A Curious Cat in a Dead Dog’s Town
by Chip Weinert
Stratton Press Publishing

"Actually, I work hard at doing as little work as I can. It’s not a bad life."

Exploring the age-old dynamic and tension between cats and dogs, Weinert creates a world divided: Catscamp on the North Bank and Dogstown on the South Bank. Though the towns share a hospital and police department, there is no mystery that the two strive to maintain the distance that stemmed from a gold rush over a century ago. While frequenting the Stump and Grind, a feline biker's bar, the central character, Duke Hazzard, spots a stunning Siamese, Gloria (otherwise known as Mrs. Bravo), handing an envelope over to a far more imposing snow leopard, Marlow. As the only private eye in either town, Duke knows something fishy is going on. Almost immediately, news of Doggie Crunchie tycoon Ralph Bravo's death confirms his suspicions.

Throughout the narrative, the author has instilled human qualities within each character. Distinct human tendencies drive their actions and motivations. From Mrs. Bravo and the de Katz brothers, Robert and Marlow, each character harbors a motive. Yet they have also reeled in Duke, not entirely of his own volition, to do some sleuthing.

Stylistically, the text is straightforward and features a plotline that is both easy to follow yet convoluted enough to be unpredictable and engaging. Readers know almost immediately of Ralph Bravo's demise, but only when Duke enters Dogstown does the plot thicken. The deeper he dives to unravel the truth, the more enemies he creates, including the police captain, Ursalik. Along the way, he also recognizes that there are still those who harbor incredible animosity toward their rival town and will go to any length to ensure that their community remains on top. More than anything else, audiences will find Weinert's whodunnit story to be a unique way to portray the traditional murder mystery.

Return to USR Home