The Barker Street Regulars (A Dog Lover's Mystery, #11) By Susan Conant

    This book reminded me a lot of middle school English class, when we read 'The Hound of the Baskervilles', as Conant mentioned that work and many of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's other Sherlock Holmes books often throughout this book. That said, I haven't read any of his other works and 6th grade was over 15 years ago, so my memory of it was a bit faded, so had I kept up on my Sherlock Holmes, I may have enjoyed this book more.
    By no means was the book bad, I just felt it would have been enhanced by knowing as much about the Sherlock Holmes stories as the main characters do. In this book, Holly Winter, magazine author and owner of championship Malamutes, is working to get one of her malamutes a therapy dog certification by taking him to visit residents of a nursing home. They befriend a lady named Althea, who is well-versed in the writings of Doyle but has found few of her fellow residents who share her interest, instead inviting two of her dearest male friends to visit often, elderly men who seem even more passionate than Althea. When Althea's great-nephew dies while visiting her sister CiCi, the men encourage Holly and her dogs to join in a Holmes-style investigation into whether the man was the victim of an accident or something more sinister.
    Holly, meanwhile, has taken up an interest in a woman named Irene, who was supposedly channeling the spirit of CiCi's former dog to bring him back to visit in a series of séance-like sessions. This same woman also convinced clients of Holly's veterinarian boyfriend, Steve, that their show dog was a victim of malpractice at the hands of Steve, and Holly is convinced that the woman is a kook. She believes the great-nephew felt the same way about the 'pet psychic', but can't figure out how a slight woman like Irene could kill a large man. Other suspects emerge as Holly ponders CiCi's inheritance from her husband and realizes that with the great-nephew dead, the elderly sisters are each other's sole heir, and thus someone with a desire for the money and a close enough connection to either woman could want the great-nephew out of the picture.
    Like most of Conant's books, the story seems to be woven a little too tight, and things that should be coincidental are actually intentional in the end. I enjoyed the resolution of the case, but as mentioned earlier, think it would have made more sense if I too was a fan of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries. 0553576550 Fun book that will appeal especially to dog lovers, and most especially to those who love really large dogs. Solid mystery with only implied violence. This takes readers into the world of dog shows, dog training, pet psychics, pet therapy, and vets. The author loves her own malamutes and this comes through clearly.

    Using the detective Sherlock Holmes as a model, the protagonist and two elderly sidekicks methodically discover the perpetrator. With many references to the tales involving Holmes, this takes on a fun tone. One particular piece of insight was new to me. Author referred to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and I thought at first this referred to a contemporary novel by Mark Haddon, but this is actually a phrase from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 1892 short story Silver Blaze.

    Always like learning new things. This is a light, fast, cozy read from the Dog lover's Mysteries series. 0553576550 Easy reading and mildly amusing. I found the constant Holmes references irritating, and Robert & Hugh superfluous, but the story was reasonably entertaining. Holly was very slow on the uptake regarding the missing dog. I would like to know how Tracker the cat gets on, & whether Rowdy & Kimi accept her. 0553576550 One of the first cozy series I ever read and I probably hold more affection for it because of that. As I go back and finish a few of the books that I missed reading the first time around, I realize that Holly is exactly the kind of cozy sleuth who usually annoys me. She thinks she is smarter than everyone else, including the police. And she is constantly putting herself and more importantly her dogs in danger. Despite that, I enjoyed this book. I enjoyed the information about Sherlock Holmes (my favourite books are those in which I glean some useless information to be used to annoy the people in my real life). There was very little dog show info which was disappointing because I enjoy it very much. And now I know where Tracker came from. 0553576550 I read this book because I saw a couple of others from this series and decided to look them up on Goodreads. From there I decided I probably didn't want to get into the whole series, but I did want to read one of the original ones I found, All Shots, and this one due to it's Sherlock Holmes themes.

    Overall I liked the book. I mean, this one does have Sherlock Holmes, and the character rescues a cat and she has two huskies, which are one of my favorite breeds of dog, so it would be a shame if I didn't like it.

    I also enjoyed Holly's idea that 0553576550

    Susan Conant ä 8 read

    Susan Conant continues to surprise--this time by involving dog writer Holly Winter in a wickedly amusing tale full of dastardly deeds and delightful eccentrics.

    An avid devotion to the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and an equally avid devotion to dogs, combine to draw Holly Winter and her two beloved malamutes, Rowdy and Kimi, into one of Conant's most original and entertaining mysteries to date.

    Rowdy has finished his training as a therapy dog and now accompanies Holly on weekly visits to the Gateway Nursing Home, where they meet Althea Battlefield, still formidable at the age of ninety, and her two elderly, admiring cohorts, Hugh and Robert--all fanatic devotees of the Master (as they call Sherlock Holmes).  When Althea's grandnephew is murdered at the home of her younger sister, Ceci, everyone is horrified, but it's the plight of Ceci herself--who is being victimized by an unscrupulous animal psychic--that finally unites this unlikely group in a crime-stopping spree that requires not only the finely tuned ratiocination of the Holmes admirers but the eager cooperation of an outraged Holly and the very particular talents of her willing canine accomplices.

    No special knowledge of the Sherlockian canon is required for the utmost enjoyment of this engaging romp, and Conant's own devoted followers will be delighted to find her dog-loving alter ego, Holly Winter, still poking fun at the world of Cambridge eccentrics and dog fancy fanatics, but also expanding her horizons into the world of literary trivia and--yes--feline rescue, however initially reluctant.


    From the Hardcover edition. The Barker Street Regulars (A Dog Lover's Mystery, #11)

    I can't read this, it's so pompous! I feel bad, because it's a doggie mystery... 0553576550 Totally THE best in this series. I couldn't put it down and was up way too late at night reading. The interspersing of the Holmes Canon and deep dive into conning elders was well done. 0553576550 I hadn't read a Susan Conant in quite a while, so I decided to pick up the series again. I'm glad I did. This is the best one I've read so far. The character of Holly has some delightful neuroses. Though, I wish one day she would flesh out the character of Steve a little more. (It seems odd that we get more out of the next door neighbor and upstairs neighbor than from the love interest!) I was a little taken aback at the introduction of a cat, but I guess some dog people love cats too. 0553576550 The Barker Street Regulars (1998) is the eleventh book in Susan Conant's Dog Lover's Mysteries and my first taste of the series. Other than missing any background information on Holly Winter and her relationship with Steve Delaney, vet to her two Malamutes Rowdy & Kimi and her lover, I couldn't see that dropping into series in mid-stream was any problem.

    In this particular outing, Holly and Rowdy are working on his Rx.D. (therapy dog) certification by making visits to the Gateway Rehabilitation and Nursing Home Center. They become particularly close to Althea Battlefield, a formidable woman at the age of ninety, who is a devotee of Sherlock Holmes. Althea and her two equally elderly admirers, Hugh and Robert, spend many visits discussing obscure points in the Canon and quoting large chunks of the stories to one another. Holly begins rereading the stories just so she can keep up.

    But when Althea's sister Ceci begins having visits from a giant hound--supposedly the ghost of her beloved Simon. The Holmes aficionados get interested. And when Althea and Ceci's visiting nephew is murdered in the garden and the footprints of the hound are discovered nearby, they recruit Holly and Rowdy (alias Toby from the Canon) to help them track down the culprit. Meanwhile, Holly has rescued a cat from being drowned by evil-looking man (whose description might remind readers of a certain Professor) and it begins to look like it might tie in to the mysterious goings-on at Ceci's house. Throw in an animal psychic, Irene Wheeler, whom Holly believes to be up to no good--if for no other reason than because Gloria and Scott (last name unknown--or I totally missed it and can't find it in the book now) have consulted her about a surgery that Steve performed on Gloria's dog and the psychic says it was totally unnecessary. Now Gloria and Scott are spreading ugly rumors about the vet and Holly is sure that it's all Irene Wheeler's doing. Irene has also been influential in making Ceci believe that Simon is comign back to visit her. But is Irene anything more than just a fraud taking advantage of the naive and desperate? The Barker Street Regulars are following in The Master's footsteps and are hot on the trail....

    A very fluffy cozy mystery (no pun intended--well, maybe just a little bit) that is particularly well-suited to dog lovers as well as all those who enjoy animals in their mysteries. The Holmes connection was equal parts fun and annoying. I enjoyed the elderly trio of Holmes aficionados, especially the two gentlemen playing Holmes and trying to capture the killer with Holly's (and Rowdy's!) help. But a lot of the Holmes connections seemed very forced and contrived.

    Also, I realize that Holly was a bit distracted with her rescue of the cat, trying to incorporate said cat into her household where two Malamutes hold sway, and trying to figure out how to get Gloria & Scott (there's a Holmes connection for you) to stop bad-mouthing her veterinarian lover--but she really did fall down on the job when it came to identifying what had happened to the missing dog. You'd think someone as connected to dogs as she is would have gotten that right away.

    The plot itself is solid, though fairly straight forward. The ground is not exactly thick with suspects, so it isn't difficult to figure out who the culprit is. Entertaining and a fairly good afternoon's read.

    First posted on my blog My Reader's Block. Please request permission before reposting. Thanks. 0553576550 I really enjoyed the addition of characters to this book, and also the Sherlock Holmes -themed story line. Clever tale, indeed.

    I was pleased when a friend informed me of Conant's dog/detective series. Growing up with a grandmother who devoured every The Cat Who... story, which never interested me, I have long wanted dog-themed books of same.

    The author does not disappoint. The books are witty, informational, and quick-reads, without being too predictable. 0553576550

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