Sunday, September 10, 2017

Diana Winthrop #3 Dog-Lover's Legacy and #4 Beacon Hill

In Diana Winthrop #3, The Case of the Dog-Lover's Legacy, Diana spots a dog swimming in the river.  She jumps in and rescues it.  Diana and the animal shelter try to locate the owner with no luck.  One week later, Diana adopts the dog and gives it to her cousin Jacintha, as it becomes apparent that the dog, now named Duchess, adores Jacintha and has obviously been trained as a guide dog.

The adoption of Duchess creates quite a stir with prowlers showing up near the Winthrop home at all hours of the day.  Soon, Diana learns that Duchess is the key to an inheritance and that the relatives will do anything to assure that they receive the fortune.

In this book we meet Diana's best friends, Megan and Leslie.  Also, Diana is now a senior in high school.

On page 25 Diana thinks it is odd that "a dog should suddenly just—show up in the East River, apparently with no one knowing whose he is or how he got there."  I guess Diana isn't aware of how many people, sadly, abandon their animals for no reason other than that they are tired of them.  Why would it be odd for a dog to show up in a river with no one eager to claim him?  Of course in this particular situation, the dog's appearance in the river is the key to a strange mystery.

This is an excellent book, one of the two best books in the series.

In Diana Winthrop #4, The Secrets on Beacon Hill, Diana is spending the Christmas holidays with her Grandmother Winthrop.  The festivities begin with a birthday party for Diana's cousin Amanda.  As Amanda is presented with a valuable strand of pearls, the lights go out and Amanda claims that somebody pulled at the strand, which breaks with the pearls rolling across the floor.  The pearls are retrieved and taken to the jeweler, who informs Grandmother Winthrop that the pearls are fake. Somehow the real pearls were switched with the fake ones, and Diana must find the culprit.

This book opens with way too many characters at the beginning.  It is necessary, to an extent, to have a large number of characters due to the nature of the story.  The characters are introduced too fast, and as I read the book, I kept having to flip back to remember who was who.  This reduced my enjoyment of the story.

This is an excellent story which could have been outstanding if I could have kept the characters straight.

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