Ellen, I enjoyed this one as well.
Trigger: she’s been feeling dissatisfied with her workaholic lawyer lifestyle, which crystallized when she couldn’t adopt Soldier. (That vignette was great. Also, great dog name.)
Inciting Incident: she is going home to help her mom (and she turned down a big case to do that)
Hook: I liked her, liked the suggested possibility of romance between her and Edward, and I hope that she is able to adopt Soldier. I haven’t read any cozy mysteries, so I am not sure if they start out with more of a suggestion of some mystery about to happen.
I would’ve liked a bit more conflict expressed between the dad and mom and her in terms of their relationships. How did the dad take her turning down the case to help his divorced wife? I would have her answer Edward’s question as to what her dad said. Was her parents’ split amicable? Does her dad know she’s having a change of heart about her career and isn’t he upset if he’s been grooming her to to be his partner? just a few lines or internal thoughts: That conversation with her dad hadn’t gone well. Best not to dwell on it right now. Unless he’d been understanding about her needing to help her mom– and maybe didn’t realize that this also meant she was having doubts about her career.