K9 Cop: Case 1 The Dreck Report By Erna Mueller

Case Number 1: The Dreck Report is a cute story about a police officer who is a “jerk” although a good police officer who dies while catching more bad guys.  He is whisked to the gates of heaven where he is told he has no heart and can either enter the Jerk Redemption Program or return as his dog Pepper to help a family that is struggling to love and understand one another.  Spencer, our jerky police officer, decides to return to earth as a dog but his primary concern is different from his mission which is to catch his killers.  A surprise twist shows Spencer he truly is on his own to solve the crime, which centers around a toy company, and needs to bond with his family to do it as readers make their way through this mystery story.  This book is the first in a series called K9 Cop.

Overall, the story was well written and the characters were delightful!  All the characters seemed to be very well developed and I felt like I really knew them.  The story was multifaceted and interesting.  There were several twists that I did not see coming that really added depth to the storyline.  The subplots were amazing; I enjoyed reading about the baseball games with Spencer and Justin and the pet day at the school was hysterical.  One of my favorite characters was Vicky, the older sister of one of the main characters Justin.  Her motherly attitude with kickboxing skills and pink hair yet ever so responsible made a perfect contrast for her making her fun and relatable.  She saved the day numerous times and I loved seeing her in action in my mind.

The plot involves another dog that has a reincarnated spirit of a person trying to earn a heart and get into heaven who eventually comes to help our main character dog, Spencer.  The other character’s from this dog’s story, the dog’s name is King, are comical and endearing however the author doesn’t write much about them after their initial chapter which seems like such a missed opportunity and also wasted writing.  While admittedly the characters are secondary characters in this story the author makes the reader feel vested in them enough that I kept wondering where the development that was set up in their chapter was going to take the story and it turned out not really anywhere.  If the author was planning on using them so limitedly the chapters developing them need not have been included.  I wanted to see more happen for Cody after getting to know him.  Instead we were left with a tiny blurp at the end of the book to wrap up Cody’s story.  Meanwhile King’s story was never really wrapped up…he accomplished his mission but was still in his dog body.

There were several mix ups in the book I struggled to understand what was going on at times and other things that just didn’t make sense for me.  Some of the mix ups include positions of two of the bad guys T-Bone and Rex switching places and characteristics of some characters changing like from blonde hair to brown hair.  It threw me to the point I caught myself rereading passages to make sure I knew what was happening at times.  It wasn’t distracting to the book as a whole but I hope the author pays more attention to his details in future cases.

I imagine as successful as Spencer and Justin were in this first case that the author will have many more to write.  Now that Spencer has a heart and isn’t so much of a jerk and has some help navigating the world from someone with imposable thumbs that has a heart for adventure and just as smart as Spencer himself the duo should be able to rack up many more victorious cases.  I hope she will include more of King and Cody in his escapades as well.

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