Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club, by Duncan Whitehead

Dog Ear Publishing, 2012

Duncan Whitehead’s The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club is a thriller-parody that involves the members of an informal afternoon cocktail and dog walking club in an old Savannah neighborhood. As the book opens, one of their friends dies of cancer, and a rivalry immediately develops amongst the surviving ladies, involving the new widower.  It was a promising beginning, but unfortunately the rest of the book didn't quite live up to that promise. 

There were a LOT of twists and turns and surprises along the way, some of them extremely unexpected and most of them fairly entertaining. There’s the man who incurs the ladies’ wrath because he neglects to clean up after his dog. There’s the once successful children’s writer haunted by a past that may or may not involve Adolph Hitler. And then there’s the hit man who’s skulking around the neighborhood. And these are just a few of the various plot lines.

I had a hard time getting through this one. Somehow I just couldn’t maintain much interest in any of the characters or their activities. The book has been called “zany” and “screwball,” but I thought the humor seemed forced and - just not very funny. One thing I did enjoy was the ending - it springs a bit of a surprise which wasn’t hard to see coming, but still turned out to be a nice satisfying plot twist. I just wish the rest of the book had been that satisfying.

(Note: I received my copy of this book free of charge from the publisher. No other compensation was received, and no one attempted to influence my opinion.)

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