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Distracted detective goes to dogs in 'The Highly Effective Detective Goes to the Dogs'

Oklahoman Published: November 26, 2008
The state has closed Teddy Ruzak’s agency because he failed the test required to become a private detective. The story is told by Richard Yancey in "The Highly Effective Detective Goes to the Dogs” (Thomas Dunne, $24.95).

Ruzak finds the body of a homeless man in the alley by his office and recognizes the panhandler to whom he gave a few coins and his floppy hat. Police think the man froze to death, but Teddy is sure they’re wrong, because the hat is missing, and there are some strange markings on the man’s forehead.

An elderly woman is writing a book about Teddy the detective, and her son is threatening him for misleading his mother.

Teddy has adopted Archie from the dog pound and finds the girl who runs the pound is interested in him for reasons other than the dog. Archie is a strange creature. Around Teddy, Archie just sits and stares at him. No tail wagging, no rolling over for belly pats and no wet kisses.

This all tends to distract Teddy from his goals. He admits he thinks too much, and the reader might agree "introspective detective” would be a more apt description than "effective.” But you can’t help liking the guy, even if you wish he would get on with solving the mystery.

Kay Dyer