Monday, June 30, 2008

A Dog Among Diplomats -- J. F. Englert

This is the kind of book you're either going to like or not. I mean, it's narrated by a dog who reads Proust and surfs the 'Net, so there you go.

I liked it, which I'm sure destroys whatever street cred I had left, but let me tell you some of its good qualities. It's well written, it's funny, and it has a good fair-play mystery plot. These are all things I like.

Randolph, the Labrador narrator, gives us a dog's-eye view (and smell; Randolph is very good at smells) of things, and it's a refreshing change. This is a sequel to Randolph's first novel, A Dog about Town. In that one, Imogen, Randolph's human companion goes missing. She still hasn't been found, but in this new book, Randolph and Harry (his current human companion) get word that she's still around town. Unfortunately, she's been seen leaving the scene of a murder. More murders follow, and it's up to Randolph and Harry to prove Imogen's innocence. If they can. Luckily Randolph is pretty much Holmes, Watson, and Poirot all in one.

Even if you don't like dogs, you'll like get some fun from this book. If you're a dog fan, you'll love it.

he follow-up to last year's A Dog About Town comes out of the gate running. And it's a winner! Like the first book in the series (review here), this one is written in the first person from Randolph's point of view. But I was now used to seeing through the eyes (and nose) of a dog by this time! :P

In this installment, Randolph and Harry are still pining after the missing Imogen, but now there's been evidence that she's still alive and in New York City. Though why she was last seen fleeing the scene of a murder, and is now nowhere to be found again, has the police, as well as Harry and Randolph, a bit baffled. Randolph has even been asked to play a part, by playing the role of "therapy dog" to a visiting diplomat who will be staying at the Bed & Breakfast from which Imogen recently fled. Now as a few more dead bodies turn up, Imogen's involvement in this string of murders is questioned, though she still can't be found and brought in for questioning herself. Is this just some elaborate hoax someone is trying to pull? Or is there a reason for Harry and Randolph to be worried?

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