sleeping dog book coverReviewed by Jessa Larsen

Sleeping Dog is comedic thriller that puts us in the hands of Leo Bloodworth, a hard-drinking, private investigator with no time for the shenanigans of anybody who is 1% short of absolute serious business. Unfortunately for him, his definition of serious business and that of Serendipity Dahlquist, don’t exactly match up. Serendipity is a strong-willed 14-year-old who lost her dog and is wasting no time getting down to the business of finding exactly who dog-napped him. And unfortunately for the pair, the seemingly shallow case quickly tosses the pair into the underbelly of crime in Los Angeles including dog fighting and Mexican crime families. It’s up to Leo to get to the bottom of it without putting a teenage girl in harm’s way.

From what I understand, Sleeping Dog was first published in the 1980s and re-published in September 2014 as an attempt to freshen the content for the new century in order to appeal to new readers. I didn’t read the original, but the changes that were made here and there definitely added to the charm without being obvious or obnoxious.

The book is written in a back and forth point of view style and it is done really well. It’s a trick to tell the story seamlessly, repeating certain aspects just the right amount without making the reader feel like they’re being beaten with repetition. I don’t often enjoy this style, but Dick Lochte does it well.

As for the characters, I loved the oddball combination of a 14-year-old girl with an old soul and the 50-something year old detective who should probably be retiring, but like a dog with a bone, won’t stop til; he’s gotten all the meat and then some. It was definitely not a duo I expected to work so well together, but by the end, I was in love.

Sleeping Dog is a series that includes Laughing Dog and, later, Rappin’ Dog. I have not had the chance to follow Leo and Serendipity onto their next case, but you can be sure I’ll have it on my wish list.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Jessa lives in Utah with her husband, two kids, two small chihuahuas, and a cat called Number One Boots Kitten. She balances her work as a website admin with her hobbies of watching anime and playing video games.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Meryl L. Moss Media Relations. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.