Title: Monty, Dog Detective: The Bone Ranger
Author: Louisa Bennet
Publisher: Clan Destine Press
Published: 22nd November 2021
Synopsis: Book 2 in the Monty Dog Detective series, The Bone Ranger finds the indomitable team of Monty and Rose on the trail of a new mystery.
Monty, the food-obsessed, naughty, and totally adorable Golden Retriever, will do anything for his owner, Detective Constable Rose Sidebottom.
Of course, as these things go, Monty is no ordinary dog and Rose is no ordinary hooman.
Monty has a super-smart nose and a network of unique animal informers; while Rose has an uncanny ability to know when people are lying.
What begins as a missing person case, soon becomes a murder investigation, and Rose is warned not to interfere.
But, when dogs start disappearing too, Monty and Rose have no choice and set out to solve it, in Louisa Bennet’s second Monty Dog Detective book, The Bone Ranger. And meet Pickles the pup, who inspired the character of Monty!
Monty, Dog Detective – what a delightful romp this was! A dog as a detective, with a human (sorry Monty, hooman), who is in tune with what he is trying to tell her? What a fabulous premise! In their second outing, Rose and Monty are on leave after a near-death experience when a missing person case arises. Even though Rose is warned away from it, she starts poking around, and Monty soon finds out that dogs are disappearing too! Could the cases be connected? And what happens when the missing person becomes a murder investigation? Only Monty and Rose can find out!
As crime fighting duos go, Monty and Rose are perhaps amongst my favourites in all forms of entertainment. I loved seeing a dog as the hero, and the alternating viewpoints for Rose and Monty – indicated at the top of each chapter by a silhouette of each character, alerting us to whose perspective we’re going to be reading. Rose’s voice is in third person, whilst Monty’s perspective is in first person – and he is a very fun character – he reminded me of a dog I had once who was also a golden retriever, so it was a lot of fun reading Monty’s story. The two cases seem unrelated at first, and for much of the novel, we follow Rose looking into a disappearance and suspected murder. Whilst Monty uses barks and wee-mails to communicate with the canine community about a series of dognappings – and soon it seems that the two might be linked. But as people Rose knows in the police force and outside of it work to keep her away from everything that is going on, soon, Rose must come to rely on Monty and his vet, Malcolm, to find out what is really going on.
The second book in the series is easy to pick up if you haven’t read the first, as some of what led to this book is recounted throughout, and hinted at so I was able to pick up on enough to understand what is going on with Rose and Monty. What a great and unique literary crime fighting team! I love seeing what different authors come up with, and what was lovely with this one was that it allowed the characters to be who they were, and deal with the things that they were facing without the complication of romance, but there was a slight hint which was nice – a little teaser for readers. What I did like was that the tension came from familial and work relationships, highlighting the importance of these different relationships in our lives, and what each one brings to us or means to us – and the unique ways they shape our lives.
I was first introduced to Monty and Rose in a short story anthology filled with stories about animal detectives, told from the perspective of the animals. It was a unique way of looking at the genre – which is delightful and makes for fun, lighter crime reading, so teens aged sixteen and over may enjoy Monty as well. it’s not very gruesome, but at the same time, does show the reality of the world Rose and Monty are a delight to read, and I loved seeing their friendship grow. Their amazing connection, and ability to understand each other made the book special. It was a great way to explore the crime genre and how crime investigation works, with an uplifting ending that hints at what is to come in the next book, if there is one. I hope there is, as it is the kind of book that will have a wide audience, and can be a great introduction to crime, or a wonderful addition to the crime genre for those who love it, using a different angle to tackle the process of investigation.
I’m keen to read the first book now, if I can find it, and look forward to more! Monty is becoming one of my favourite crime fighters now! What a great read!