by Spencer Quinn
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Released: April 28, 2015
Source: Review copy from the publisher through Amazon Vine.
Book Description from Goodreads:
There is trouble brewing in the Louisiana swamp -- Bowser can smell it. Bowser is a very handsome and only slightly slobbery dog, and he can smell lots of things. Like bacon. And rawhide chews! And the sweat on humans when they're lying.
Birdie Gaux, the girl Bowser lives with, also knows something is wrong. It's not just that her grammy's stuffed prize marlin has been stolen. It's the weird rumor that the marlin is linked to a missing treasure. It's the truck that seems to be following Birdie and the bad feeling on the back of her neck.
When Birdie and Bowser start digging into the mystery, not even Bowser's powerful sniffer can smell just how menacing the threat is. And when the danger comes straight for Birdie, Bowser knows it up to him to sic 'em.
Woof is a humorous mystery for ages 8 on up. It's the type of story I enjoyed as a child and still enjoy as an adult. It's told from the dog's viewpoint, but the dog isn't human-intelligent. We get the human's words and actions even if he doesn't understand everything the humans are saying or doing. Bowser isn't the brightest, but he sure thinks Birdie has super ideas and is willing to follow wherever she goes.
Bowser's internal dialogue kept me laughing, but Birdie is also developed as an engaging character that's easy to care for. Her mom's job takes her away from home (and her daughter), her dad was a cop who was killed, and her grandma is busy running a business that isn't doing well. Birdie has understandable motives for trying to find the stolen marlin, especially since the sheriff isn't taking a stolen fish very seriously (though he's well-meaning). My only complaint is that we never learn the exact details about how Birdie changes the sheriff's mind about who stole the marlin and why at the very end since Bowser sleeps through it. I doubt most people will care; it's just that I'm a very curious person. :D
There was a very minor amount of swearing (as in, a phrase using "God"...this one happens to have a texting abbreviation). Overall, I'd highly recommend this humorous, exciting mystery.
If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.
Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.