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The Case of the Blazing Sky #51 (Hank the…
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The Case of the Blazing Sky #51 (Hank the Cowdog)

by John R. Erickson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Hank the Cowdog (51)

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Hank the cowdog books are like classic Warner Brothers cartoons in that a fan can come to eagerly anticipate their familiar situations and the characters' consistent reactions. It's September in the Texas Panhandle in The Case of the Blazing Sky. It's been a dry and hot month, a situation ripe for a prairie fire. Hank tells us about how he's been on the lookout for fires on his ranch.

Hired Hand Slim Chance is foolishly using welding equipment to repair a cattle shoot even though he's standing in some very dry weeds. There's a comic scene where he plays pranks on Hank and Drover, but soon things aren't funny. Slim is in danger and is NOT paying attention to Hank trying to tell him about it. Will Drover's suggestion work? There are plenty of good lessons to be learned here, and it's only a subplot. (I once saw a fire started by a spark from a lawn mower when the grass was dry and the wind was blowing. It caught one of the trees. Good thing the neighborhood fire station was only a couple of blocks away.)

Slim forgot to put any co-op dry dog food in the dogs' bowls that day, so Hank and Drover are mighty hungry. Hank starts thinking about the ranch chickens, but Sally May has a bolt on the door. Pete the Barncat, whom Hank had chased into a tree earlier, offers a solution.

Smarting with humiliation and fearing the wrath of Sally May, Hank goes off into the night. After a scare, he meets up with two frequent supporting characters, Wallace the buzzard and his son, Junior. Like Hank, Wallace has an ego the size of Texas. Wallace claims about the heat lightning made me snicker.

The heat lightning has started a fire! The wind is blowing it toward the Lopers' ranch! Can Hank warn his people in time? It gets pretty tense, especially since this is much bigger danger than we've seen before. The descriptions of the fire and the Lopers' reactions reminded me of when my family had to evacuate because of a wildfire in 2011. (Hey, Sally May, we took our dogs and cat with us.) Will the neighbors and fire truck arrive in time?

As usual, I loved the audio edition's sound effects. Hank's song, 'Chickens,' had a nice tune. I also liked the buzzards' song, 'Call in the Dogs, Put Out the Fire'. I hope Hank will remember he owes them one. If not, Wallace won't be shy about reminding him. As for Pete the Barncat, shame on him for his reaction to the fire! ( )
  JalenV | Jan 23, 2016 |
Hank the Cowdog series is very funny and entertaining to young mystery readers. This series is a must have for children who enjoy a good mystery and enjoy figuring things out. It also allows children to view the story not through human eyes but that of a dogs which makes it an even better read.
  TKeo | Jul 21, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John R. Ericksonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Holmes, Gerald L.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142410152, Paperback)

Hank the Cowdog marks twenty-five years in print! In this latest installment to the long-running series, the weather on Hank’s west Texas ranch is hot and dry. So dry, in fact, that they’ve got to be on the lookout for prairie fires. So Hank bravely takes on the role of Head of Fire Safety and gets to work. But patrolling for fires is dull, and it’s hard to do on an empty stomach. Despite a minor culinary distraction, though, Hank—through grit and determination—is able to keep focused on the job. And it’s a good thing he does, because sure enough, things on the ranch start to heat up....

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:04 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

With the threat of prairie fires looming, security expert Hank the Cowdog takes on extra duties as Head of Fire Safety, while trying to resist the mouth-watering hens in Sally May's chicken house.

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