Dino Vicelli, Private Eye in a World of Evils by Lori Weiner
(from the back of the book)
This story transports the reader to an alternate-reality version of New York City, in which talking dogs interact regularly with humans, the hero, Dino Vicelli, is a private investigator who just happens to be a sharply dressed Italian greyhound with a great fondness for cigars. He takes on what initially appears to be a routine missing person case but soon finds himself in the midst of a sinister plot that involves kidnapping, murder, and bizarre scientific experiments aimed at controlling the world. As he investigates this strange case, Dino repeatedly encounters mortal danger, while also finding romance with a beautiful blonde Afghan dog.
With its unusual twists on the traditional detective story genre, this book blends elements of humor, suspense, and fantasy.
Dino Vicelli is a quirky little novella that has some fun moments. It also has some issues as well. It’s cute and I like the interesting twists of the talking dogs in a noir setting and the other fantasy elements involved. And I know that it is to add to the noir feel of the book but ‘doll face’ and ‘lambie pie’ and the like were used slightly too much and started to feel overbearing. I also think that a bit of editing might have helped a lot. Sometimes the writing was awkward. Phrases like ‘he pulled her over to a big steel drum as they climbed in,’ or saying that someone went to the ladies’ room to get coffee or that someone had an uncanny resemblance to himself were just enough to be distracting. I know some of it is nitpiking but once I noticed it, it started to jump out at me everywhere and interfered with the story. It’s fun, goofy and quick. I think there is potential here for some fun adventures with Dino in the future but I’m not sure we are quite there yet.