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Monty's Dog Blog

Part 2 of Louisa Bennet’s short story

Posted by : Monty on October 21, 2015

I left you on a bit of a cliffhanger yesterday… Will Monty escape from the Peasemarsh Pound? Will the other dogs escape too? Can he find his way home? And which home? To Rose, the young detective who has adopted him? Or, Paddy’s place, the home of his murdered master.

Read on…

‘What about you, Ralph?’
The Staffie hasn’t moved. He has his back to me, his head on his paws, his shoulders slumped.
‘What’s the point?’ he says, his voice as rough as sandpaper.
‘You’re never getting out of here.’
‘It’ll all be over tomorrow,’ he sighs.
I look at his report card. Tomorrow at ten he’s being ‘put to sleep’.
‘Ralph, mate! Save yourself!’
Ralph shrugs. His spirit is broken. I don’t have time to argue so I lift his latch, just in case he changes his mind. Other dogs are barking at me to free them, so I flick their latches. There are eleven of us.
‘How do we get through this door?’ asks Taz, head-butting it repeatedly.
The doorknob is a long smooth stainless steel handle that you push down to open. I shove Taz aside, raise my forepaws and stand tall against the door. I bring my chin down on the handle and click, the door opens outward and I fall into a dark corridor. The other dogs go berserk and stream past me. There’s a bottleneck of furry bottoms and wagging tails at the other end of the corridor where there’s another closed door. I open it.
A tsunami of dogs bursts into the reception area with destructive force. Taz collides with a chair on wheels, which then smacks into shelves of medication. Pharmaceutical packets rain down on him. Charlie, a Jack Russell, sets about tearing at bags of dried dog food and the others pile in.
I pad over to the entrance doors, which look out onto a small car park, now empty. I sit, my head cocked to one side, as I contemplate the sturdy double doors which stand between us and freedom. The doors are key-locked. But there is no key. Hurrumph.
Taz is ripping apart boxes of flea treatment and then spitting out their bitter contents. Behind the reception desk I find lots of cables (if I had time they might be worth a chew), a waste-paper basket – unfortunately empty of titbits to eat – a filing cabinet, but no keys. There must be another way out? An open consulting room door beckons me. I investigate and give a howl of joy: a casement window is ajar. I do a full circle to ready myself and then jump, landing on the examination table. With a paw, I lift the casement stay and nudge the window wide open.
‘In here!’ I call.
They stampede towards me. The small room becomes a sea of seething strays.
‘OK. One at a time. Up on the table and then out the window. Mind the box hedge. Beyond the car park is a busy road. So watch out for cars.’
I feel like their mother.
Taz is first. He leaps through the window and zooms off down the street yelling, ‘Oh boy oh boy oh boy!’
The other dogs follow, except Charlie, whose little legs are too short to leap onto the table.
‘I’m done for,’ he says and hangs his scruffy head.
I hop down.
‘Can you jump onto my back and then the table?’ I ask.
His little tail wags so fast it blurs and his bushy eyebrows bristle. ‘Can I ever!’
I position myself as close to the table as possible. He leaps onto my back but falls off the other side. On the fourth attempt he reaches the table top, dives out of the window, bounces off the box hedge and lands in the car park.
‘Thanks, mate,’ he yaps.
Finally, it’s my turn and I dive through the open window.
The pound’s car park has no lighting but the street lights bathe everything in an iodine orange glow. Traffic rattles by. I sniff the air, hoping for a clue to where I am. But none of the smells are familiar: petrol and diesel fumes, beer and cigarettes, and the tantalising smell of pizza.
‘Wait!’
Ralph’s broad, scarred face appears at the open window. Despite his missing back leg, he fearlessly jumps into the box hedge, rolls over and rights himself, leaving a deep dent in the shrubbery. He stands stock still, staring at me.
‘You ever need help, leave a wee-mail, and I’ll find you. Name’s Jake, not Ralph, by the way.’
Then he skips off at surprising speed for a three-legged fellow. I squeeze through a hole in the perimeter hedge and poke my head out the other side. There is a pub opposite and next to it, a petrol station. Further down the street is a pizza place with one of those little delivery scooters parked outside. Marco’s Pizzas, the sign says. Ah, mozzarella, bacon, ham, pepperoni … I am lost for a while, and then snap out of it. I know those hypnotic aromas. I remember the name on the box. Paddy used to get pizza from there, so I can’t be too far away.
I miss Paddy and long for his familiar scent. I’m going home.

That’s the end of the short story, but if you’ve enjoyed it, you’re sure to love Monty & Me, published by Avon Books/Harper Collins. The hardback goes on sale on 22 October. There’s an ebook too!

Love from, Monty

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Paws of Approval

“It’s literally the best book I’ve ever read and I hope you publish another.”

Thanks Emma!

Emma Carlill contacted Monty through his website…

I look at my own dog now in a whole different light – especially out on walkies when she’s apparently checking her weemails! Loved it and I can’t wait for the next in this series!

Karen Manning, 5 stars on GoodReads

Monty and Me by Louisa Bennett is a cute and humorous cozy mystery.

Kristina, 5 stars on GoodReads

I thought the descriptions of the world through the eyes (or maybe nose) of a dog were quite brilliant. Who knew about a ladybird’s secret weapon?
I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to reading more about Monty and Rose.

Maggie MacDonald, 5 stars on GoodReads

Charming and uplifting. Monty is the new kid on the block among animal sleuths.

(this endorsement appears on the front cover)

Peter James, international best selling mystery author

Hello Monty. I’m here to leave you a wee-mail! I am 12 years old and am currently reading the amazing book that you star in, I wish I had a dog like you but I can’t as my mum has asthma and doesn’t tolerate fur or feathers. However, I once had a goldfish called Blaze who would follow me when I walked past and could follow my finger and do flips. He died of old age but I’m sure you would be good friends with him and that he would be clever enough to help with your mysteries (maybe even as clever as Dante) ; ) I hope you solve some more mysteries ( maybe one of your friends could be in trouble, keep your eyes peeled!) lots of love and scrummy bacon from, Susie x

Susie, 12 years old, sent an email to Monty

I loved Monty and Me. The book was unique, entertaining, quirky and uplifting.

Lisa Heidke, author

I really enjoyed reading this book, I loved the story and best of all I loved Monty.

Hannah Ward, 5 Stars on GoodReads

Loved it. I found it really hard to put down.

Gina Lunn, posted on Louisa Bennet’s Facebook profile

This book is amazing… Monty is simply fantastic. The chapters from Monty are the funniest, but also most emotional. I was in tears at the funeral.

Gilbster on Amazon.co.uk

Pure joy to read! Intense, insightful and fun! By page 18 I had already realized that I had smiled, giggled and even laughed more than 10 times. Anyone who loves either reading or writing knows full well it is not an easy task to get laughs out of printed pages. Louisa Bennet does humour naturally, her wit is unforced and clever.

Anita Kovacevik on GoodReads

What a fantastic mystery with a pair of detectives that are smart and fun… Anyone who loves animals of any kind will fall for Monty. The ending set up a perfect beginning for book two and I’ll be watching for it.

Ann on GoodReads

I absolutely loved this book. Read it in a day, couldn’t put it down… The relationship between Rose and Monty has definitely hit the ground running and I am definitely going to be keeping an eye out for the next in this series.

Ashrae on Amazon.co.uk

If you like Spencer Quinn’s “Chet & Bernie” mysteries (and I do), then you should love Monty and Me (which I did)… You don’t need to be a dog-lover to enjoy this though: the whodunit is cleverly constructed, the story gets along at a good clip, and there are quite a few laugh-out-loud moments. Something for everyone.

Mike on Amazon.com.au

A Monty is for life not just for Christmas. This endearing story is the perfect escapist read for young and old and has fun written all over it in six foot letters.

Philip Paterson

The dogs vs cats debate rages on, with Monty set to show off his detective skills and warm heart. I am delighted that we will be publishing Louisa’s charming and gripping tale about (wo)man’s best friend.

Katy Loftus

Buy “Monty And Me” On

Publicity and Agents

UK publicity: Sabah Khan at Lightbrigade

ANZ publicity at Harper Collins Australia

UK literary agent: Phil Patterson at Marjacq Scripts

UK publisher: Avon, Harper Collins, The News Building, 1 London Bridge Street, London, SE1 9GF

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