The Purloined Poodle, by Kevin Hearne (an Iron Druid novella)
Posted September 16, 2016on:
published Sept 30, 2016
where I got it: received review copy from the publisher (thanks Subterranean Press!)
Swap out the recipe and/or knitting pattern for lots of butt sniffing, and The Purloined Poodle would make a perfect cozy mystery.
Told from the point of view of Oberon, Atticus’s wolfhound, this is a fun and fast paced mystery about doggies that have gone missing. And not just any doggies, but a prize winning poodle! As Atticus chats up other dog owners at the dog park, Oberon gets to know the other dogs. By shaking hands and saying “Hi!” in the doggie way, which of course, as everyone knows, is sniffing the other dog’s butt and letting them sniff yours. But enough playing and getting to know each other, there’s a mystery to solve! Atticus promises Oberon plenty of snacks, so Oberon is on the case! Just like that other mystery solving guy, you know, the one with the pipe!
Oberon knows not all dogs know words like he does, he knows not all dogs have a mental connection with their humans. He knows Atticus is an ancient druid, and that it’s a good thing that Oberon can’t talk to other humans, because what and who Atticus is has to stay a secret. Even if those other dogs don’t know many words other than Sit and Come, Oberon can still learn a lot from them, especially who they are afraid of. Why they are afraid, that’s a longer conversation, often involving naps, playing, and snacks.
The Purloined Poodle is an absolutely adorable novella – 100 pages of pure entertainment. Oberon acts like a happy and playful dog – he has a 10 minute (ok, 5 minute) attention span, wants to show his human how smart he is by mentioning all sorts of silly things he’s seen on TV, can’t bear to see other dogs unhappy, and will do just about anything for meaty snacks. If you don’t laugh while reading this little book, there might be something wrong with you. Or, maybe you don’t like dogs?
If you’re brand new to Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid series, this new novella might not be the best place to start. It assumes you know about Atticus and why he’s not living in Arizona anymore, it assumes you know who Granuaile is. If you’ve got one or two (or even three) of the novels under your belt, you should be fine. (According to the wikipedia page, this novella fits anywhere into the series, according to the chronology on Hearne’s website The Purloined Poodle comes after the novel Staked) For what it’s worth, my first ever exposure to Hearne’s Iron Druid series was the short story “Goddess at the Crossroads” in the Fantasy Medley 3 anthology from Sub Press, and I did just fine (and immediately went out and bought the first 2 novels and devoured them, because Hello!).
There’s so much heavy fiction out there right now, so many novels that demand that you think and ask questions. And that’s great! I love those novels! But…. It’s also nice to intersperse your heavy reading with lighter, more fun stories. Like this one!