Dog On It: A Chet and Bernie Mystery

By Spencer Quinn

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Atria Books, 2009

Genres: Mystery, humorous stories

Series: Chet and Bernie Mysteries; 1

ISBN: 9781416585831

Intended audience: Adult

Number of pages: 305

Setting: An unnamed desert city in a valley somewhere between Las Vegas and New Mexico (presumably modeled on Phoenix)

Time period: Contemporary

Plot summary: When Cynthia Chambliss hires the Little Detective Agency to find her missing daughter, Madison, Chet and Bernie are on the case.  It’s a case with lots of stops and starts, twists and turns, and lost and found scents.  Between unsavory characters, including cats and birds, and savory treats, Chet plans to find the perp (with Bernie’s help) and grab him by the pant leg. Continue reading


Island of the Blue Dolphins

By Scott O’Dell; narrated by Tantoo Cardinal

Place: Publisher & Year: Santa Ana, CA : Listening Library, c1960, p2003

Genre: Historical fiction

Format: Audio book

ISBN: 9780307243164

Intended audience: Children – tweens

Number of discs: 4 (about 5 hrs.)

Setting: Ghalas-at (San Nicolas Island, Channel Islands, CA)

Time period: Not stated, but likely early 1800’s

Plot summary: When strangers come to the island to hunt for sea otters, they cause disturbances which will radically alter Karana’s life.  Karana will need to become incredibly self reliant in order to survive. Continue reading

Definitely Dead

By Charlaine Harris

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Ace Books, c2006, 2007

Genres: Mystery, fantasy, dark fantasy, contemporary fantasy, paranormal, romance, paranormal romance, vampire

Series: Southern Vampire Mysteries (Sookie Stackhouse); 6

ISBN: 9780441014910

Intended audience: Adult

Number of pages: 324 (342 including an excerpt from the next book – All Together Dead)

Setting: Bon Temps and New Orleans, Louisiana

Time period: Contemporary

Plot summary: When Sookie’s long lost, vampire cousin was murdered in New Orleans, the vampire queen of Louisiana – Sophie-Anne Leclerq – came to Bon Temps to tell Sookie the news.  Hadley and Sophie-Anne had been lovers.  Sookie knows she has to deal with Hadley’s estate in New Orleans, but she puts it off as long as she can; life has been fairly busy in Bon Temps.  When a demon comes knocking at her front door, though, Sookie knows it’s time to go. Continue reading

Out of Range

By C.J. Box

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Berkley Prime Crime, c2005, 2006

Genre: Mystery, eco-fiction

Series: Joe Pickett Novel; 5

ISBN: 9780425209455

Intended audience: Adult

Number of pages: 310

Setting: Saddlestring & Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Time period: early 2000s

Plot summary: When Will Jensen, the game warden for Jackson Hole, commits suicide, Joe is sent to temporarily cover this district for hunting season.  “Jackson is Wyoming’s very own California” (p. 42) and Joe must deal not only with hunters, but also land developers and animal rights activists.  Joe is also asked by his supervisor to try to find out why Will pulled the trigger and Joe is anxious to comply because he and Will had a lot in common. Continue reading

Promises To Keep

By Charles De Lint

Place: Publisher & Year: Burton, MI: Subterranean Press, 2007

Genre: Fantasy, contemporary fantasy, urban fantasy, mythic fiction, paranormal

Series: Newford; 20 (according to NoveList) or 21 (according to Goodreads)

ISBN: 9781596061262

Intended audience: Adult

Number of pages: 173

Setting: Newford, Canada

Time period: late 1960s – 1973

Plot summary: In 1972, Jilly Coppercorn runs into an old friend, Donna Birch, from her former street life days.  Donna is the only person that Jilly even considers to be a friend from this time period.  Donna no longer does any drugs other than the occasional beer, therefore, Jilly can’t say no to meeting her friend at the club she will be playing in a couple of nights.  And it doesn’t faze Jilly at all when none of her friends have ever heard of the club.  Jilly knows the club will be there on the night her friend is playing, even if it’s not the night before. Continue reading

The Last Child

By John Hart

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Minotaur Books, 2009

Genres: Mystery, thriller

ISBN: 9780312359324

Intended audience: Adult

Number of pages: 373

Setting: Rural North Carolina

Time period: Contemporary

Plot summary: Thirteen year old Johnny Merrimon has been looking for his twin sister, Alyssa, since she was abducted a year ago.  In this time, Johnny has also lost both his parents – his mother to drugs and alcohol and his father who walked out one day and never returned.  In spite of how his life has changed for the worse in the past year, Johnny knows that his sister is still alive somewhere and searches the town for her – house by house and street by street.  The lead detective on the case, Clyde Hunt, is also haunted by Alyssa’s disappearance and keeps working on the case even as his own family falls apart around him.  When a professor ends up dead and second girl goes missing in town, Johnny’s persistence reveals a dark and disturbing truth and unravels the threads of a tightly held secret. Continue reading