The Sound and The Furry: A Chet and Bernie Mystery by Spencer Quinn (Atria Books, $25.00, 311 pages)
And then we were gliding over the water, watery sounds and swishing all around me. How lovely! I’d no idea being in a boat was so wonderful! Plus the bow was obviously the best place to be, just like the shotgun seat. I sat up even straighter, gazing straight ahead, missing nothing. Chet, the natural born sailor: what a life!
Chet and Bernie are back on the trail. This sixth episode finds them in the deep South on the hunt for a missing man. To say that his family is colorful is an understatement.
Chet, the very large canine member of the Little Detective Agency, narrates the mystery. He provides his usual interpretation of Bernie Little’s work as the human half of the agency.
Each book is the series has an underlying theme. The Sound and The Furry features cool jazz references throughout.
The Cat, The Devil and Lee Fontana by Shirley Rousseau Murphy and Pat J.J. Murphy (William Morrow, $19.99, 320 pages)
Fans of the Joe Grey talking cat series by Ms. Murphy will enjoy this spin-off featuring Misto the elusive member of the clan in Molena Point. The tale begins with a flashback, a prequel of sorts. Misto is the main feline and Lee Fontana is an aged bank robber out on parole. The Devil is punishing Lee’s soul as collection on the time Lee’s grandpa bested him.
The setting is outside of Los Angeles in the farmlands near Blythe, an isolated part of California. Lee is paroled to work on a farm. He has many challenges that keep pulling him back to a life of crime. With the Devil appearing in the mix, Misto stays busy taking care of Lee.
The closing scenes of the book open up many possibilities for Ms. Murphy and husband Pat to develop as this new series unfolds.
Dog Butts and Love. And Stuff Like That. And Cats: Cartoons by New York Times Bestseller Jim Benton (NBM, $13.99, 96 pages)
Now it’s time for a change of pace, a slim volume that would not have drawn this reader’s attention on the shelf of a bookseller. The red cover festooned with conversation bubbles emitting from a wildly acrobatic drawing of a loudmouthed dog is quirky. Inside the pages are adult web comics that have been posted on Reddit. By “adult” I mean twisted, brutally honest and laugh out loud comics. Some are single page pictures and others are laid out in a series of panels.
Jim Benton, the cartoonist, provides perspective shifts, shoots holes in serious issues and generally expresses his thoughts without reservation. This book is the perfect gift for someone who needs to lighten up!
Review copies were provided by the publishers.
The cartoons by Jim Benton are examples of his “unique perspective” humor.