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The Highly Effective Detective Goes to the…
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The Highly Effective Detective Goes to the Dogs

by Richard Yancey

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Delightful hero, witty dialogue and a quick moving story ( )
  susannelson | Dec 3, 2012 |
You'd have to say Teddy Ruzak is highly effective because he does always solve the crime, of course surpassing the skills of the local police department. And if he spent his free time studying for the private investigator's licensing exam then the plot wouldn't be very interesting. But as it is, Ruzak's existential introspection - which comprises the bulk of every conversation - is mildly amusing in its digressions but not fascinating. His investigation takes up only a few pages of text and the dog isn't really that important. Besides, what's going to happen if he doesn't pass that exam - won't that be a series-ender? It's going to take a pretty big deus ex machina for him to keep his practice open in the already-published third title in the series. And I guess I'll never know, because as much as I want to like the series it just isn't sufficiently engaging to keep reading. ( )
  amac121212 | Jun 30, 2010 |
It’s tough to be a “highly effective detective” without a PI license. After flunking the PI exam for the second time, the State of Tennessee, in its wisdom, has closed down Teddy Ruzak’s detective agency. While he’s picking up a fern plant to take home with him, he looks out his office window and spots the body of a homeless man.

Earlier, kindhearted Teddy had given money and his rain hat to the victim – one John Minor. Knowing the Knoxville police are unlikely to pull out all the stops investigating the murder of a homeless man, and feeling a kinship with a man he didn’t know at all, Teddy decides to investigate. He’s not being paid, so what can the Tennessee authorities say?

The Highly Effective Detective Goes to the Dogs is different than I anticipated from seeing the cover – which two cartoon puppies dominate. The story has little to do with dogs. Yes, Teddy is coerced into adopting a stray from the pound and bringing it home to an apartment house that bans pets. But “Archie” has little part in the story except as a very peripheral character.

That’s not to say I disappointed with the story – I wasn’t at all. In fact, it was one of the most charming mysteries I’ve read in a long time. The Highly Effective Detective Goes to the Dogs is funny without being silly or irreverent, and heartwarming without being schmaltzy. Teddy is a super character – confused, at sea with women, smart but inept. He’s also kind and generous – and overly concerned with the big questions of ethics and religion. It was that internal dialogue I would have been happier with less of. Also, the smattering of coarse language – in dialogue – didn’t seem at all necessary and was a bit distracting.

By Diana. First published in Mystery News, Dec ’08 - Jan ’09 issue.
1 vote NewsieQ | Mar 27, 2009 |
I really enjoyed Richard Yancey's first novel in this series (The Highly Effective Detective), but this second entry just didn't measure up for me. Teddy Ruzak is no longer allowed to practice as a private detective because he has not passed the state licensing exam. Nevertheless, when he discovers the body of a homeless man outside his office window, he feels obligated to pursue the case. The police verify that the man was murdered, but solving the crime doesn't seem very high on their list of priorities. Teddy also has to deal with the attentions of Amanda, a younger girl who is definitely interested in him, while Teddy himself seems to have lots of unresolved feelings for his former secretary Felicia (even though she supposedly has a boyfriend). What I didn't like about this novel is that Teddy spent way too much time ruminating on the nature of life. Teddy's ruminations just didn't mix well with the mystery format, at least not for me. All in all, not a bad novel, but hopefully Teddy's philosophical musings will be toned down in the next series entry. ( )
  dbartlett | Sep 22, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312347537, Hardcover)

From the critically acclaimed author of The Highly Effective Detective comes this deliciously funny follow-up featuring the lovable but bumbling P.I. Teddy Ruzak.

After the state shuts him down for practicing detection without a license, Teddy thinks his investigating days are over. Then he discovers the body of a man outside his office, a homeless man whom he had befriended just the day before.

Teddy suspects foul play, but the police think he's barking up the wrong tree. Then his normal befuddlement is exponentially enhanced by two very unexpected--and potentially very dangerous--visitors from the pound.

With his signature wit and gripping suspense, Richard Yancey has written yet another irresistible page-turner. It is sure to win him and Teddy Ruzak a whole new series of fans.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:48 -0400)

"After the state shuts him down for practicing detection without a license, Teddy Ruzak thinks his investigating days are over. Then he discovers the body of a man outside his office, a homeless man whom he had befriended just the day before." "Teddy suspects foul play, but the police think he's barking up the wrong tree. Then his normal befuddlement is exponentially enhanced by two very unexpected - and potentially very dangerous - visitors from the pound."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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