The Barkers Dozen - Reminiscences of an Early Police Dog Robert Warr

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Kindle Edition

376 pages


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The Barkers Dozen - Reminiscences of an Early Police Dog  by  Robert Warr

The Barkers Dozen - Reminiscences of an Early Police Dog by Robert Warr
| Kindle Edition | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, audiobook, mp3, ZIP | 376 pages | ISBN: | 7.35 Mb

The detective got the praise, but the dog did the digging…The book consists of twelve linked stories that deal with the cases of Richard Thompson who is a Scotland Yard detective in Victorian Britain. Unlike the Sherlock Holmes type of story the heroMoreThe detective got the praise, but the dog did the digging…The book consists of twelve linked stories that deal with the cases of Richard Thompson who is a Scotland Yard detective in Victorian Britain.

Unlike the Sherlock Holmes type of story the hero is a member of the official police service. What gives these stories their special twist is that they are narrated by Snuffles, who is the Inspector’s Springer Spaniel.Snuffles is an extremely likeable narrator although he is quite arrogant in some of his opinions and has a tendency towards bad puns, he is, however, a dog it would be a pleasure to know.In the 1880’s there were no official police dogs, although a few trials had been made, most famously the use of bloodhounds in the hunt for Jack the Ripper (1888) in fact the first German Shepherd wasn’t officially procured by the Metropolitan Police until 1948.

Police officers did, however, take their own pets on duty with them and this unofficial practice got approval in 1911.Equally the use of forensics was in its true infancy with different forces, or occasionally individual officers, trying different ideas. In fact the Fingerprint Bureau was not founded until 1901 although the idea had been around for some time.It is in this interesting time, when the police service is starting a long transition into a modern professional service, that these stories are set.

The cases range from murder to dognapping for profit, which was a particularly Victorian crime that has seen a modern resurgence.The location for these stories range from the foggy streets of Victorian London to grand country houses and crimes committed during country house weekends.

The prejudice that existed between different classes forms a theme (uncomfortable to our modern views) that runs through the book giving it a true flavour of its period.Although Richard Thompson is a very good detective we learn that most of his cases are actually solved by Snuffles who interviews the animal witnesses. The dog is left with the problem of telling his master what he has learnt without revealing that he can talk.

All I will say is that he is a most resourceful Spaniel.Between each of the cases there is a journal entry written by Isobel Fraser a young American heiress who has been sent to Britain by her parents to end her infatuation with an adventurer. She comments of her, very rich, relations in an initially disparaging fashion but quickly becomes enamoured with the privileged lifestyle that they enjoy.Isobel Fraser’s presence turns the book into a romance as her relationship with one of the main characters proves to be anything but smooth.

Her story and the cases wrap round each other before crossing in a violently explosive fashion.Isobel’s journal entries can either be read as part of the main book or as a short romance in their own right. In fact if you are pressed for time all of the cases can be read in isolation, as they are satisfying stories in their own right.Cat lovers will also be happy with this book as it contains some great feline characters who range from Fielding (Inspector Thompson’s cat) to Lucky who lives in the stables of a great house and provides a vital clue in a murder investigation..The book contains some great illustrations by Phillip Lee that hark back to pictures in The Strand Magazine that accompanied the Sherlock Holmes stories.This book gives interesting insights into Victorian society as well as being a great story in keeping with the cosy mysteries genre.



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