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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
The Wonderful Whippet of Winifred Weatherwax is a mystery novel for young adults written by Philippa Stasiuk. Eleanor Weatherwax was beside herself in blissful anticipation that she’d finally be getting a Lucky Dog Whippet. She had been waiting so long for that phone call from Carolina Lucky, and now she, her husband and daughter would be driving there for an interview with the breeder. Winifred (Freddy) liked the idea of being picked up from boarding school a day before the scheduled start of the summer vacation, and thinking of having a puppy to play with that summer, if the interview went well, made her smile. Carolina Lucky was brash, pushy and nicotine-stained, and, while she claimed to be unsure if the Weatherwaxes really deserved to have a Lucky Dog Whippet, Freddy instantly sensed something was amiss. Shumba, the puppy in question, didn’t really fit his supposed lineage; the configurations of his head and his coloring were off. What were Carolina’s motivations here? Carolina was bemused by Freddy’s precocious questions even as she acknowledged that Freddy would go far in the business. She admitted that Shumba’s parentage was a bit suspect and not what was written on the pedigree papers. Freddy didn’t mind -- she would have a puppy.
Who was stealing champion dogs, and where were they now? In Philippa Stasiuk’s mystery novel for young adults, The Wonderful Whippet of Winifred Weatherwax, two teenagers work together to find the motivation for, and the commonalities that link the theft of different breeds of hound dogs; thefts which were daring and accomplished virtually under the noses of the dogs’ owners. Freddy and Eli make splendid sleuths and watching them sort through clues is grand fun. Stasiuk’s book also gives readers an illuminating peek into the world of dog shows that will appeal to dog-loving readers of all ages. The Wonderful Whippet of Winifred Weatherwax is a fast-paced and engaging mystery filled with red herrings galore, eccentric dog lovers and some very cool dogs. It’s most highly recommended.