Wednesday, 29 December 2010

The Mystery Of The Invisible Dog

The boys are hired by Fenton Prentice, who seems to be experiencing a haunting in his apartment and whilst there, they get involved in a robbery. When it later comes to light that what was stolen, a crystal statue of The Carpathian Hound (the invisible dog of the title), belonged to Prentice, the boys have a bigger case to crack. Probably my favourite of the entire series, Carey perfectly captures the mood and atmosphere of the post-Christmas period and her sense of location here is superb - the park, the church and Paseo Place are all vividly described. The story zips along, from the superb opening sequence right through to the climax, with plenty of well-drawn characters and some excellent set pieces (including an encounter in the church). This also gains credit by having two supernatural events (an out-of-body wanderer and the cover-star phantom priest, the latter of which inspires the great last line) that are presented ‘just so’, with no attempt to explain them away. Rich, well paced and with a good mystery at its heart, this is an excellent book and very highly recommended.

The 1979 edition (left) is the one I read and features my favourite cover. I got the 1981 edition (right) as that's the one most of my collection is in, though the cover isn't nearly as evocative for me.

10 comments:

  1. Just came across this by chance Mark (was reading your comment on Restless Bones, Peter Haining, in Breakfast in Ruins blog). I will now proceed to read through your comments ! This series formed such a part of my childhood and really got me onto reading. Was mesmerised by the American settings etc. Seemed such a long way from Scotland...... Brad

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  2. Thanks, Brad and I know what you mean - Rocky Beach was a long way from Rothwell in the midlands too! Hope you like my other reviews!

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  3. I'm sure I will ! This is exactly what the Internet is for - coming across little gems like your blogs, purely by chance. What I would have given for this level of information 30 years ago ! Kids don't know what they've got acces to, and spent their time looking at absolute dross !
    All the best, and I'll keep a close tab on your writings.
    Have a good festive period.
    Brad.

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  4. Thank you and I know what you mean - I wish I'd had access to all this information when I first discovered the series!

    Happy Christmas to you and yours too

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  5. got it my lecture give me this novel to exam

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  6. It's been over two years since my last visit here and when commenting on Coughing Dragon I mentioned that I looked forward to your review of Invisible Dog. I took my time getting back, but I'm here! My general memory of this book is that it wasn't all that good. I dislike the stories where the ghost or phenomenon is not exposed as a hoax. However, your review reminded me that there are great characters and the solution about the guy feeding his cats was well done. But even in childhood I never understood the need for a phantom priest. It may have been a sign of the times. In the early 70s even scientists were looking at ghosts and ESP, etc, in a serious light
    Robert

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    1. Ah yes! The Phantom Priest. If I remember there was a very scary illustration!

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    2. There was Savvas - and you might enjoy this blog post too - http://markwestwriter.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/the-mystery-of-invisible-dog-by-m-v.html

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  7. Outstanding read this - probably in my top 3. Good twists and subplots - the astral bodies theme is a fascinating feature. Any reader guessing the culprit first time has done really well

    Sonny

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