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.
In all honesty, I really didn't want to read this. I'm not a pet person. There's the picture of a big, sloppy dog on the front cover. I was concerned that I was about to get into one of those pet stories. However, I enjoyed this just as much as I did Kilgore's Lost Dogs, but in a different capacity. Instead of being an apocalyptic thriller, this one is a goofy mystery.
The story is told from the perspective of Bowser, and he's a hoot! The great part about the mystery here is that there's really no way to solve it. Since everything is from Bowser's perspective, and he has the memory of an igloo, it's up to us to keep track of all the clues he finds. Most of the book, I found myself wishing that there was an interpreter so that Bowser could tell Birdie everything he figures out. Then again, Bowser would have forgotten as soon as the interpreter was introduced. What a dog!
Birdie is about a fourth/fifth grader, but she's pretty independent. She has a mind of her own and she's lived a rough life, but she's tough and she can handle it. With a shake of her head, she keeps the tears at bay and does what she feels she needs to. No loose ends. She does her best to tie them all up and keep everything neat and tidy.
This book is about the perfect thickness for a fourth/fifth grade reading level. Honestly, I can't imagine any child of that age who wouldn't adore this book. Keeping in mind that everything we learn about Birdie is from Bowser's perspective, she's an amazing, lovable little girl. Anyone older will still adore this book. They mystery is well done, the writing is brisk-paced and action-packed, and the characters will steal your heart.
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Shawn