Following on My Dog Is Better than Your Dog (2015), this second in the CrimeBiters! series finds crime-fighting vampire dog Abby going to obedience school.
Eleven-year old Jimmy, white president and founder of the CrimeBiters club, seems to be falling out with his best friend, Irwin, a black boy, over fellow club member Daisy, the white girl whom both like. Jimmy has befriended former bully Baxter, a white boy and a new club member, and joins the local lacrosse team with him. Irwin resents the time Jimmy spends playing lacrosse, but Jimmy has become a good goalie and even begins skipping club meetings. Troublingly, lacrosse team members begin to experience too-frequent injuries, leading Jimmy to wonder if something’s afoot. Meanwhile, Abby chews up one too many of his mom’s shoes, and she might make Jimmy take Abby back to the shelter. To save Abby, Jimmy takes her to obedience class, where she becomes all too docile for Jimmy’s taste. Is she no longer a crime-fighting vampire dog? The two storylines merge when Abby helps to solve the injury mystery. Greenwald focuses far more attention on Jimmy’s precarious social life than on Abby this time, although he includes enough dog action to justify the book’s title. The gentle lesson on how friendship should endure even when something interferes is leavened with humor generated by the return of Jimmy’s nemesis from the previous book, Mrs. Cragg.
Fun and friendship combine for a satisfying sequel. (Fiction. 8-12)