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What to know: A mystery novel with a bit of a twist told from the perspective of an intelligent dog.
Recommended age 8-15
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This is a mystery novel with a little twist. It is from the prospective of an intelligent dog named Upton Charles. This book will make you laugh and wonder who is the culprit in the mystery. Upton Charles, Dog Detective: Ship Shape is a wonderful book that will be admired by both mystery and animal lovers.

This is a mystery story at heart, of course, with that little bit of suspense of who did it! There is also the family feel from Upton's owners which serves as a wonderful addition to the comedy.

I loved this book! It is not hundreds of pages so you feel satisfied when you get to the end. It is the perfect length at around 140 pages. It is a little predictable at times which will make kids love it, but anyone could fall in love with Upton and his family. The book does a wonderful job of showing the prospective of a dog's point of view and we see Upton's special talent. He can solve crimes, but still has dog in him.

This is definitely meant for teens and younger so I give it a age rating of 8 to15. The vocabulary is very basic so it is an easy read. I give it 5 out of 5 stars for wonderful writing that made me imagine the text coming to life but enjoying it too.

Reviewed by Gerry Orz, KIDS FIRST! Critics, Age 12

Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink. (Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner)

This story is one of many from the Upton Charles - Dog Detective series, a series about a mystery-solving dog, a white fluffy Bichon Frize, who is a cute as can be, judging from the illustrations. Besides solving mysteries, Upton Charles can tell time (sort of), hates dry dog food and, of course, talk to us which allows him to tell about all his adventures.

The black and white illustrations are lovingly drawn and give us insight into what Upton's family is like. This adventure has Upton Charles and his family trying to solve the case of the missing boat, a 27 foot Wyman motor cruiser, from the boat show. As Upton shares his thought processes with us, we follow his logic in solving the crime. We learn about cool stuff such as how tire prints are like finger prints. Upton exerts his way upon the humans by his adept non-verbal communication and winds his way into your heart. He discovered a cat in the midst of the investigation who appears to have joined the motley group. Just when you think the mystery is solved, it takes a bit of an unexpected twist leaving us with newfound appreciation for the fine art of detecting.

When the Chief of Police calls the Charles family to report that a brand new boat and trailer are missing from the boat show, Upton is immediately recruited to apply his detective skills to the disappearance. Our super sleuth is a Bichon Frise (that's "BEE-shon free-ZEY"), a little white dog, who wastes no time in sniffing out clues that lead to a surprising discovery. During the course of the investigation, Upton is joined by a new assistant. Come along with Upton as he unravels another mystery in Ship Shape.
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