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Deal of the Century (More)


August 24th, 2019 Posted 9:31 am

Here’s the Buffalo News on Ruff vs. Fluff:

Spencer Quinn, author of the amusing Bowser and Birdie mystery series (narrated by Bowser the dog) ups his game in the laugh-out-loud first book of a new mystery series, alternating narrators between arch rivals Arthur the dog and Queenie the cat. As he did in Bowser and Birdie, Quinn – a pen name for mystery writer Peter Abrahams – shows a real flair for inventing a mystery scenario that allows his animal detectives to credibly unearth clues (say, chewing up a wallet, thus exposing a fake ID) to point their humans in the general direction of solving the crime.

While Arthur and Queenie intensely dislike each other, they adore 11-year-old twins Harmony and Bro and their divorced mom, who runs the struggling Blackberry Hill Inn near the Canadian border. A rude guest arrives shortly before Christmas (cat and dog both instantly dislike him), bearing an old map and a handgun and insisting on hiking a treacherous trail on nearby Mount Misty. When he fails to return, the incompetent local sheriff arrests the twins’ cousin, sending the family and their pets on a quest to find the real perpetrator. Harmony uses Queenie’s charms to cajole clues out of the cat-loving local librarian and an elderly nursing home resident. Arthur has his own role to play, which includes a stint in the local pound and some heroic tracking. The narration by scheming cat and clueless hound is hilariously spot on. Queenie observes: “There’s a quiet dignity about me that I’m sure goes unnoticed by nobody.” And here’s Arthur: “Yes, my growl for sure, low and rumbly. Grrr. Grrr. The party on the other end of that growl must have been shaking in his boots. I wondered who it could be.” Appealing characters, a vivid setting and a well-crafted plot inspired by booze-smuggling of the Prohibition years make this series launch a winner.

(for deal details see yesterday’s post)

Share on Woof


May 26th, 2015 Posted 8:14 am

“Woof” by Spencer Quinn; Scholastic, $16.99. Eleven-year-old Birdie and a rescue mutt named Bowser team up to track down the thief who stole the prize stuffed marlin from the family tackle shop in this finely plotted mystery (from an author, writing as Peter Abrahams, of terrific crime thrillers “Reality Check” and “Oblivion”) set on the Louisiana coast and hilariously told from the dog’s point of view. Harlan Coben said it best in a cover blurb: “I defy anyone to read this book – kid or adult – without a big goofy grin.


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