Chihuahua of the Baskervilles
A Thomas Dunn book for Minotaur Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Publishing Group, 2011
Late one night Charlotte Baskerville hears a certain bark outside her house; she runs to the window and see’s what she thinks is a ghostly apparition floating across the lawn. She runs outside to see a glowing, ghost-like Chihuahua run toward an old stone house and disappear. The next day she contacts a friend whose husband runs a magazine for paranormal believers and asks for help in verifying her sighting. What starts out as an investigation into a dead dog’s reappearance leads to several attempts on Charlotte’s life and ultimately ends up in a real death – accident or murder?
Team from Tripping Magazine:
*Angus MacGregor, writer for Tripping, a magazine that specializes in travelogues to vacation spots with paranormal activity; he leads the team in search of the ghost dog, Petey.
*Suki Oota, photographer, stylishly beautiful and sarcastic; she can take a photo on the brightest day and make it look creepy.
*Michael Abernathy, graphics designer & writer; super cynical about the whole paranormal thing. He thinks the ghost dog is just a bunch of who-ha.
*Charlotte Baskerville, owner of Petey’s Closet, a company named after her dearly departed Chihuahua, Petey, that sells stylish dog clothes.
While the company has done really well and is making tons of money, Charlotte has still managed to anger a few people . . . (see below).
*Thomas Baskerville, husband of Charlotte, who is pretty teed-off about his wife’s company doing so well. He’s a real horse’s a** (no offense meant to horses) and thinks her company is “pathetic. Animals aren’t meant to wear clothes.” (pg 2) You’d think he’d be happy about it since its bringing in the money, but he’s not. Like I said, a real horse’s a**.
*Ellen Froehlich, designer for Petey’s Closet, and also a little peeved with Charlotte. She feels the company has been a success because of her designs and as an employee, everything she designs belongs to Charlotte. She feels like she deserves a bigger piece of the pie.
*Cheri Baskerville, Charlotte’s granddaughter and a not-so-recovering alcoholic at the age of 20, is mad because she has to live with her grandmother (both parents are dead) on the condition that she is not allowed to drink, argues with her step-grandfather (Thomas) and in general is not a happy person; although should Charlotte die, she would stand to inherit a lot of money.
*Ivan Blotski, trainer of the dogs who appear in the catalog and former Russian circus performer, wants Charlotte to sponsor a television show with him as the star.
*Bob Hume, creepy next door neighbor; he’s overly friendly, tries pushing his all-natural dog food business (named Petey’s Pride) on the Baskervilles, very nosy, and enables Cheri with her hidden drinking.
This nice little cozy mystery makes a pretty good attempt at being light-hearted and funny. The quotes on the back of the book from other authors who reviewed the book use words like “laughing”, “snappy”, “quirky”, and “fun.” I won’t be using any of those words. Yes, the book was mildly amusing but I think the author tried too hard. The characters were too clichéd and too boring. There is certainly no emotional investment on the part of the reader even if it was an intriguing mystery and had me guessing all the way to the end. And, if you are familiar with our reviews, then you know the Board much prefers books that require something of us. If I am going to invest precious time in reading a book then I want it to touch my heart and mind. So for that reason, I rate it . . .
3 out of 5 paws