Jackie's Brief Book Reviews

Featuring Dog Mysteries!

I had to start somewhere. There are dozens of books glaring at me, waiting for their brief moment in the spotlight. So, I sorted them by categories and, no surprise, decided to start with mysteries featuring dogs.

If you're just getting started with my reviews, there's a reason they are called "brief". I don't delve into the plots, not much, but just give you my quick impression of the book. Is it fun? Memorable? Something I'd tell my best friend to read? On to the books.

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It's not much of a spoiler to tell you Honeybelle Hensley leaves her considerable fortune to her Texas cattle cur, Miss Ruffles. The twist comes when the will stipulates that the household staff, including Sunny McKillip, secretary and dog sitter, must keep up the household and look after Miss Ruffles for a year in order to receive one million bucks each. There's humor, romance, and a big twist at the end that make this book worth your time. I also liked that author Nancy Martin didn't go in a certain direction with a certain thing. You'll have to read the book to find out what I mean.

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It's unbelievable that it's taken me so long to read a Chet & Bernie mystery. I'm glad I started with this one. I'd avoided the series because I thought, "The entire book is from the dog's perspective? Um, no." Joke's on me. I'm no slouch when it comes to animal behavior, especially dogs, and Chet is exactly how I imagine a dog would speak. Exactly. The "blackouts" when he acts on instinct. His scattered thoughts, and the way he prefers to live in the moment. Author Spencer Quinn nailed it. My next concern was, "Could the author keep it up for an entire book?" Answer: He could. It was funny, sweet, and had plenty of action. The quirky characters are loveable. (That's good, interesting quirky. Not cloying, cutesy quirky.) Both thumbs up.

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I've long been a fan of David Rosenfelt's Andy Carpenter mysteries. Sometimes the plots are similar, but it doesn't matter. The characters make this series. Halfway through the book, I thought, "You've read this before." I kept going anyway because I didn't remember the details and it was so darned fun. Since I've approached this series out of order, I plan to make a list of what I've read and pick up any stragglers so I can move forward like an organized person. You can definitely read these books in any order you find them.