A Dog and His Girl Series

By Jane B. Mason and Sarah Hines Stephens

A Dog and His Girl Mysteries #1: Play Dead was selected to the IRA-CBC Children’s Choices 2014 list, a cooperative project of the International Reading Association (IRA) and the Children’s Book Council.

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Play Dead

When local tycoon Verdel Ward mysteriously drowns and his body disappears, suddenly people far and wide want a piece of Ward’s coastal estate. Spunky 12-year-old Cassie, the police chief’s daughter, and Dodge, a German shepherd formerly on the K-9 squad, just want answers.

As the duo goes undercover to solve the mystery, alternating chapters tell the story from both the girl’s and the dog’s perspectives. While Cassie must contend with the school bully and sneaking past the chief of police (aka Mom), Dodge observes his family’s dynamics and rounds up his neighborhood pooch pals to help him dig up clues.

Perilous encounters with suspects and criminals and hints of Dodge’s former life as a working dog provide the right amount of suspense to this easy-to-solve mystery. Cassie’s after-school job at an animal shelter, working with an abused dog, emphasizes the powerful relationship between humans and their pets.

Dog lovers will no doubt enjoy this first book in the A Dog and His Girl Mysteries series. Grades 3-5.

—Angela Leepe, Booklist

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Dead Man's Best Friend

When the chief of police (aka Cassie’s mom) is suspended from the force it’s an awkward situation for the police, the town, the mayor, and especially Cassie.

Having her mom (who is dealing with her stress by micromanaging her family) home 24/7 is seriously cramping her style. Cassie and Dodge have got to clear Chief Sullivan's name, save her reputation, and get her back to work before she drives them all nuts.

But the more they uncover, the more questions they have...

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Dodge and Cassie can't visit the senior center or take a walk without sniffing out a mystery.

Something’s up with the supplements the oldsters are taking, and something’s amiss with an eccentric neighbor's mysterious "fall." With thirteen yowling cats needing adoption, Cassie and Dodge have to work double duty to find homes for the felines and solve the case.