Lost Dog

From BCMystery Wiki: The Work of W.H. Cameron / Bill Cameron
Original cover art for Lost Dog
2nd edition cover art for Lost Dog

Lost Dog (978-0-7387-0966-6) is the first book in the Skin Kadash mystery series.

General Information

Of the four novels in the Skin Kadash series, Lost Dog is the only one in which Skin is not a point-of-view character. The two point-of-view characters are the protagonist Peter McKrall and antagonist Jake Smithers. Lost Dog is preceded by the short story "Heat Death" and followed by the book Chasing Smoke, though some events from the third book in the series, Day One, take place prior to the events of Lost Dog.

A second print edition of Lost Dog (978-0-9965669-0-2) was released in 2015.

Publication and Reception

Published in 2007, Lost Dog was a Left Coast Crime Rocky Award nominee[1] and a finalist for the 2008 Spotted Owl Award for best mystery in the Pacific Northwest[2].

Jacket Copy

Peter McKrall is at a crossroads—out of work, fighting a klepto habit, and trying to figure out his next move. Life takes an unexpected turn when a search for his niece’s stuffed dog leads him to something else entirely: a bullet-riddled corpse.

Talking to reporters lands Peter on the local news, which turns out to be a dangerous spotlight. And now Darla, the troubled daughter of the victim, is reaching out to him—but can she be trusted? When a second murder takes place and evidence is planted in his trash, the cops dredge up Peter’s painful history. The only ray of sunshine in this harrowing nightmare is Ruby Jane, owner of the Uncommon Cup cafe, whose warm smile and hot coffee melts the winter chill.

An unwitting player in a bizarre chain of events, Peter has no idea that the deranged killer is after him—until he takes a shot at Ruby Jane. Set against the sodden backdrop of Portland, Oregon, Lost Dog tells of the intersection of one man’s struggle against and another’s embrace of powerful and self-destructive impulses.

Major Characters

Points of Interest

Awards and Nominations

Finalist: 2008 Spotted Owl Award


The first edition of Lost Dog opened with a prologue. When the second print edition was released, the prologue was changed to Chapter One, and subsequent chapters numbered accordingly. The chapter originally called the "Prologue" wasn't structurally distinct from the rest of the book, nor did it function to establish the story background in the way prologues most often do. It was simply where the story started, and so probably never should have been called the prologue to begin with.

Also in the first edition, Ruby Jane's brother is referred to in passing as "Jimmy." In Chasing Smoke, there is character named Jimmy Zirk, and so when Ruby Jane's brother returned in County Line, the decision was made to call him Jimmie as a way to distinguish him from Jimmy Zirk. In the second print edition of Lost Dog, Jimmy Whittaker became Jimmie as well.