Mystery — Gone to the Dogs
What a lovely group of book covers! It is truly amazing what variety authors come up with, all to entertain their readers. Not only did these books satisfy my desire to follow a mystery to a satisfying conclusion, they each had an unusual attraction, AND taught me something I didn’t know. Now, that’s quite an accomplishment when you think about it.
So, what did I particularly like about To Kill A Labrador? I loved the voice, which means, I loved the way the author put the words together. Her style made me turn the first page. (Okay, I read it on my Kindle, so I didn’t actually turn a page.) It kept me so involved in reading that I finished it it two evenings. What did I learn? Answer — a whole lot about service dogs for veterans. And how did all that happen? The main character (and amateur sleuth) trains service dogs. When she is called in to take care of Buddy (the dog), she discovers his veteran owner is assumed guilty of murder until proven innocent — and she does something about it.
Oh Bits, Grumbles From The Grave was quite unusual. It is historical fiction—heavy on the fiction, I’d say. Somehow, the story galloped along with sudden additions of other elements. The reader doesn’t know what the title refers to until at least half way through. But I do like books that surprise me. Let’s see, there were viewpoints from the heroine who was a recent college graduate hired on a newspaper, a German spy, a gravedigger, a woman, before and after she became a ghost, a couple more as well, I believe. And, how about a haunted mirror? Readability and the unexpected lured me into this book and kept me reading to the end. What did I learn? Fantasy, history, and mystery can co-exist.
Girl in the Shadows was a fun, quick read. I especially liked the main character, Abby, a girl with a super memory who takes a temp secretary job. I liked her actions and reactions, and her take-hold attitude, as she quickly discovered she liked her new job—no, she loved investigative work. She also took over her boss’s trusty beagle Chewie. Hi-jinx ensue! This book was short and funny. Can’t beat that combination. Guess I didn’t really learn anything new, except, perhaps, that short books are selling and getting nice reviews. (Okay, as an author, that’s something to consider when I’m struggling to complete 70,000 or more words.)
This Dog for Hire was an excellent intro to behind-the-scenes shenanigans at a dog show. Rachael is the investigator, checking out those shenanigans with her pit bull Dash. They’re a team, and one can always agree that if you want a dog to protect you, a pit bull can’t be beat. At times I was a bit confused, which is usually good for a mystery. This book kept me engrossed, with a mystery to solve and a main character who was (at least in this story) a bit too suspicious for her own good.
These are all mysteries I’ve read and enjoyed. I didn’t give any of them five stars, but they came close. The unique take-away for different ones? One was the voice, one was surprise elements, one was the main character, and the last took suspicion to a new level. I learned something different from each one as well: the very different “occupations” for dogs, and four different approaches to the doggie mystery.
Now I have a question or two: If mysteries are your thing, do you enjoy a variety which might include animals as main characters? Do you have a favorite mystery that includes dogs? Okay, last one: Tell me, quick! What book is it? (I love a good mystery, and a personal recommendation is super.)