Book Review: The Dog Park Club – Cynthia Robinson

Title: The Dog Park Club
Author: Cynthia Robinson
ISBN: 9780312559731
Pages: 304
Release Date: June 22, 2010
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: Publisher
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Summary:

Opera singer Max Bravo is concerned about his good friend Claudia.  She and her husband are having problems, and Max worries about leaving Claudia alone.  In an effort to get her to make friends in her neighborhood, Max encourages her to take her dog to the local dog park and socialize with the interesting people who hang out there.  Max himself becomes friends with this colorful cast of characters.  One day, Amy, a young, attractive member of the group with an overbearing husband, disappears, and the dog park club takes it upon themselves to figure out what happened to her.

Review:

First of all, a warning to dog lovers:  this is NOT a cozy mystery about dogs.  I know from the cover and description, it seems like the entire plot revolves around dogs, but it really doesn’t at all.  It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but I have a feeling that a lot of people who seek this book out will make that assumption, as I did.  So consider yourself warned – this is not the book for you if you’re specifically looking for something about dogs.

The Dog Park Club was an interesting, if muddled book.  The book isn’t really a mystery at all; instead, it’s about the eccentric people who meet at the dog park and the trouble they get into together.  It’s entertaining, because there are definitely some great characters in this book.  Claudia in particular was a favorite of mine – she was looking for love and comfort, especially after the trouble with her husband, and tried to find it in the most amusing of people. 

However, it is not a typical, straightforward whodunit, which is what I was expecting.  Yes, someone does disappear, but that isn’t the point of the book.  As a result, I didn’t enjoy this novel as much as I expected.  I went into it expecting a cozy mystery that centered around dogs, only to find something much more complex than that.  I feel like I would have enjoyed it more if I’d had a better idea of what to expect.

That being said, I did find The Dog Park Club amusing.  Max Bravo is a great narrator, and the book is very funny.  It makes me sad that my expectations clouded my experience of reading the novel and I had trouble appreciating it for what it was.  If you’re looking for an amusing story with a crazy set of characters, definitely consider picking up this book, but I’d steer clear if you’re looking for a dog-based mystery.

Affiliate Links:

Buy this book from Powell’s Books
Buy this book from Amazon.com
Buy this book from your local Indiebound bookstore

Comments

  1. Phew! Glad I read your review. I would have been one of the disappointed — expecting fast cozy mystery about dogs and dog owners. Now if I decide to read it, I’ll be prepared.

  2. Phew! Glad I read your review. I would have been one of the disappointed — expecting fast cozy mystery about dogs and dog owners. Now if I decide to read it, I’ll be prepared.

  3. Oh boy, it sounds like you were in for something totally unexpected with this book, but I am glad that the surprise didn’t ruin it for you, and that you were sort of able to enjoy it anyway. I am not sure this book is for me, but if it had been a cozy gog story on the other hand, I just might have read it. Thanks for shedding light on this book with your review!

  4. Oh boy, it sounds like you were in for something totally unexpected with this book, but I am glad that the surprise didn’t ruin it for you, and that you were sort of able to enjoy it anyway. I am not sure this book is for me, but if it had been a cozy gog story on the other hand, I just might have read it. Thanks for shedding light on this book with your review!

  5. I wonder why they chose that cover and title then? I would have been disappointed if I’d picked this one up before I read your review.

  6. I wonder why they chose that cover and title then? I would have been disappointed if I’d picked this one up before I read your review.

  7. It’s so interesting when a cover doesn’t really reflect what is inside — glad I read your review 🙂

  8. It’s so interesting when a cover doesn’t really reflect what is inside — glad I read your review 🙂

  9. I have to agree. I picked this book up thinking it would be similar to Susan Conant’s Dog Lover’s Mystery books, but it wasn’t. It was still a good read though, but I didn’t like the ending. For anyone looking for a good mystery with a dog centered plot, Susan Conant has 18 books in her Dog Lover’s Mystery series and they all revolve around Alaskan Malamutes.

  10. I have to agree. I picked this book up thinking it would be similar to Susan Conant’s Dog Lover’s Mystery books, but it wasn’t. It was still a good read though, but I didn’t like the ending. For anyone looking for a good mystery with a dog centered plot, Susan Conant has 18 books in her Dog Lover’s Mystery series and they all revolve around Alaskan Malamutes.

Leave a Reply

Comment Policy:  I welcome comments and read each one I receive. If your comment needs a response, I will provide it in a timely manner, as I read every comment I receive. Please keep your comments civil and polite! I reserve the right to delete any comments that are rude or inappropriate. Because of spam, I have to moderate comments on old posts. Please be patient - I will approve your comment quickly.

Before the tag in the Genesis footer: !-- Quantcast Tag -->