Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Dog at Sea by J. F. Englert

Randolph is unusually smart. He is not just an intelligent dog, but is, in fact, smarter than many humans, including his owner Harry. The book begins with Harry and Randolph aboard the Nordic Bliss, a canine-friendly cruise headed to Curacao. Ostensibly, Harry and Randolph are on the cruise ship for some relaxation, but the real reason is that they think Curacao is where they will find Imogen. A few years back, Harry and Randolph watched Imogen leave the apartment for some bread, an errand from which she never returned. For a while Harry thought that she was dead, but Randolph had some lingering doubts. In A Dog About Town, Harry becomes convinced that Imogen is still alive, but in hiding for some reason. We find out that reason in A Dog Among Diplomats. In this third book, Randolph hopes to reunite with his mistress and put more of the mystery to rest. But before that can happen, he has to help get the bottom of a murder on board the ship.

The tale is told from Randolph's perspective. His murder-solving skills come from the ability to decipher complex human emotions through scent. In this way, Randolph can get a sense if someone is sad, if they are lying, or if they feel guilty. Randolph has to lead Harry along the way. All the while, Randolph never loses his canine attributes. Englert has a great grasp of canine behavior and a good understanding of what makes a good mystery. I absolutely love the Randolph series, and if you love dogs, mysteries, or good books, then you will too.


Randolph said...

Dear Carlton:
I am very pleased that you enjoyed the latest book (I am still searching for my land legs). Thank you also for being one of those wise reviewers who illuminates without dropping spoilers. A most Happy New Year to you!

Carlton Farmer said...

Why thank you, Randolph. Happy New Year to you too.