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by Josephine Cameron ; illustrated by Xindi Yan

Pub Date: April 11th, 2023
ISBN: 9780374389758
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

A stand-alone, high-stakes mystery set in “America’s #1 Dog-Friendly Town.”

Sixth grader, middle child, and Houdini admirer Rondo McDade was hoping for a relaxing spring break, but instead, his family’s B&B, the Perro del Mar in Carmelito, California, is serving as a filming location for the reboot of TV series Bentley Knows, and the canine star has been dognapped. Rondo’s mom and dad are busy, and Rondo is at odds with older brother Epic and younger sister Elvis. He needs to solve the mystery of the missing canine actor or his favorite TV show will be cancelled, but he’s going to need to work with, not against, his annoying siblings and 9-year-old Denver Delgado-Doyle, his neighbor’s nephew from out of town who is also a fan of magic. Together the kids try to solve a crime with many possible suspects, including a dog trainer, an actress, and the BarkAngels, who claim to be able to communicate psychically with dogs but who Rondo is convinced are frauds. Transcripts of the Daily Dog Dish podcast give readers extra insights into the celebrity dog world and help with pacing. A tight time frame of less than a week, an observant first-person narrator, and a large cast of family members and suspects make for an entertaining whodunit perfect for animal lovers. The McDades read White; names and some charming full-page illustrations cue ethnic diversity in the supporting cast.

A fun, fast-paced mystery.

(Mystery. 8-12)