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. . .and then use these questions
to spark lively discussions. 

To Fetch a Thief  is a compilation of four novellas, 
each by a different author and each involving a theft, a murder, and dogs. 

1.  Many mysteries feature a sidekick to the sleuth, to give the sleuth someone to talk to, to advance a subplot, or to reflect a theme. Which dogs in these stories serve as sidekicks?

2.  The main characters in these novellas recognize and process facts surround the thefts and murders differently, from using mental cogitation, to interviewing suspects, to visiting scenes of crime. Do the varied methods ring true and seem authentic to the characters?
  • In "Hounding the Pavement,” Cat Ramsey notices and tests physical evidence, a deliberate method . . .
  • In “Diggin’ up Dirt,” Amy Reynolds’ imagination posits some worst-case scenarios, and she gathers and tests evidence against those backdrops
  • Meg Gordon’s curiosity in “It's a Dog Gone Shame!” drives her to connect clues as she proceeds through her normal routine . . . 
  • “This is Not a Dog Park” shows Adam Moreland floundering in his own self-absorption and discontent. He would miss everything if his dog didn’t connect him to events. He tracks suspects to different locations, gathering clues on the move . . .
3.  In “Hounding the Pavement,” author Teresa Inge uses changes in scenes to provide variety and accelerate the pace—move the plot along. Did you notice Inge’s scene changes, including action at the Woof-Pack Dog Walkers office, the Loft building on 31st street, Old Beach, the Virginia Beach Boardwalk, and other locations? Did you feel how the scene changes propelled the story?

4. In “It’s a Dog Gone Shame!,” Jayne Ormerod transmits much character detail in dialogue. How characters talk and what they say paint vivid pictures. Some pages are lines of quick dialogue. This is another method authors use to move the story forward. Did you notice when you read dialogue sections? Did you like the character interaction and how the conversation seemed real?  

5. The main setting in “Diggin’ up Dirt” is a neighborhood. Author Heather Weidner’s title is a play on words that alludes to clue discovery in more ways than one! The gossipy connotation of the title highlights Weidner’s employ of the Cravitzes, Amy and Kevin Reynolds’ nextdoor neighbors. Dot and Dick Cravitz seed sleuth Amy’s imagination, and Amy’s suspicions ultimately uncover wrongdoing. Weidner’s conversations between Amy and the Cravitzes provide humor as well as suggest clues. Did you ever consider the Cravitzes as villains? Did you observe their role as fodder for Amy’s imagination?

6. In “This is Not a Dog Park,” the victim is incidental to the story. How the victim is connected to the murderer is less important than the murderer’s villainy. It’s the character interaction that moves the plot forward. What is the victim’s “role” or purpose in a mystery? Must or should the victim relate to any themes? Do you remember who the victim was in this story?  

Thank you for reading To Fetch a Thief. Look for more in the Mutt Mysteries collection coming soon.


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