Jaunty, funny, and fun…
Aimed at middle graders, McCloskey’s entertaining books in The Adventures of Tooten and Ter Series detail the ongoing sleuthing exploits of a young boy and his dog. In A Nose for Crime, the first installment in the series, thirteen-year-old Terrance O’Connell finds himself placed in foster care in the home of the retired police officer, Captain Leroy Gonzalez. Determined not to become a part of the Captain’s overly righteous world, Terrance resists Captain’s service-dog-in-training Tooten’s unwavering affection, but soon gives in, and together they go on a wild array of exhilarating adventures. In A Nose for Mystery, the second installment in the series, Tooten, after failing the Service Dog Academy exam, finds a place as a Canine Ambassador in the Helping Paws Program. Soon, the duo becomes a sought-after name when it comes to solve mysteries. As they journey across Boulder, New York, Seattle, and Chicago solving different mysteries, an opportunity arises for Tooten to become an international canine ambassador. But will Tooten pass the exam? McCloskey uses the usual mystery tropes to explore themes of truthfulness, honesty, responsibility, friendship, trust, and the importance of facing challenges head-on. It’s impossible not to root for Ter and Tooten’s endearing bond. Tooten is a darling with his irresistible doggy tricks. Ter’s torrent of emotions—wanting and not wanting to connect with Tooten, loving and resenting the authority figure of his foster dad—are conveyed with compassion and understanding. Through the story at times jump between multiple mystery adventures, McCloskey effortlessly keeps the various threads of the mini storylines together, creating a satisfying ending. The narrative is filled with near-constant adventures, and McCloskey skillfully maintains a rollicking pace, keeping the readers invested in the duo’s various adventures. Readers will wait eagerly for the duo’s next adventure. This is a must-read.
The Adventures of Tooten and Ter Series
By Chris McCloskey
A Nose for Crime: Book 1