Who Sleuthed It? Lindy Cameron (Editor)

‘I am smug, snug and contented.’

I feel confident that I can say, after sharing my life with him for almost 17 years, that the late, great, Sir Bruce the Battle Rat would have loved these stories. Sir Bruce, an inquisitive Jack Russell, solved more than a few mysteries during his time on this earth. Alas, he was not always impartial. Sir Bruce as quick to blame any cat within range for any misdemeanour as well as his younger companion, Max, also known as Sir Other Little Dog. Max, a Tenterfield Terrier who lived to the great age of 17 years and 6 months, was suspicious of all other creatures. He’d have made a great detective. So, in my home, dogs ruled. Now that I’ve made that clear (channelling Sir Bruce and Max) I can move onto the stories in this delightful collection.

Lindy Cameron has edited a collection of nineteen different stories featuring an eclectic collection of animal heroes. Sir Bruce would be shocked to think that cats could be heroes but would be delighted to hear about a weredog. I, as the responsible human trying to be objective, loved Fin J Ross’s story about Mrs Hudson’s cats: Sherlock, and Watson. And I particularly enjoyed the role played by the little penguin in Meg Keneally’s story about the bubonic plague in Sydney in 1900.

Other stories include hawks, rats, mice, pigs, foxes, chipmunks, bears, spiders, and Great Horned Owls. Their roles differ: some actively solve crimes; others act as intermediaries. I enjoyed watching the stories unfold, seeing the part each protagonist had to play in solving the crime.

If you like animals, if you enjoy whimsical stories then you may enjoy this as much as I did. Although crime is the focus, these are gentle stories. And I really must mention the beautiful cover and illustrations by Judith Rossell.

While I am familiar with other work by seven of the authors (Fin J Ross, Kerry Greenwood, Lindy Cameron, Kerry Greenwood, LJM Owen, Meg Keneally and Narrelle M Harris), I’ve added the other authors to my reading list (Atlin Merrick, Chuck McKenzie, CJ McGumbleberry, Craig Hilton, David Greagg, Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, GV Pearce, Jack Fennell, Kat Clay, Livia Day, Louisa Bennet, Tor Roxburgh and Vikki Petraitis).

Jennifer Cameron-Smith