Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Play Dead (A Dog and His Girl Mysteries, #1) by Jane B. Mason and Sarah Hines-Stephens

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Play Dead
(A Dog and His Girl Mysteries, #1)
by Jane B. Mason and Sarah Hines-Stephens
208 pages
NetGalley- Scholastic Inc.

Book Jacket Summary
A dog and his girl show how six legs are better than two in this brand new mystery series!

When Dodge, a German shepherd police dog, finds himself retired after an accident leaves him deaf in one ear, he's lucky to be adopted by the perfect family. Twelve-year-old Cassie Sullivan, his girl, smells almost as good as a dog, and gets her nose for sleuthing from her police chief mom and coroner dad. Cassie is smart and quick on her feet, and doesn't mind breaking a couple rules to get to the bottom of a mystery. Dodge has forty-two dog years of experience solving crime, as well as a great network of other four-legged colleagues when he needs more intel.

When Verdel Ward, the richest man in town, goes missing, it seems like everyone from the mayor to the housekeeper wants his fortune, which he's left behind with no will. But Cassie and Dodge can smell a mystery from a mile away, and can't help wondering why a miser would go swimming in a dangerous cove, what's up with the suspicious fiancee, who's been sneaking around the mansion, and where a twin brother has come from. 

My Thoughts
Cassie and her dog Dodge are inseparable, especially when they are on a case. This new mystery series is perfect for animal lovers and mystery fanatics because it combines the two! Most animal mystery series seem to go with cats but this one works with a former police dog who has specialized training. Plus every other chapter is told from Dodge's perspective. We learn that he communicates with other dogs, especially Gatsby, a hound dog that lives next door. The other chapters are told from Cassie's perspective and she is a typical tween with mean girl problems but enjoys solving mysteries.
There is plenty of danger and fun with this book and you know that there will be more than mysteries to make this series good. There is a family dynamic to this one and Cassie is the middle child and has to deal with her older brother who is pushing away from the family and a younger sister who already acts like a teenager. Her mom is the local police chief and Cassie is constantly getting in trouble for sneaking around crime scenes and maybe skipping school to hear the reading of a will!
I recommend it to tweens who are looking for an interesting mystery or those who love animals. It works for both groups!      

Book Pairings
Three Times Lucky by Shelia Turnage 

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