Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Case of the Invisible Dog by Diane Stingley (4.5 stars)

About The Case of the Invisible Dog

Published by : Alibi (May 19, 2015)
Pages: 385

In the start of a charmingly imaginative cozy series sure to delight fans of Carolyn Hart and Diane Mott Davidson, Diane Stingley introduces a blundering detective who believes herself to be the great-great-granddaughter of the legendary Sherlock Holmes.

After failing to launch her career as a Hollywood actress, Tammy Norman returns home to North Carolina, desperate for a regular paycheck and a new lease on life. So she accepts a position assisting Shirley Homes, an exceptionally odd personage who styles herself after her celebrated “ancestor”–right down to the ridiculous hat. Tammy isn’t sure how long she can go on indulging the delusional Shirley (who honestly believes Sherlock Holmes was a real person!), but with the prospect of unemployment looming, she decides to give it a shot.

Tammy’s impression of her eccentric boss does not improve when their first case involves midnight romps through strangers’ yards in pursuit of a phantom dog—that only their client can hear. But when the case takes a sudden and sinister turn, Tammy has to admit that Shirley Homes might actually be on to something. . . .

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Tammy Norman is determined to find a job and to get her life back on track. In desperation, she answers a strange want ad promising a great salary. The ad leads her to Shirley Homes and a great adventure... the case of the invisible dog.

This is such a fun, original story that I hesitate to say much more in the way of a synopsis. Shirley Homes is eccentric and at times bizarre. She believes she is a descendant of Sherlock Holmes. Yes, the fictional character. Except she doesn't believe he's fictional. And Tammy, at first thinking the woman delusional and determined to run, slowly gets pulled into the mystery of her new employer and their strange case.

Charming and witty only begin to describe just how entertaining this book is. At first, I wondered where in the world it would go. A descendant of Sherlock Holmes and a case involving an invisible dog. What? But the story kept pulling me along, reeling me into caring about these characters as well as being caught up in what turned out to be quite the mystery.

I look forward to future Shirley Homes novels, and I hope to find out more about Tammy Norman. Actually, I'm hoping she finds a guy who gets her. But before that, I hope she and Shirley find a way to each accept their uniqueness and embrace a life less ordinary. 

A perfect summer read.

Rating: 4.5 stars

About Diane Stingley 

Diane Stingley is the author of Dress You Up in My Love and I’m With Cupid. She was also a columnist for The Charlotte Observer and received e-mails from around the country in response to her columns. She currently resides in North Carolina and is hard at work on the next Shirley Homes mystery.
Thanks to TLC for my review copy.

Note: I received a complimentary copy for review purposes. A positive review was not requested or guaranteed; the opinions expressed are my own. 

Please visit other stops on The Case of the Invisible Dog blog tour page.


Anonymous said...

This certainly does sound like a perfect, quirky, summertime read! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for being a part of the tour!