Thursday, August 23, 2007

A Dog About Town

by J.F. Englert

This was a hilarious, witty, and touching mystery that reveals both the inner lives of dogs and of New York City. Our narrator is a sentient and pudgy black lab, Randolph, who here relates background about the life he leads as well as his (and his owner, Harry's) involvement in finding out who killed an infamous author. As the story begins, the two are in a sort of mourning for Imogen, Harry's girlfriend and Randolph's mistress, who disappeared one day on an outing for bread, leaving behind everything, including a diary in which Randolph has discovered an encrypted clue. Desperate for information, Harry (an up-and-coming artist) has become obsessed with “psychic phenomena,” which is how he ends up witnessing the death throes of Lyell Overton in the bathroom during a séance. The pair faces dead-ends, danger, and an amorous Great Dane named Daisy Mae as they seek the murderer, who may be involved in Imogen's disappearance, while Randolph must consider how much about his intellect he can reveal to Harry. Readers will learn a great deal about dog behavior and biology as well as about the lives of city dogs, as they tour Manhattan by cab and on foot (and paw) with Harry and Randolph. The plot is tight, and most readers won't see the ending miles away. This is a book that will satisfy dog lovers and mystery hounds alike. --Inanna

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