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by Elizabeth Levy & illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-689-84628-2
Publisher: Aladdin

It’s a dog’s life and Fletcher, the detective-sniffing Bassett hound, has a better one than most. Third in the Fletcher Mystery series, this easy-to-read chapter book has humorous plays on words, silly situations, and an understandable mystery for its young readers to solve along with the dogs and their owners. Fletcher’s energetic, quick-talking flea friend Jasper delivers the laughs with the timing of a stand-up comedian, and Fletcher, in search of the perfect meat with a nap chaser, uses his sharp nose to help the humans solve the mystery. A new park is about to be dedicated and the kids come up with the idea of a masked ball—for the dogs. Sensing positive publicity, the park ranger and supporters embrace the idea, call the local press, and pull together the necessary ingredients for mask-making, dog style. But, from the very start, there is trouble and Gwen senses a conspiracy. Who destroyed the noses on the dogs’ masks? How about the frayed power lines that threatened to burn down a house? Why did the power switch get pulled right as the television crew started broadcasting? Not to fear, Fletcher and friends solve the mystery, celebrate the opening of the park, and meet some new friends along the way. Fletcher even meets a saucy little dachshund called Felicity. The masks might have gotten mixed up in the dark, but young readers will not be mixed up at all. The first-canine perspective, complete with rear-end sniffing, will have everyone howling. (Fiction. 7-10)