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Your pup is a pretty respectable watch dog.

If anyone merely considers walking by your house, it doesn’t go unnoticed. And if someone actually dares knock on your door, well, the ensuing noise pains your ears. Yes, your doggo is protector of hearth and home and, in the new book, “A Healing Justice,” by Kristin Von Kreisler, he may be protector of the heart.

It happened so fast that Andrea Brady barely had time to think.

There she was, just home after an overtime shift with the San Julian, Washington, Police Department and ready for some sofa time with her K9 partner and best bud, Justice, when Justice ran into the woods behind their house.

One minute, he was snarling, then he’d been stabbed and was shrieking in pain and a man with a knife was racing toward Andie, who had seconds to react. Pulling her weapon, she shot the man dead, but the “man” was a mere boy — Christopher, a teenager who lived just down the lane.

Tom Wolski probably should’ve excused himself.

He knew that, the minute he was asked to run the investigation into the Brady case. He also knew that doing so would be a great way for him to set himself apart within the Nisqually County Sheriff’s Department. Determining what happened would show top brass that Tom was ready for bigger things and better money.

The problem was that, ever since a disastrous blind date that never actually happened, Tom didn’t think much of Officer Andrea Brady.

He didn’t think much of the dead boy’s parents, either. According to them, Christopher was a good kid who never gave them a minute's trouble. Maybe, they insinuated, Andrea seduced their son and shot him in a lovers’ quarrel. Tom strongly doubted all that, but clues to why Andrea shot Christopher weren’t adding up.

In the meantime, Andrea struggled: nightmares colored her sleep and flashbacks lit her days. Her dog was on the mend, but she was not. How could she even think of doing her job anymore? How could she rid herself of the cloud of guilt she felt?

Ripped from the headlines and twisted into a bit of romantic mystery with a dog, “A Healing Justice” is a delightful novel, the kind that you can share with pretty much anyone who loves a tale on the lighter side.

Indeed, the action in this book is tame enough for anyone who hates needless violence, and it doesn’t linger in blood and guts. The character cast is short and sweet. The language isn’t even offensive; though there are a tiny handful of rough words, they fit, and aren’t gratuitously placed.

Reading this book is, if you will, like wearing your favorite sweatshirt at the end of the summer: comfortable, warm, pleasantly familiar, and not at all complicated. Best of all: a dog.

For lovers of novels with a heart-pound or two, romance fans, and those who read about pooches, “A Healing Justice” should be on your bookshelf.

It’s a book you’ll love. Just watch.

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Assistant Local News Editor