Saturday 11 July 2015

Reviewed: Monty and Me by Louisa Bennet.

Monty and Me was published by Avon on July 2, 2015.

Thanks to the author and publisher for sending me a copy of this book to review.

Occasionally you read a book that when you put down, you kind of wonder what on earth you’ve just been reading. That isn’t always a good thing but with Monty and Me, it definitely was. Original, entertaining and very unique, Monty and Me is a book that will have you helplessly uttering the word ‘aww’ on several occasions but also it will have you completely wrapped up in the mystery of discovering who killed Monty’s master. Rose Sidebottom is a trainee detective with an unfortunate surname – a surname which doesn’t help her to be taken seriously. Rose finds she’s always expected to prove herself and she can be the butt of some jokes at work where really all she wants is to be respected for the good job she does. When she’s investigating the murder of Patrick, Monty’s previous owner, she finds that the dog is more of a help with her investigation than any of the humans involved but little does she know how Monty is investigating this too, enlisting the help of some animals he meets along the way. Rose soon puts her trust in Monty and starts to follow his leads, making her colleagues pretty incredulous. But you have to admit that Monty’s not bad a detective.

A lot of this book is told from the perspective of Monty, the dog, which is a bit of a weird yet wonderful experience. Monty is a charming character and he’s a clever dog, always thinking of the next step and the next idea. I loved how he seemed to befriend anything – there’s a whole host of random animals that join Monty in his investigation and size and shape irrelevant, Monty loved making new friends. I loved his determination and commitment to the cause and he wouldn’t give in, even when everything seemed to be conspiring against them. It was quite a surreal experience to have this dog narrating the story and telling us about his life but I have to be honest and say his voice was so fresh and interesting, I could have read his story all week long.

I loved the dynamics between Rose and Monty as they got to know each other a little better. Monty grew so fond of Rose and they worked well together, as Monty tried to help uncover the mystery and Rose tried to help Monty through the emotional loss of Patrick. Monty and Me is virtually a laugh a minute but at Patrick’s funeral, I did find myself wiping a tear away! Monty was just so cut up and he couldn’t understand why Patrick was no longer there being the owner he loved and adored. This part set up the investigation well because Monty is then eager to be taken seriously as a witness and his detective skills are tested to the limit.

I preferred the opener to this book more than anything else, although that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy watching the investigation unfold – the beginning just had me laughing more than anything else. The antics of Monty cracked me up, from him and Betty the rat discussing Google and train hopping to his communication with Dante the magpie, the miserable git who didn’t get along with Betty but was quite handy with Rose’s computer, even if he did only have seven Twitter followers… I found myself laughing a lot at the beginning and that leads to people asking what’s happening in your book. How do you answer that without sounding completely crazy? The story to this book is mad, you can’t deny that, but it was effortlessly entertaining and I was drawn in and desperate to see how things would unfold.

The crime and the investigation itself deserved to be taken seriously because the mystery is well put together and I found myself guessing (wrongly) throughout about who the bad guy was and who killed Patrick, as well as the reason why they did so. It had quite a warm feel to it – definitely unlike any other murder investigation I’ve read before. Monty and Me is delightfully told – one that should have you charmed whilst at the same time, turning your curiosities and inquisitiveness up to full level as we try to reach the bottom of this mystery. Prepare for your heart to be captured by loveable dog Monty – but also prepare to be sulking once you realise that book two in this detective series feels so far away.

A clever murder investigation made cute with the help of loveable dog detective Monty.

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