does however hire a private investigator who was recommended to him.
Thinking the P.I. is inept, Hope worries that someone will think she had something to do with the heist so when a somewhat mysterious clue lands in her e mail box, she starts her own investigation. With a little helpful advice from the elderly Daphne Markham, Hope interprets each clue she finds but one just leads to more questions than answers. Max, in his own way, is instrumental in helping Hope look at the case in a new light. What ensues is a fun scavenger hunt type mystery with delightfully quirky and loveable characters. I liked the interactions between Hope and Max. It's amazing how Pace manages to imbue Max with almost a human personality.
This was my first reading experience with Alison Pace and I will definitely read anything else by her. While the ending was not a total surprise, it was still such a captivating and enjoyable read. A Pug's Tale is a light, delightful cozy mystery that is sure to be enjoyed by cozy fans or animal fans everywhere. 4*