A couple weeks ago, I mentioned that I’d determined that I’d been drawn into somewhat of an obscure niche in recent readings. Well, I think I found another one. The new one happens to be Mysteries In Which The Protagonist Is a Domesticated Animal.
Earlier this year, I listened to the audiobook of “Three Bags Full: A Sheep Detective Story” by Leonie Swann. I take it the original was written in German. In this story, a flock of Irish sheep in the little town of Glennkill find that their shepherd has been killed. With Miss Maple “the cleverest sheep in all of Glennkill”* leading the investigation, the flock stumbles upon the dark goings-on in the presumably peaceful little dorf. The tale pretty humorous and pokes a lot of fun at human society. I thought the mystery sort of fizzled a bit towards the end, but the characters are endearing enough to carry it through.
*and possibly the world.
And just the other week, I finished “Dog On It” by Spencer Quinn — apparently, the first in the Chet and Bernie Mystery Series. Chet is a mixed-breed dog that assists his private eye owner in solving crimes in the greater Phoenix area. The story is told completely from Chet’s perspective – which is sort of interesting because there’s a lot of the mystery that happens “off-camera”. Chet is the epitome of the loyal side-kick and this book is a hoot for anyone that muses “I wonder what that dog is thinking…”. This book doesn’t really have the satirical elements that “Three Bags Full” does, though Chet's observations of the quirks of human behavior are pretty funny. The mystery is pretty light and it’s fairly easy to put white hats and black hats on characters as they appear. And I don’t think it’s a big giveaway that the bad guy has a cat.