Two more entertaining books

I still wish I had time for my blog, but since I can’t even squirrel away time for writing letters, e-mails,  or stories, it doesn’t seem realistic to promise that I will be writing much before I finally retire on December 1, 2016. However starting then I will blog regularly – no problem since I have opinions on practically everything.

In the meantime, here are reviews I managed to write about two wonderful books, volumes three and four of Susan J. Kroupa’s delightful “Doodlebugged” middle-grade mystery series:

Volume 3: Dog-Nabbed

“Dognabbed”, the wonderful successor to Susan J. Kroupa’s “Bed-Bugged” and “Out-Sniffed”, is again warmhearted and funny but never superficial. Middle-grade kids will love it; older kids will enjoy it secretly, without perhaps ever admitting that they read it. Adults with the good fortune of having a dog in their lives will adore the book; adults without canine companionship will start wondering if they need a labradoodle. Book three stands on its own, but lucky readers will want to read books one and two as soon as possible.

In “Dognabbed”, main character Doodle, the bedbug-detecting labradoodle “employee” of Josh Hunter and companion to Josh’s 10-year-old daughter Molly, again grasps every situation immediately, his wry assessments of human behavior spot on the money. Adult human beings in the story stumble cluelessly and then fail to repair their regrettable mistakes. Children are imaginative and flexible enough to think outside any box and come up with obvious solutions which of course succeed, once the adults are willing to try them.

Over Thanksgiving on a trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains Molly has an opportunity to get to know more of her mother’s side of the family while her father has to deal with challenges on his side. Molly is also confronted with serious family problems a friend of hers has. Doodle loves the woodsy environment, even giving in to a puppylike desire to chase wild turkeys.

In the end, thanks to Molly and Doodle, situations are resolved with solutions acceptable to all, except perhaps the villains who don’t deserve any better. The reader’s sense of justice is not disappointed. Adults’ bad choices are presented objectively but compassionately, and of course Molly and Doodle know what has to be done to remedy sad situations.

This is a marvelous book. Buy it, read it, and then buy another one so that someone else can enjoy it as much as you did.

Volume 4: Bad-Mouthed:

“Bad-Mouthed”, the wonderful successor to Susan J. Kroupa’s “Bed-Bugged”, “Out-Sniffed” and “Dognabbed”, is again warmhearted and funny but never superficial. Middle-grade kids will love it; older kids will enjoy it secretly, perhaps not ever admitting that they read it. Adults with the good fortune of having a dog in their lives will treasure the book; adults without canine companionship will start wondering if they need a labradoodle. Book four stands on its own, but fortunate readers will want to read books one, two, and three as soon as possible.

In “Bad-Mouthed”, main character Doodle, the bedbug-detecting labradoodle “employee” of Josh Hunter and companion to Josh’s 10-year-old daughter Molly, again grasps every situation immediately, his wry assessments of human behavior always accurate and insightful. Naive adult human beings in the story stumble cluelessly and then try to repair their unfortunate mistakes. Children are imaginative and flexible enough to think evaluate the situations and come up with obvious solutions which turn out to be perfect once the adults finally implement them.

This time Doodle’s adventures begin with his finding and catching a rat at a Christmas pageant, an obvious good deed that no one seems to appreciate. Adults in the book exhibit contradictory behavior, which ends up causing serious problems for Josh and his business. However, with the exception of two evil villains with no redeeming qualities, all the adults are depicted with compassion; they are shown as flawed human beings who truly want to do the right thing, but of course fail over and over again.

Fortunately Molly’s detective work and Doodle’s instincts and actions can save the day for Josh, for Molly’s mother, for Grady, the troubled son of one of Josh’s initial adversaries, and for innocent, deserving dogs. The happy ending includes a few surprises but satisfies everyone’s desire for justice.

This is a remarkable book. Buy it, read it, and then buy another one so that someone else can enjoy it as much as you did.

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About maryjorabe

retired librarian, science fiction fan and writer
This entry was posted in Doodlebugged Mysteries, Susan J. Kroupa, writers, Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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