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Apple Cider Slaying by Julie Anne Lindsey and Amy Melissa Bentley (narrator)
Arf by Spencer Quinn
Bingo Love by Tee Franklin
Bird & Squirrel All Together by James Burks
Castle Shade by Laurie R. King
Cat-Cat by Gertrude Hevener Gibson
Death by Café Mocha by Alex Erickson and Melissa Moran (Narrator)
Drew LeClair Gets a Clue by Katryn Bury and Devon Hales (Narrator)
Elegant Yokai Apartment Life, Volume 4 by Hinowa Kouzuki and Waka Miyama (Illustrator)
Girl in Reverse by Barbara Stuber
H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
I Am a Cat Barista, Volume 1 by Hiro Maijima
It's the End of the World and I'm in My Bathing Suit by Justin A. Reynolds
Key Player by Kelly Yang
Lost Lad London, Volume 1 by Shinya Shima
Lowriders to the Rescue by Cathy Camper and Raúl the Third (Illustrations)
Murder Spills the Tea by Vicki Delany and Shaina Summerville (Narrator) (2022)
My Dress-Up Darling, Volume 4 by Shinichi Fukuda and Taylor Engel (Translator) (2019)
Noragami: Stray God, Volume 15 by Adachitoka
Paola Santiago and the Sanctuary of Shadows by Tehlor Kay Mejia
Paws and Effect by Sofie Kelly and Cassandra Campbell (Narrator)
A Poisonous Page by Kitt Crowe and Tina Wolstencroft (Narrator)
Room to Dream by Kelly Yang
The Sound of Thunder by J. Torres and Faith Erin Hicks (Illustrations) (2014)
A Sprinkle in Time by Dana Mentink and Stephanie Nemeth-Parker (Narrator)
Turkey Day Murder by Leslie Meier and Karen White (Narrator)
Wedding Cake Crumble by Jenn McKinlay and Susan Boyce (Narrator)
You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi

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Arf: 11/11/22

Arf

Arf by Spencer Quinn is the second Bowser and Birdie middle grade mystery. Birdie's mother is home, laid off from her oil rig job after prices tank. Meanwhile someone has broken into the Gaux home and the crime might have ties to murder of Birdie's father in New Orleans.

Of course all of this is told from the point of view of Bowswer, the dog on the cover. Bowser early on knows who the villain, which means we do to. This puts into play Alfred Hitchcock's notion of suspense.

But he's a dog and doesn't know how to communicate his knowledge to Birdie. The lack of easy communication further builds tension in a mystery that's written in an easy, off the cuff manner to appeal to tweens.

This novel also took a turn that I see quite a bit in the cozy mysteries written for adults but didn't expect here. A secondary character, one who is important to the novel but isn't a recurring character is murdered at about the start of the third act.

Even as an adult, Arf is a satisfying read. I have reviewed the first, Woof (2015) and third Bow Wow (2017) books already.

Five stars

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