Today's review is really special to me, as The Cocker Spaniel Mystery was written by my husband's great grandmother, Hazel Raybold Langdale (she used different variations of her name on her books, so sometimes she's just Hazel Langdale, as on this book, and sometimes even H. R. Langdale). Her books have recently been reprinted by a small press, so I was able to purchase two copies of this book--one to keep and one to share with one of you! Just leave a comment below, and I'll randomly choose a winner next Monday. (I can only ship within the U.S.) For extra entries, sign up for my newsletter and/or follow me on Instagram (@faithough42) and let me know in your comment!
The Cocker Spaniel Mystery is a good, old-fashioned mystery in the vein of Nancy Drew or Trixie Belden, with a small amount of suspense and nothing too scary--making it perfect for sensitive or precocious readers. Polly Freeman--known as Polly Trailer because she lives and travels with her writer mother and artist father in their trailer--is visiting a friend in Vermont whose family breeds prize-winning cocker spaniels. When several of the pups go missing, Polly and her friends form a club to discover the thief and hopefully bring the pups back home in time for the local dog show.
The story was well paced and fun, and the club interactions were spot on ("kids forming clubs" stories should be a genre unto itself!). The fact that it was published in 1956 made it a perfect window into the past—and a lovely reminder that things aren't so different today. And unlike some older books, this one is even free of any concerning stereotypes, so you can hand it to your young reader with no worries. In fact, Polly's parents defied the stereotypes of the time by supporting each other in their creative work and taking a hand in Polly's education (she's sort of half homeschooled, which was fun to see!).
I can't wait to share this with one of you, so don't forget to enter the giveaway in the comments!
For more Marvelous Middle Grade Monday recommendations, check out Always in the Middle!
2/6/2023 02:35:03 am
What a lovely story! It's really nice that the books have been reprinted, and it sounds a sweet story. Sadly I am not eligible to enter (we have a cocker spaniel in the house so doubly sad not to read it!) but I will sign up to your newsletter anyway :) . Thanks for sharing this lovely story!
2/6/2023 06:01:46 am
It sounds adorable. So cool Mark's related, artist Dad in book, too, huh? Makes sense! 💛😘🌞 my g-g- gran grew up on a canal boat, similar experience in a way, it sounds adorable. So glad they're being reprinted!
Anna Rose Johnson
2/6/2023 07:15:16 am
This looks like such a fun book! I'm definitely going to see if I can get a copy. :)
2/6/2023 07:44:30 am
My job is picking books for the Lion and Lamb subscription box. Lmk the name of the publisher and I’ll try to see if they would work “in the box.”
2/13/2023 06:20:48 am
That would be awesome, Jessica! The publisher that is reprinting it is Wildside Press.
2/6/2023 07:56:22 am
This book sounds fantastic and I am thrilled you have family connections to the author. Mysteries are still my favorites from my Nancy Drew days. I follow you on Instagram and just signed up for your newsletter.
2/6/2023 12:49:10 pm
What a charming story. How lucky you are that your great grandmother wrote the story and it is back in print! I was 5 yrs old when the book was published. The 50s were happy times and a great time to be a kid and not have hovering parents. We played all day in the neighborhood.And, I lived for Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys and Pippi Longstocking books.
2/6/2023 04:15:14 pm
What a great find! I'm so glad you were able to reconnect with this book that is over 60 years old. The plot sounds like a perfect read-aloud. With my stack of future reads at an all time high, please let someone else win. I have made note of the title and will look into ordering my own copy in the future when I have more time. Happy MMGM!
2/6/2023 07:21:46 pm
So great that it is written by your husband's gr grandmother! I love mysteries. Thanks for telling us about it. I'm signing up for your newsletter.
2/8/2023 08:35:32 am
What a delight! I would love to win this book!! And I subscribe to your lovely newsletter too.
2/8/2023 09:35:30 pm
I wonderful that someone has decided to reprint this book. I was a huge Nancy Drew fan and think I would enjoy reading this book. It sounds great. Thanks for the review.
2/11/2023 07:01:29 am
Definitely adding this to our reading list. Ellie and Rosie would just devour this story. Also the cover is just perfect. Love that you have this story also as a piece of family history to pass down!
2/11/2023 11:08:54 am
This looks absolutely adorable - I would have loved this when I was growing up. I love that books like this are being reprinted.
2/13/2023 06:19:04 am
Thanks, everyone! Entries are now closed and the winner is Rachel Cupps!
Leave a Reply.
Hi! I'm Faith. I blog about books and creativity, family and faith. Welcome!