It's election time in Spencer, Maryland, and the race for mayor is not a pretty one. In recent years, the small resort town has become divided between the year-round residents who enjoy their rural way of life and the city dwellers who are moving into mansions, taking over the town council, and proceeding to turn Deep Creek Lake into a closed-gate community - complete with a host of regulations for everything from speed limits to clotheslines.
When the political parties force-feed two unsavory mayoral nominees to the town's residents, David O'Callaghan, the chief of police, decides to make a statement - by nominating Gnarly, Mac Faraday's German shepherd, to run for mayor of Spencer!
What starts out as a joke turns into a disaster when overnight, Gnarly becomes the frontrunner, and his political opponents proceed to dig into the canine's past. When one of the mayoral candidates ends up dead, it becomes apparent that slinging mud is not enough for someone with a stake in this election.
With murder on the ballot, Mac Faraday and the gang - including old friends from past cases - dive in to clear Gnarly's name, catch a killer, and save Spencer!
A Timely Tale
A number of years ago, a perfectly normal fellow named Mac Faraday learned that his biological mother was a very famous person and, on the day his acrimonius divorce became final, Mac inherited a vast fortune. Now, the retired homicide detective lives in a magnificent estate on a lake in Spencer, Maryland, with his beloved dog, Gnarly. Gnarly has a questionable past but his biggest issue these days is his kleptomania. Nothing is safe from being pilfered by this German Shepherd.
At the moment, the whole town is focused on the upcoming mayoral election. It was already contentious due to strained feelings between the locals and the summer crowd; now, it’s a no holds barred fight because David, Mac’s police chief brother, nominated Gnarly as the one to beat the other two unpalatable candidates, Nancy Braxton and Bill Clark. The door is wide open for probes into the pasts of all three and it doesn’t take long for someone to dredge up old accusations of cowardice against the war dog when his handler was murdered during deployment. That’s not all, though—soon enough, one of the nominees is found dead in mysterious circumstances and, as it turns out, there’s more than one murder afoot.
Gnarly’s past is a fascinating story and it takes David along with a number of friends and other family members to get to the truth about his cowardice charge and the murders. I loved spending time again with Gnarly’s pals, Shetland sheepdog Spencer, Basset Hound Newman and Belgian Shepherd Storm as well as assorted humans. Gnarly’s campaign managers, Bernie and Hap, are a hilarious addition to a story that is a full-throated investigation into murder, political shenanigans and national security issues while still being shot through with humor. Narrator C.J. McAllister offers a lively performance and distinct voices along with a good sense of timing and brings Ms. Carr’s terrific story to life. Highly recommended ;-)