“Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?”
“To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.”
“The dog did nothing in the night-time.”
“That was the curious incident,” remarked Sherlock Holmes.
In this book, the dogs do plenty in the night-time.
Kathleen Kaska is a Sherlockian and an animal lover. Her two passions are both evident in a new mystery series that gets off to an excellent start in Run DogRun.
Elephant researcher Dr. Kate Caraway, forced to leave her camp in Africa for reasons that don’t become clear until well into the novel, flees with her husband to the welcoming arms of old friends in Texas. And immediately she is immersed into a mystery involving greyhound racing, possible animal abuse, a bride-to-be with a secret, murder, and Lone Star State politics.
If all of this sounds far from Baker Street, it’s not. “She jotted tomorrow’s schedule with the precision of Sherlock Holmes,” the author tells us. Later, Kate and her husband, former Chicago Cub Jack Ryder, take a very Sherlockian approach to detection when they make a list of facts and speculations. This is what Holmes does – gathers the facts first. Data, data, data!
Kaska weaves a complex, well-constructed plot which raises serious issues without being preachy. The final confrontation with the killer is one of the most satisfying I’ve ever read, with the revelation of a motive so unexpected that it hit me like a freight train. And yet it’s a motive familiar to any Sherlockian.
But good books, even mysteries, require more than solid plot and smooth writing. Run Dog Run also has a cast of all-too-human characters that are enjoyable to spend time with. Their foibles, their everyday humor, and their occasional heroism rings true.