Julie Hill host of DogCast Radio has very speedily read the book I sent her! Here's her review... I wonder how long it will take me to get through it! There just doesn't seem to be a spare minute between the alarm going off and my head hitting the pillow at night.
"I have just read Jonathan Englert’s novel A Dog about Town – and I may be the only person in the UK lucky enough to say this, as the book in not for sale here – yet. If and when it is offered to the British public, I suspect they will love it.
"The book is written in first person – or rather first dog – because Randolph the Labrador is the narrator. If I was set the task of writing a mystery novel with a dog as the main character I suspect I would struggle, yet Englert makes it seem easy. According to J.F., the character of the doggy detective came to him fully formed, and the first five pages flowed freely.
"Jonathon Englert shares his life with a Ladrador – Ruby – and it shows in his writing. Here is a man who has considered life from a canine point of view thoroughly. As Randolph shares his opinions on differing types of dogs - from Squat-and-droppers to Foliage-Finders (which is your dog?) - to the nuances of scents, to his reading preferences, somehow it rings true. Dog lovers, particularly Lab owners, will enjoy the novel.
"Randolph is certainly a one-off, and not like any Labrador you are likely to meet in real life, but he is an appealing hero. We see other characters through his eyes and nose, and a new dimension is added to amateur sleuthing. The relationship between the two males – Randolph the dog, and Harry the master - is unconventional but endearing. Randolph’s attempts to comfort his grieving master are recognisable to those of us who share our lives with a four legged best friend.
"Randolph is also a Manhattan dog; definitely at home in the city. The poshest of New York boroughs makes a brilliant backdrop for the action; who knows what dangers lurk amongst its freezing streets? Although one or two references will go over the head of the average British reader (well mine anyway!) most readers will be sufficiently familiar with New York, whether from holiday visits, television or movies, to conjure a mental image of the scenes described.
"In his blog (I did say this is a dog like no other) Randoplph asserts that A Dog about Town includes but is not limited to a mystery, a romance, a tragedy, a comedy, a tragico-comedy, as well as an anthropological and animal behaviourist study of Manhattan, and he does not over-sell it that much. Like most busy mums, I have to work to find time to read, and yet I gladly found it for this book. During the irritating interruptions such as cooking tea, I found myself mulling over the characters and story, and itching to get back to them.
"The only problem is that Randolph is so much better read than me – so right now I’m off to the library to request some books……one of which will be the next Bull Moose Dog Run Mystery starring Randolph and Harry, due out from Dell next year. Can’t wait!"
Thanks Julie, great review!