First review from the trade pubs: Kirkus on Chi of B
Posted by Esri Allbritten
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Price ( Hardcover ): $23.99
Publication Date: July 5, 2011
ISBN ( Hardcover ): 978-0-312-56915-0
A magazine staff investigates a ghost dog’s appearance in a quirky Colorado town.
Beleaguered Scotsman Angus MacGregor is sent to resuscitate Tripping magazine (about ghosts, not drugs) with a fanciful story of a ghost dog. Charlotte Baskerville, the owner and operator of the niche shop Petey’s Closet, “Where the Well-Dressed Pooch Shops,” has seen the clothing catalog’s namesake wandering her home’s grounds at night, a year after Petey’s death. Charlotte’s sourpuss husband Thomas insists that her story is further grounds for having the poor old dear declared incompetent, though a skeptic might suspect he’s more concerned for her money than her mind. With bold photographer Suki Oota and cynical writer Michael Abernathy in tow, Angus visits the Baskerville home determined to write the story, whether or not the ghost is real. The Tripping team quickly becomes integrated into the quirky Baskerville household, from fame-hungry Russian dog trainer Ivan Blotski to Charlotte’s own granddaughter and recovering alcoholic Cheri to bizarrely optimistic neighbor Bob Hume, who’s obsessed with acai berries. Charlotte’s living Chihuahuas, Lila and Chum, play non-speaking, emotionally supportive roles for the old girl while Angus and his mates investigate in order to assuage her concerns over Petey’s message from the beyond. The mystery takes a backseat to tensions among the characters, all culminating at the town’s annual coffin race festival.
Allbritten (Bound to Love Her, 2008, etc., as Esri Rose) tells a light and engaging tale with charming characters that will appeal to those outside of both mystery and canine genres.