Book Review – This Dog for Hire

Hi everyone! I got a book review for you today. We’re reading This Dog for Hire by Carol Lea Benjamin for #readpawty on Oct. 11. Here’s the synopsis from Goodreads.

Winner of the Shamus Award for Best First PI Novel: In the first book of Carol Lea Benjamin’s acclaimed mystery series, Greenwich Village PI Rachel Alexander and her loyal pit bull must find a killer and a missing show dog 

Divorced dog trainer–turned–private-eye Rachel Alexander and her canine assistant Dash—short for Dashiell—are hired by a man named Dennis Keaton to investigate the hit-and-run death of his friend and neighbor Clifford Cole, whose body was found on an isolated Christopher Street pier. The police are treating the gay painter’s suspicious death as a hate crime, but Dennis insists Cliff hadn’t cruised the waterfront in months. Plus, Magritte, Cliff’s champion basenji—a competitor in the upcoming Westminster Dog Show—may have been a witness to the crime and is now missing.

The search for answers takes Rachel and Dash from the SoHo art scene to the most famous dog show in America. Now Rachel is in the sights of a killer hunting her across a treacherous urban landscape. There’s no one she can trust—especially not of the two-legged variety.”

And here’s the review that I posted in Goodreads.

 

http://This Dog for Hire (The Rachel Alexander and Dash Mysteries Book 1)This Dog for Hire by Carol Lea Benjamin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When I first started reading the book, I had trouble getting into it. The author was trying too hard to imitate Dashiell Hammett or Raymond Chandler. Then she hit her stride in her own style and then I really got into it. It took me until the end to figure out who the bad guy really was, so that was good. I read so many of these I can usually figure it out by halfway through the book. The storyline got a little choppy in some places. There were some points towards the end where I kept rereading because I felt like I’d missed something. Even though I found the writing uneven in some places, I mostly enjoyed reading this. If the series was available from Kindle Unlimited I would read the rest of them, but I didn’t enjoy it enough to spend $6.00+ per book to read the rest of them.

View all my reviews

If you don’t know about #readpawty, you should check it out. We meet on Twitter the second Tuesday of every other month to discuss a book that is either about animals or features an animal in a significant way in the book. We have a group on Goodreads – Anipals Read. If you join the group you’ll get meeting notices. We also have bookshelves where we post books we’ve read for #readpawty or books we’ve read on our own that we’re recommending to others.

My First Blogiversary

Today is my first blogiversary. I can’t believe a year has gone by so quickly. And what a year it’s been! Better get comfy because this blog’s gonna be a little on the long side. MOL!

Here’s a partial list:

My sweetie Curzon
  1. Joined Twitter, Fursbook, and Facebook and started blogging.
  2. Gained over 1,000 Twitter followers, 246 Facebook friends, and almost 100 regular blog readers.
  3. Wrote 97 blogs here and a couple over at Anipals Read.
  4. Tweeted over 13,5000 tweets. (I’m a real chatterbox, aren’t I?)
  5. Met tweeters from all over the world and made tons of amazing friends.
  6. Sadly, had a bunch of friends go OTRB.
  7. Wrote (well, edited) a book. More about that later.
  8. Adopted a shelter to help support (still working on how to do that effectively).
  9. Went to Blogpaws West 2010.
  10. Stayed in a hotel!
  11. Went lots of cool places in my stroller.
  12. Met some of my twitter friends live and in person.
  13. Went out to dinner at a restaurant. How many kitties can say they’ve been to a restaurant?
  14. Been interviewed for Cats Who Twitter and Anipal Times.
  15. Adopted two fursibs, Candy & EK.
  16. Joined #pinkangels and got a cool Hello Kitty motorcycle.
  17. Became a barktender for #nipclub & #pawpawties.
  18. Got an even cooler vehicle – a Lamborghini Gallardo.
  19. Had a hareem for a while, but now I got a sweetie – Curzon from @UsCoons.
  20. Was bridesmaid in a wedding and am going to be in another one.
  21. Attended lots of pawties.
  22. Won mountains of super cool prizes.
  23. Got Toki Poki cards and traded them with my friends.
  24. Got to wear lots of cool costumes.
  25. Was nominated for an Anipal Academy Award (but didn’t win).
  26. Candy & EK
  27. Entered the 2011 Teddy Olympics.

And that’s just what I can think of right now. I know there’s stuff I’m forgetting.

Most of my blogs have been about fun stuff and exciting adventures, but there have been a few serious ones, too. And I’m gonna get serious now for a little bit. As you all know, I keep trying to raise funds to help out Duncan’s Place (http://duncansplace.org/), which is where Candy and EK came from . I’ve put up a chip-in to raise some money for them. They do so much for the cats in their care and for the community and I really want to do whatever I can to help them. If you can see your way clear to donate, even just $1, please do so. 

Another way you can donate is by getting a copy of ‘Summer at the Lake with Petie’. My good pal @BlindMaximus was kind enough to write a blog about it and to put a link to my chip-in on his site. How amazing is that? @Rumblepurr is also helping. He has a link to my book on his blog. If I’ve missed anyone who still has a link up, please let me know. I want to make sure everyone who’s helping me gets mentioned. 

I’m gonna really push the book here for a minute, because of the way the website where I sell the books works. There has to be $25 in my account before they’ll cut a check. What goes in the account is the difference between the cost of the book and how much extra I added on to have to donate to Duncan’s Place. I’m short by about 4 books worth in order to get paid. It was 6 books worth, but @BlindMaximus bought a copy in addition to blogging about it, and @iamDaisyDoo bought a copy to donate for a prize for the next #pawpawty. Anipals really are the best pals. So I’m really hoping that at least 4 of you will order books so I can get one last check to donate.

And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for – the Giveaway! A while back I won a wonderful prize package from the folks at Nutro. It was very similar to this one:

It took a while until we actually got to eat the Nutro Natural Choice food that was in the prize because of Candy’s tummy problems, but we finally got to try it a couple weeks ago. We loved it!

Even more important, it doesn’t upset Candy’s tummy. We think the food is soooo good and you know how we love Greenies, so I wanted someone else to have a chance at the same wonderful prize package. I asked @EdnaAtNutro and the wonderful folks at Nutro if it would be possible to arrange one for my blogiversary. The answer was yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So it is my pleasure to offer you a chance at this package full of fun and yum. Here’s the particulars:

  1. Anyone is welcome to enter for the drawing, but the prize is a cat prize.
  2. Apologies to my pals outside the U.S.A., but the winner has to be in the U.S.A.

Here’s how you enter.

  1. Go to the Nutro (www.Nutro.com) site and pick which formula of Nutro Natural Choice you’d like.
  2. Go to the Greenies (www.greenies.com) site and pick which flavor of Feline Greenies Dental Treats you’d like
  3. Leave a comment saying you want to be in the drawing and telling me which flavors you’d like.

The last step is the most important. I know lots of pals who are not entering will also leave comments, so make sure to tell me you’re entering the drawing.

Comments left by April 30th will qualify for the drawing. After the 30th, I’ll throw all the names in a magic internet hat and pull out the winner. The winner be announced May 8th. Good luck!

The Zen of Max

One of the anipals I talk to regularly and whose blog I never miss is @maxthequiltcat. I love Max’s Mousey cartoons and couldn’t wait for each new chapter of his mystery story. When I found out his mom, Lou Belcher, wrote a book about him, ‘The Zen of Max‘ I couldn’t wait to get it. I was so excited that I was lucky enough to win a copy of ‘The Zen of Max‘ at the last pawpawty.

The Zen of Max‘ is a very heartwarming book. It’s about Lou and Max, how they found each, learned from each other, and shared their lives. But all books about pets and their people have that same basic plot. What makes each book unique are the personalities of the people and pets involved, and how the writer tells their story. Well Max and Lou definitely have interesting personalites and Lou really knows how to tell a story.

I enjoyed learning things I didn’t know about Max. For example, I did not know that Max was tweeting and blogging from over the Rainbow Bridge. Max had already crossed the bridge when I met him, and I don’t think it was ever talked about when we tweeted or in his blog. At least not that I had noticed. I didn’t know that Max had moved from one state to another. I don’t even like the short ride to the park. I can’t imagine driving from one state to another. I also loved learning about Max’s idiosyncrasies.

This book is a must read. I give it a definite paws up!