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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Dogs of Littlefield by Suzanne Berne - Book Review

The Dogs of Littlefield

About The Book:

A “brilliantly done” (Sunday Times, London) comedy of manners that explores the unease behind the manicured lawns of suburban America from the Orange Prize–winning author of A Crime in the Neighborhood.

Littlefield, Massachusetts, named one of the Ten Best Places to Live in America, full of psychologists and college professors, is proud of its fine schools, its girls’ soccer teams, its leafy streets, and charming village center. Yet no sooner has sociologist Dr. Clarice Watkins arrived to study the elements of “good quality of life” than someone begins poisoning the town’s dogs. Are the poisonings in protest to an off-leash proposal for Baldwin Park—the subject of much town debate—or the sign of a far deeper disorder? Certainly these types of things don’t happen in Littlefield.
With an element of suspense, satirical social commentary, and in-depth character portraits, Suzanne Berne’s nuanced novel reveals the discontent concealed behind the manicured lawns and picket fences of darkest suburbia. The Dogs of Littlefield is “a compelling, poignant yet unsentimental novel that examines life, love, and loss” (Sunday Mirror, UK).

My Thoughts:

"The Dogs of Littlefield" is not your typical murder mystery - this time the victims are of the canine variety!  But the action, the intrigue and the plot are just as exciting and fast-paced as if the deceased were of the human variety!

Author Suzanne Berne gives her readers a fascinating look at the underbelly of suburban living in her latest novel, and sometimes it's not a pretty sight.  But Berne holds back no punches as she leads her characters on a winding road of suspense, dissatisfaction, and more than a little mayhem. 

I enjoy this change-of-pace mystery. Berne's characters are interesting, especially her lead character, Dr. Clarice Watkins, who was smart and a little sassy. I also was intrigued with the somewhat sad Downing family, who are also an important part of the overall story. But, for me, it's Berne's storyline that is the real star of this novel.  She sets out to captivate her audience, and she does not disappoint at all.

Mystery lovers will enjoy this brilliantly written novel.  I highly recommend it!

About The Author:


Suzanne Berne is the author of the novels The Dogs of Littlefield, A Crime in the Neighborhood, A Perfect Arrangement, and The Ghost at the Table, as well as Missing Lucile: Memories of the Grandmother I Never Knew, part biography and part memoir. She has taught at Harvard University as a Briggs-Copeland Fellow and at Wellesley College. Currently she teaches creative writing at Boston College and lives outside of Boston with her husband, Kenneth Kimmell, President of the Union of Concerned Scientists, and their two daughters.

Check out her website at www.suzanneberne.net for more information on her books and projects.

My thanks to Simon and Schuster for providing the review copy of this book. I was not compensated for my opinion.

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