Blaze Dog Detective – The Magic Flag Mystery
By Lin Anderson and Donald McKay,
Rated 5 stars *****
Today on Good Friday, to wish you all a good Easter weekend (even if it will be different), I am pleased and delighted to be sharing my review of Blaze Dog Detective – The Magic Flag Mystery. This is the first in the series, available now as an e-book on Amazon and will be available in physical form when normality resumes.
I thank Lin Anderson for contacting me with the opportunity to review this book and for providing a PDF copy of the book, and the various photos of Blaze, which you will see as you scroll further down my blog post.
About the Author
Lin Anderson is best known as the creator of the forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod series of crime thriller novels and is now also writing the children’s books – Blaze Dog Detective series. She is also known for her part in founding the annual ‘Bloody Scotland’ crime writing festival.
When the famous fairy flag of the Clan MacLeod disappears from a locked room at Dunvegan Castle on the Isle of Skye, the police immediately call in Blaze Dog Detective.
After all his scenting skills on the island are legendary.
With his team of Rosa, Rory and wee brother Laoch, Blaze leads the chase to rescue this magical flag before it can be spirited away from the island forever.
A map, a castle, a secret passage, adventure, cute dogs, robbers, police, a mystery to be solved, this children’s book has it all. There is wonderful mix of mild trepidation and humour and a terrific energy throughout. With all that and excellent characterisation and plot, I am highly recommending this book for children. Read on to find out more…
This is the first in a brand new detective series for children. Blaze happens to be a real dog in Skye who lives with his wee brother Laoch and their human dad and these are the main characters within this book, in fictional form.
The approach of writing about the dogs is excellent as they are not cartoon-like, they are written much more realistically than that. The instincts and observations of the dogs is cleverly written as they take on this quality that readers will want to get to know more of. There’s a warmth and wisdom in the characterisation that makes them endearing.
I enjoy the fact that readers will get to know the Isle of Skye, Scotland and then the dogs and then the story pulls you in even deeper into the mystery of the stolen and valuable Fairy Flag.
I love that there is a map of Skye that children can have fun with. I love maps in children’s books. It always, immediately helps to give them a sense of place as the story is set, whether readers have been to the setting, in this case the Isle of Skye, Scotland or not. The writing throughout also gives a beautiful sense of Skye and its magical landmarks.
Readers quickly find out how Blaze became a detective dog and also meet Granny Beaton (Granny B). She is no ordinary granny at all, riding a motorbike and possessing a crystal ball and has a 10-year-old granddaughter – Rosa from Glasgow.
There is a bit of danger within this story when news unfolds that the Fairy Flag at Dunvegan Castle, where the Chief of Clan McLeod lives, has been stolen, meaning that the school trip for a summer castle party may be cancelled. There’s a terrific illustration of the castle and its grounds, plotted like a map to explore, that is a brilliantly conceived idea.
Fang is easy to sympathise with as his story unfolds and readers will find out if he knows anything about the Fairy flag or not and about the mysteriously clever crows that appear.
The hunt is on and there is a determination to find the Fairy Flag and who stole it, with secret passageways, a cave, a mysterious boat called The Darkness, there’s excitement, adventure and mild trepidation and team work to try and get the flag back, before it is gone forever. There’s also the distraction of rabbits to chase along the way and a hope that PC Munroe will be able to help.
There’s some red herrings here and there, that creates for a great story for keeping readers guessing and gives scope to feel really involved in solving the mystery.
So this book is very much worth transporting yourselves to Skye and joining Blaze with his mischievous, fun brother in Skye, as he tries to solve this mystery.
The book is available now on Amazon and later on there will be physical copies available, when restrictions are lifted, so I highly recommend you watch out for all the different ways to purchase this book as they materialise. Just now, it is in E-book form and will make for perfect Easter weekend reading.
Click the link to purchase: Amazon
Blaze knows all the best walks in Skye and even sometimes comes to the mainland.
Lin Anderson kindly shared a few. Hover your curser over the photos to find a little more about where Blaze is in each of the locations.