Canine Arthur and feline Queenie narrate a high-stakes mystery in this second book of their eponymous middle-grade series.
Arthur and Queenie take the stage as dog and cat co-narrators of this funny, deftly plotted mystery. Arthur is a delightfully foggy dog with a big doggie heart—not keen on exercise but very keen on food. For her part, Queenie is the epitome of cat aloofness and self-love. Arthur and Queenie live at Blackberry Hill Inn in Vermont, with Mom and 11-year-old fraternal twins Harmony and Bro; they are as devoted to their humans as they are antipathetic to each other. The same morning mysterious woman Ms. Pryor checks into the inn, Sweet Lady Em, the neighbor’s famous-for-her-cream cow, goes missing, and Queenie, who gets a dish of cream each morning on her special saucer, is extremely unhappy about it. Then 11-year-old Jimmy Doone, Bro’s friend, is blamed for the cow’s going missing because, his father says, he didn’t lock the barn door, but Jimmy insists that he did. Later, Jimmy’s father is found seriously injured by a blow to the head, and why is Ms. Pryor nosing about Catastrophe Falls? The stakes ramp up considerably in this suspenseful and satisfyingly nuanced story. Arthur’s and Queenie’s hilarious personalities as they narrate in alternating chapters give the whole tale a refreshing spin. The people read as white default.
Fabulous fun. (Mystery. 8-12)