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A Dog About Town by J.F. Englert

A Dog About Town (2007)

by J.F. Englert

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Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
I loved this book! If you can get past the ridiculous concept of detective dog, it's actually an intelligent,, well written mystery. Plus, I love dogs! Really it's probably a 41/2. ( )
  stacey2112 | Apr 22, 2013 |
This is terrific! Appealing characters, both dog and man. Wonderfully witty, with so many clever observations. Here's one I especially liked about the need to take risks: " There are times in life when one has to jump from the trapeze one is holding to the trapeze that has not yet arrived." So true. ( )
  Rayaowen | Apr 14, 2013 |
A little better than the second book, mostly because the author is setting everything up for the first time and did well with characterization. ( )
  sriemann | Mar 30, 2013 |
Randolph, an unlikely protagonist, is the labrador turned detective on the Upper West Side. A dog of unusual perspicacity, Randolph lives with young painter Harry. Harry recently lost his fiancee and Randolph's original owner, Imogen, and Harry hasn't been the same since. Rudderless and delving into the world of paranormal, Harry somehow finds himself at seance with an unusual death. As the murders pile up, Randolph has to find a way to somehow solve the crime with Harry's help, decipher what happened to Imogen, and save his master's life - all the while without Harry realizing Randolph's special talents.

I enjoyed the book very much and would highly recommend it. Admittedly, I was predisposed to like it - I am an avid dog lover without a dog and have since childhood enjoyed books about dogs and horses as well as mystery novels. But there is many a slip from the cup to the lip and J.F. Englert's execution was very well done!

Randolph's character is witty and sensitive and endearing. (Spoiler alert!) It makes a huge difference that Randolph is sentient, literate, and better read than his master, Harry. It reminds me a little bit of P.G. Wodehouse's Jeeves, although Harry isn't as clueless as Jeeve's charge.

Here's a brief excerpt:

I am also sentient. I can think. I can remember. I can understand that as the teller
of this tale I had best get most of this explanatory material over with at the beginning.
Like the reader, I compare the past and the present. I strategize and calculate. This is
not a possibility entertained by the Miriam-Webster definition. The competent editors
of that publication are not to blame for the oversight. Most dogs certainly do not behave
in ways that would suggest sentience (although I might also add that most humans do
not either as is apparent from the hastiest glances at the newspapers). Moreover, there
is at present no way to penetrate my species' muteness. Science is unable to plumb the
depths of our cerebral cortices and discern the lives of our minds. (pages 4-5)

I hadn't expected much from a book with a canine detective and had fully underestimated its possibilities. It's a highly enjoyable read.

Format and cover:
Catchy cover draws your attention. The picture fits well with the characters and plot!
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Release date: 2007 by Bantam Dell (271 pages)
Courtesy of the New York Public Library ( )
  gaby317 | May 25, 2009 |
“A Dog About Town” is a delightful mystery told from the point of view of a very proper, educated (self-taught from training newspapers) dog. As Randolph explains, “You see, I am a dog – not a scoundrel, a cad, a rascal – no, not a dog in that sense, but an actual dog, Canis familiaris.”

This black Labrador retriever and his master Harry are suffering from the disappearance of Imogen, Harry’s girlfriend and Randolph’s original owner. Harry doesn’t realize Randolph is sentient, and Randolph himself doesn’t quite understand the phenomenon, but quietly nurtures his love of Dante and Auden in stolen moments when Harry is asleep or not at home.

When a murder occurs, Randolph finds himself in the thick of things, since his ability to analyze scents far outstrips that of humans. As Randolph observes when entering the house of a suspicious person, “The smells carried a cast of characters and bore a kaleidoscopic range of human emotion: excitement and joy; despair and hate; the bitterness of death and the hope of birth. And this was just in the entranceway.”

In desperation, Randolph nudges Harry along in the investigation by nosing Alpha-bits cereal pieces into clues for him to read. Harry never seems to catch on, thinking Randolph is guided by the “spirit world.” This is all to the good as far as Randolph is concerned, since he doesn’t relish being sold or promoted as a freak.

This enjoyable romp through the concerns and occupations of a dog who loves philosophy, Chinese food, and rolling in dead animals will leave you looking forward to more of the same. Fortunately for the reader, another mystery, “A Dog Among Diplomats,” follows on the heels of this one. ( )
  nbmars | Dec 21, 2008 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
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Hunde sind klug. Sie verkriechen sich in eine ruhige Ecke, lecken ihre Wunden und kommen erst wieder heraus, wenn sie ganz gesund sind.
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Lyell Overton Minskoff-Hardy, Schriftsteller von Rang und hochangesehenes Mitglied der Gesellschaft, hauchte ein paar Tage vor Weihnachten unter einer Edelstahltoilette an Manhattans Upper West Side sein Leben aus.
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Book description
A taste for Poetry. A Nose for Crime. And a Story to Tell...

Harry is a man still mourning the loss of his beloved girlfriend, Imogen, who left him suddenly without a word. He’s also the owner of a plump, poetry-loving Lab, Randolph. Like most Manhattan dogs, Randolph spends his days sifting through a world of scents, his owner’s neuroses, and an overcrowded doggy run at the American Museum of Natural History. But now a bereft Harry has drifted into a circle of would-be occultists. Which might not be so bad if one of them wasn’t also a murderer.

But which one? With 100,000 times the smelling power of a human being, Randolph can quickly detect the scents of guilt, anxiety, and avarice—and he has no lack of suspects, from a seductive con woman to an uncouth professor of the decorative arts. Now, to protect his hapless owner’s life, Randolph might have to do the unthinkable—and start training Harry to catch a killer....
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