If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com

Our April author interviews: Perennial author Susan Wittig Albert--4/5, Sasscer Hill, horse racing insider--4/12, English historical, cozy author, TE Kinsey--4/19, Debut author, Susan Bickford--4/26.

Saturday Guest Bloggers in April: Heather Baker Weidner (4/1), Christina Hoag (4/8), Susan Boles (4/29). WWK Saturday bloggers write on 4/15--Margaret S. Hamilton and on 4/22--Kait Carson.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Warren Bull's new Lincoln mystery, Abraham Lincoln In Court & Campaign has been released. Look for the Kindle version on February 3.

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th. In addition, our prolific KM will have the following shorts published as well: "Sight Unseen" in Fish Out of Water, Guppie (SinC) anthology, just released, and "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017.

Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Once a Kappa" was published as a finalist in the Southern Writer's Magazine annual short story contest issue. Mysterical-E published her "Double Crust Corpse" in the Fall 2016 issue. "Baby Killer" will appear in the 2017 solar eclipse anthology Day of the Dark to be published this summer prior to the eclipse in August.

Linda Rodriquez has two pending book publications. Plotting the Character-Driven Novel will be released by Scapegoat Press on November 29th. Every Family Doubt, the fourth Skeet Bannion mystery, is scheduled for release on June, 13, 2017. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with Linda here in June!

Cross Genre Publications anthology, Hidden Youth, will contain Warren Bull's "The Girl, The Devil, and The Coal Mine." The anthology will be released in late November 2016. The We've Been Trumped anthology released by Dark House Press on September 28th contains Warren Bull's "The Wall" short story and KM Rockwood's "A Phone Call to the White House." KM writes under the name Pat Anne Sirs for this volume.

James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for order.

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Monday, June 8, 2015

Top Dog for Kids Summer Reading 2015


One of the best parts of my job is visiting schools to talk about my library’s summer reading program. In my county, by reading fifteen books, kids can earn a booklet full of prize coupons for things like free ice cream, two for one skate park admissions, and my favorite, a free Krispy Kreme donut. I know - no fair that adults can’t get in on this deal!

I always tell the kids that sure, winning prizes for reading is fun, but the best part is all the great books they get to read. I don’t mention the real reason their teachers want them to read over the summer. Warding off a slide in their reading skills is not at the top of most kids’ summer to-do lists.


Since fun is at the top of young readers’ lists, I was thrilled to discover that the author of one of my favorite adult mystery series has started a series for children. Spencer Quinn, author of the Chet and Bernie books, has written a book for kids age 8-12. Quinn’s fans will be happy to learn that Woof: A Bowser and Birdie Novel is Son of Chet and Bernie. The elements that make his adult series a hit make Woof a treat for young readers. Play fair mystery? Check. Adventure? Check. Hilarious, overly enthusiastic narration by fun-loving canine? As Bowser would say, check check check!

In Woof, our narrator is Bowser, a rescue dog adopted by eleven-year-old Birdie Gaux (pronounced “Go”). The Gaux Family Fish and Bait Company is run by Birdie’s Grammy, a tough lady who takes care of Birdie while her mother works on an oil rig off the shore of Angola. Birdie’s father was a police officer killed in the line of duty, so it’s just Grammy and Birdie running the family business selling bait and running boat tours of the Louisiana bayou.

When Grammy and Birdie get Bowser home from the animal shelter, they discover that Black Jack, a prize marlin that was mounted on the wall of their shop for years, has been stolen. Now Black Jack isn’t just any big fish. It’s been rumored for years that a treasure map was hidden behind Black Jack’s right eye. Is that the reason for the theft? The mystery deepens. Who is the mysterious man cruising up and down the bayou in a boat called Fun ‘n Games? Could a mysterious lady named Maybelline hold the answers?

Gum chewing gumshoe Birdie is a tough minded little girl who won’t take no for an answer. She’s devoted to her honest-as-the-day-is-long Grammy, but when she thinks the police aren’t doing enough to solve the theft, Birdie takes action. The action involves an attempted kidnapping and a gator attack but bad guys and gators are no match for a protective dog like Bowser. Quinn does a good job providing the thrill of danger while keeping the upsetting elements PG rated. 

Though the mystery and the bayou setting are fun, it’s Bowser’s narration that makes this book top dog. Seeing the world from the viewpoint of a loveable mutt with impulse control problems will keep kids laughing. When faced with an unattended sandwich, Bowser thinks “The ham sandwich was pretty much right in front of my face. No one was saying ‘Bowser, do not make a play for that ham sandwich.’ What else could that mean but Go get it, big guy!”
Or:
“One quick sniff and I knew that BLTs were in that basket. BLTs were an odd human invention, sandwiches filled with weird tasteless stuff no one in their right mind would be interested in -- except for the bacon. In case you missed that, I'll mention it again: bacon!”

Reviewers have compared Birdie to Scout of To Kill a Mockingbird and Alan Bradley’s Flavia deLuce – bright, inquisitive kids who take matters into their own hands. Luckily for Birdie – and us - she’s got loveable Bowser to help her sniff out clues.


My top mystery pick for summer reading fun? Woof by Spencer Quinn.

10 comments:

James Montgomery Jackson said...

I have two granddaughters who are just in the age range for Woof and I buy them books for Christmas, so I’m making a note (which hopefully I’ll find in November) of this book to get them.

~ Jim

E. B. Davis said...

I love Chet and Bernie. I'll have to buy this book! Thanks for letting me know about it. No, I've never grown up. Maybe I'll pass it on to a kid after I'm finished. Spencer Quinn knows dogs. This sounds like my kind of book!

Warren Bull said...

I haven't heard of the author. It sounds like I have been missing out of something great. Thanks for the information.

Barb Goffman said...

Can't wait to read it. (Or listen to it. I'm on the library wait list for the audio version.) If Bowser is anything like Chet, he's sure to be loads of fun.

Kara Cerise said...

I'd like to read Woof, too!
The coupons for reading program is a great idea. I wish my library had offered that when I was a child.

Kait said...

Sounds like a wonderful summer novel for kids! I love it that more and more adult authors are sharing their skills with the up and coming reader set.

Gloria Alden said...


It does sound like a wonderful read. I only wish it had come out when I was still teaching third grade. I know my students would have enjoyed it as much as I would have had reading it to them. It's one of the things I miss most about teaching, reading to my students chapter books.

KM Rockwood said...

A wonderful novel for the kids!

There's so much out there, it's good to hear that the kids in your area have a librarian who cares to help them sort it all out.

Shari Randall said...

Hi everyone!
Sorry I am so late posting - had school visits today and just got home. I am always glad to introduce people to a good author! Hope any kids in your lives like it - and I thoroughly enjoyed it, so I think you will too, EB, Kara, and Barb.

Edith Maxwell said...

I plan to order this immediately for my nine-year old friend! Thanks, Shari.