STARRED REVIEW
May 2015

A nose for solving crime

By Spencer Quinn
Bowser has led a tough life, avoiding thugs in the city before ending up in an animal rescue shelter in Louisiana’s bayou country. Life hasn’t been easy for 11-year-old Birdie Gaux, either. With a police detective father killed in the line of duty and an engineering mother working on an oil rig off the coast of Africa, Birdie is being raised by Grammy, who owns a bait store and gives swamp tours. When Birdie selects Bowser as a belated birthday present, the lovable mutt and spunky tween become a formidable sleuthing team.
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Bowser has led a tough life, avoiding thugs in the city before ending up in an animal rescue shelter in Louisiana’s bayou country. Life hasn’t been easy for 11-year-old Birdie Gaux, either. With a police detective father killed in the line of duty and an engineering mother working on an oil rig off the coast of Africa, Birdie is being raised by Grammy, who owns a bait store and gives swamp tours. When Birdie selects Bowser as a belated birthday present, the lovable mutt and spunky tween become a formidable sleuthing team.

Their skills are tested in Woof, the first in a middle-grade mystery series, when Grammy’s mounted championship black marlin from 1945 goes missing. The value of a stuffed fish seems questionable until Birdie learns that a treasure map from her great-great-granddaddy may have been inside. Could a rival bait-shop owner be the prime suspect? As Birdie uncovers not only the thief but also a top-secret family history, Bowser deduces the strange language of humans.

Spencer Quinn, whose best-selling Chet and Bernie mysteries have captivated adult readers, spins a ruff-and-ready tale for kids. As young readers piece together the clues, they’ll discover the fun of both owning and being a dog.

 

This article was originally published in the May 2015 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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Woof

Woof

By Spencer Quinn
Scholastic
ISBN 9780545643313

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