Friday, December 19, 2008

Review: A Dog Among Diplomats

Summary: He reads Proust. Surfs the net. Is the soul of diplomacy. And when it comes to solving crime, Randolph is the dog for the job.

Murder has come to Manhattan’s East Village. And when detectives call twenty-something artist Harry to the scene, his Labrador, Randolph, instantly smells a rat. Why? Because Harry’s missing almost-fiancĂ©e—and Randolph’s beloved mistress—has been implicated in the murder, which has ties to the U.N. While Harry looks to the spirit world for answers, careening between terror and wild hope that Imogen is alive, Randolph goes into detective mode, using his superior Lab brain—2.3 pounds of smoothly functioning gray matter—to surf the Net, track down clues, and even land a job as a “therapy” dog to a depressed diplomat. Suddenly the brainy, book-loving Lab has done the impossible: he’s penetrated the shadowy corridors of the U.N. (which boasts the most vicious, backbiting dog run in the city) in search of a killer. Now it will take all of Randolph’s cunning to protect Harry, clear Imogen’s name, solve the crime—and stay alive long enough to enjoy his upcoming birthday. -- Bantam Dell

A DOG AMONG DIPLOMATS by J.F. Englert has been sitting in my TBR pile for a very long time. Just a few days ago, I felt like reading a mystery -- I haven't been reading many mysteries since I started blogging. I picked up this book and was immediately captivated. What caught my interest was that the story is told first person (or should I say first dog?) by a black lab named Randolph. What a unique idea for a mystery series!

It probably goes without saying that Randolph isn't your normal dog. He's actually very well-read (even for a human) and can communicate clues about the crimes. I found myself laughing quite a few times while reading this book. Randolph's insights about dog and human behavior are too funny. And, I couldn't help but love a dog who makes obscure (at least to me) references to art and literature.

I enjoyed the mystery aspect of the novel too, and it did keep me guessing until the end. Although, I have to admit that I didn't really try to analyze the crime and guess the culprit. It was a quick, light read; and I wouldn't hesitate to read more books in this series.

A DOG AMONG DIPLOMATS is the second book in the Bull Moose Dog Run Mystery series -- the first being A DOG ABOUT TOWN. I wish I had read the first book before picking up this one, but I don't think it was necessary to appreciate this book on its own. There were many references to the first mystery, but I thought the author did a great job of explaining the background so I didn't feel like I was missing something.
Make sure you take a look at J.F. Englert's website because it's definitely a hoot! It's called The Intelligent Dog's Guide to a Troubled World and it's really Randolph's blog. You will get a great idea of Mr. Englert's (and Randolph's) writing style and sense of humor. Check out this video for the first book in the series -- isn't Randolph just precious?

If you enjoy mysteries and love dogs, I'm pretty sure that you will get a kick out of this funny mystery book!

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

This sounds so good. I love Rita Mae Brown's Sneaky Pie books, so I think I'd like this one too!