The Barbary Dogs
  • The Barbary Dogs
  • The Barbary Dogs

The Barbary Dogs

3.5 2
by Cynthia Robinson

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"A lot of fun, full of unexpected depths and twists."

--Josh Bazell, bestselling author of Beat the Reaper on The Dog Park Club

Max Bravo is ready for some rest and relaxation. But when an old friend takes a leap off the Golden Gate Bridge, Max realizes that rest and relaxation simply aren't in the cards. The jumper, Frank Kelly,

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"A lot of fun, full of unexpected depths and twists."

--Josh Bazell, bestselling author of Beat the Reaper on The Dog Park Club

Max Bravo is ready for some rest and relaxation. But when an old friend takes a leap off the Golden Gate Bridge, Max realizes that rest and relaxation simply aren't in the cards. The jumper, Frank Kelly, was a failed writer and an accomplished hothead. Max acquires Frank's journal, and is soon following the dead man through a foggy landscape of artistic manias and romantic intrigues. Along the way, he encounters a motley crew of crackpots, bohemians, and wily ghosts that refuse to be buried in San Francisco's Barbary Coast past. Fans of quirky, literary mysteries will love this second dose of Max Bravo and his outrageous adventures in Cynthia Robinson's The Barbary Dogs.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Fans of…supernatural escapades and dogs will enjoy Robinson's second mystery…A rollicking romp.” —Publishers Weekly

“An amusing dark comedy with charismatic characters and a story that seems ripped from the headlines but turns out to be far more interesting than the truth.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred) on The Dog Park Club

“Compelling and readable, this offbeat debut will appeal to all lovers of dog mysteries.” —Booklist on The Dog Park Club

“That rarest of gems, a comic tour de force that steals your heart.” —David Corbett, author of The Devil’s Redhead, on The Dog Park Club

“Beautifully written, The Dog Park Club will make you laugh out loud and then break your heart; Max Bravo is one of the most original and appealing protagonists to appear in years.” —Jeremy Duns, author of Free Agent, on The Dog Park Club

“This is a wry, darkly comic, terminally knowing novel, which can't quite hide the yearning at its heart.” —David Gates, author of Jernigan, on The Dog Park Club

Publishers Weekly
Fans of overt symbolism, lightweight supernatural escapades, and dogs will enjoy Robinson’s second mystery featuring bisexual bass baritone opera singer Max Bravo (after 2010’s The Dog Park Club), a rollicking, thesaurus-fueled romp through the caverns of Max’s roller-coaster mind. When Max’s longtime friend, writer wannabe Frank Kelly, takes a header off San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, Frank leaves behind a suicide note directing Max to dispose of all his earthly possessions, including a quite literally haunted journal, whose secrets Max feels duty bound to decipher. His dedication to interpreting the journal is incited by the ghost of Duffield Waverly Fallon, a long-dead Barbary Coast ruffian with a serious score to settle. From the moment Max opens Frank’s journal, Fallon is running the show, driving Max to amusing extremes. Those seeking a conventional whodunit should look elsewhere. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Opera singer Max Bravo and his pug, Dixie (The Dog Park Club), are not thrilled to be saddled with settling the affairs of a former friend who leapt off the Golden Gate Bridge. When he finds the friend's journal and realizes it's written in two different hands, Max begins to wonder if there's more to his late friend's death. With help from Dixie, his Roma (Gypsy) grandmother's ghost, and plenty of other San Francisco characters, Max attempts to unravel a supernatural mystery with roots over a century deep. While hardly the detective Spencer Quinn's Chet is, Dixie does provide plenty of support and comic relief for her master as he matches wits with jealous authors, high-strung opera directors, and an unquiet spirit. VERDICT This mystery is well crafted and suspenseful, but dog lovers will be left wanting more Dixie. —Dan Forrest, Western Kentucky Univ. Libs., Bowling Green
Kirkus Reviews
An unlikely and unwilling amateur sleuth is forced to dig into the past to save his future. Max Bravo is your typical bisexual, half-Gypsy opera singer who drinks too much and occasionally drops some acid. His surprise when an old friend jumps off the Golden Gate Bridge turns to rage when he gets stuck settling his affairs. Frank Kelly was more hotheaded than most failed poets, but Max discovers an even more dangerous side of him when he finds Frank's diary while he's cleaning out his apartment. The diary is partly written in another hand which a bookseller and graphologist identifies as belonging to Duffield Fallon, a vicious thug who died in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Having haunted Frank to his death, he now directs his attention on Max, who's already accustomed to, if not exactly pleased by, visits from his late Gypsy grandmother. Another writer from Max's past takes a dive off the bridge; he runs into a woman he once coveted, her striking beauty now marred by a ruinous scar; and the imperious Fallon continues to drive him crazy. Max realizes that he'll never get his life back until he meets Fallon's demands to find the woman he loved. His search for answers takes him and his friends on a wild ride through the dark and dangerous underbelly of the old Barbary Coast. The only dog in this tale is Max's pug, a legacy from his first plunge into detective work (The Dog Park Club, 2010). This esoteric tale, peopled with dozens of quirky characters, draws you in and spits you out dazed and delighted with the journey.

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Product Details

St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
A Max Bravo Mystery Series, #2
Product dimensions:
5.62(w) x 8.08(h) x 0.91(d)

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Meet the Author

CYNTHIA ROBINSON 's stories have appeared in and the First Thrills anthology. Nominated for the Best New American Voices Award, she lives in San Francisco.

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The Barbary Dogs 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Silverlightlee More than 1 year ago
I have all the admiration in the world for anyone who writes anything. However I failed in my attempts to read this book because of the unbelievable number of grammatical errors it contains. Are there no longer editors in publishing houses? How did this book get into print without a complete overhaul? It is very difficult to follow the storyline because there are so many mistakes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago