Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Book Review - Monty and Me by Louisa Bennet

Amazon UK
Title: Monty and Me
Author: Louisa Bennet
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: 2nd July 2015
Rating: 5 Stars

The first book introducing loveable dog detective Monty!

You might think that dogs can’t understand us…but you’d be wrong.

Apart from an obsession with cheese, Monty is a perfectly rational animal. So when his beloved master is stabbed to death, Monty decides to use his formidable nose to track the killer down.

Luckily he manages to find a home with Rose Sidebottom, the young policewoman who’s investigating the case. But with her colleagues turning against her, and the wrong man collared, she’s going to need a little help…

I was intrigued when I saw this book announced. Then I was sceptical, about a book written partly from a dogs perspective, and finally decided to be brave and request a review copy. That was the best decision I have made. 

This book is amazing. I have no idea where to start in reviewing this. What I do know is this is the first of a brand new series, and I can't wait to meet Rose Sidebottom and Monty again.  This is a great mix of  mystery as well as large amounts of book written from Monty's perspective, which is very different in a book. 

Rose is a trainee detective who is struggling to get any respect from her colleagues. She takes Monty home from the vet, after he was treated from the incident in which is beloved 'big 'un' is murdered. Monty is a key witness in the murder, but it takes a while for Rose to realise just how much she should trust her new canine companion.

Monty is simply fantastic, he is determined to solve the mystery regarding his master's arrest, and enlists the help of a rat, ladybird and magpie in which to do so. Between them they probably do as much if not more detective work than the police.

From Monty's perspective we learn a lot about how animals communicate with each other, including "weemails", which Monty leaves for other dogs to get his messages. Monty is far more intelligent than any human will give him credit for, he can read, and with the help of Dante the magpie and even use a computer, he can open doors and generally is a delight. 

Seeing the world from the eyes of a dog, may seem like a bit of a gimmick, but it really does work. The chapters from Monty are the funniest, but also most emotional. I was in tears at the funeral of his murdered master, in sympathy with Monty.

 I can't really explain it, but Rose and Monty are the perfect partnership. She seems very much in tune with what her new dog can do, and Monty has the most amazing sense of smell. Hearing about simple bits of the world as a mixture of smells is fascinating. 

Despite it being a mystery with a serious crime to solve, this felt far lighter than the average mystery. Assorted serious topics come up, including the plight of the simple bumble bee, but the fresh voice, of Louisa Bennet's writing, is a delight. 

I was hooked on Monty and Me from the first pages, and the more I read, the more I know I would love Monty to be my dog. 

The chapters about Rose and the police force also work well, and help to move the story along. I had no idea who the actual villain was until right near the end, and there are plenty of options as the crime is investigated. 

I can't wait until more books in this series are released. I am so happy I had the chance to read this book, it was a complete and utter delight, and absolutely fantastic.

Thanks so much to Netgalley and Avon for this review copy. This was my honest opinion. 

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