Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Pug’s Tale

A Pug's TaleAlison Pace
ISBN: 978-0-425-24119-6
Publisher: Penguin
Purchase Link: A Pug's Tale
Source: Publisher for Review

Hope McNeill has worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for years, but this is the first time she's been able to bring along her pug, Max. (Officially at least. Previously she's had to smuggle him in inside her tote bag.)

The occasion: a special "Pug Night" party in honor of a deep-pocketed donor. Max and his friends are having a ball stalking the hors d'oeuvres and getting rambunctious, and making Hope wonder if this is also the last time she gets to bring Max to the museum.

But when a prized painting goes missing, the Met needs Hope's-and Max's-help. In her quest for the culprit, Hope searches for answers with an enigmatic detective, a larger-than-life society heiress, a lady with a shih tzu in a stroller, and her arguably intuitive canine. With luck, she'll find some inspiration on her trips to Pug Hill before the investigation starts going downhill...


A pug’s tale was a delightful and entertaining read! Witty, smart and humorous all at once, this story weaves mystery, humor, love and Pugs into an entertaining and quick read. I loved Ms. Pace’s writing style. Its smooth flow kept me reading well into the night, without realization. I had a hard time putting this one down.

I enjoyed the characters in this novel. I thought they were well developed, likeable and charming. I loved how Hope spoke to her dog as if he understood her. The pugs are as equal to character as their owners. The dog had his own dialogue at times when Hope had those “Don’t look at me, I know what you’re thinking” type moments. Here is an example:

"I left the envelope on the desk and carried the contents with me back to the couch and sat back down next to Max, who snorted at me. Spend as much time with your pug as I have and you will one day be able to differentiate between all their different snorts. This last one was not appreciative like the one before it but much more along the lines of, "Um, excuse me?"

While I don’t read many books with animals as prevalent characters, I have enjoyed recent fictions stories such as Marley & Me and Stay, which include dogs that are almost a character within themselves. A Pug’s Tale is no different. It was a delight to read. I enjoyed the mystery surrounding the missing painting. I enjoyed the characters involved with the museum, the heist and the investigation. Of course a New York setting is always wonderful, but this is the first book I have read in regards to the MET and Pugs.

Overall I found this book highly entertaining, unique and original. I thought this was Alison’s first book, but discovered I am behind! A Pug’s tale is actually the sequel to Pug Hill. That being realized, I think the author does a wonderful job creating a story that stands on its own. I will have to read the first book to see how it falls as a sequel. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good fiction, a fun mystery or a story about dogs. It’s really quite versatile.

About the Author:
Alison Pace is the author of five novels: If Andy Warhol Had a Girlfriend, Pug Hill, Through Thick and Thin, City Dog, and A Pug's Tale. Her essays have appeared in several anthologies including It's a Wonderful Lie: The Truth About Life in Your Twenties, Everything I Needed to Know about Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume,and Howl: A Collection of the Best Contemporary Dog Wit.

Alison lives in New York City where she teaches creative writing and is at work on another book.

Her favorite city other than New York is Rome. Her favorite books, music, and TV shows change constantly though there will always be a special place in her heart for Willie Nelson, Cake, Wuthering Heights and Will & Grace; her favorite movies are When Harry Met Sally, Bullets Over Broadway, and Best In Show; her favorite movie line is from Rushmore when Luke Wilson says, "These are my O.R. scrubs," to which Jason Schwartzman replies, "Oh, are they?"

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