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.


  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

  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!

  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.

  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

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

  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

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

    2. There was Savvas - and you might enjoy this blog post too -

  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