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Monty and me by Louisa Bennet

A review by Nalini Haynes

Monty is a failed guide dog whose post-guiding-career master was murdered. Rose rescues Monty from the vet and gives him a home. Rose is, presumably, the “me” in Monty and Me.

A constable in training in the Major Crimes unit in a small town, Rose is accustomed to being the bottom of the pecking – or pissing? – order. However, Monty has a few ideas of his own. So, together, they set about to solve Monty’s master’s murder mystery. (Say that three times fast!)

Fantasy

Although Monty and Me is a cosy murder or a cosy mystery (whichever genre title you prefer), it’s also a fantasy.

Hear me out.

Not only can Monty read and talk cross-species, he meets a ladybird who’s more Jessica Rabbit than bug. Whenever she’s on the page, I “hear” sultry brass music. And never more so than when she threatens to take off her boots to overpower her colleagues with her smell.

To be honest, that ladybird/ladybug is my least favorite part of the story. I loathed Jessica Rabbit, I don’t know why but I felt she was squicky. Nor did I like this insect.

Oh, and Rose has a magical power: she gets a physical reaction when people lie. For little lies she gets pins and needles but with big lies she has to walk and stamp out the pain and loss of circulation.

So Monty and Me is definitely a “mild” fantasy.

The verdict

Monty and Me is a fun cosy mystery with an absolutely adorable dog. Rose and Monty take turns in telling the story. Monty’s abilities may be fantastical but his personality and determination reminded me so strongly of my own pupper, who is part Golden Retriever (although she’s a black Labrador), that I was startled when there was an in-story reminder that Monty is not black.

I highly recommend Monty and Me if you need a gentle escapist read that is also fun. Laughing out loud is a risk.

The Kingston Libraries’ Cosy Crime Chat inspired me to read this book.

Book details

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Imprint: internationally, it’s Avon. In Australia, the sequels are published by Clan Destine Press. The original book seems to have been published in Australia by HarperCollins but it’s been removed from their website. Go figure.
Format: seems to be in all the shiny formats. 400 pages.
Released: 2015
Category: cosy murder, crime, fantasy, humor

Monty and Me international book cover features a golden retriever looking golden

Nalini
Nalinihttps://www.darkmatterzine.com
Nalini is an award-winning writer and artist as well as managing editor of Dark Matter Zine.

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