Great Illustrated Books

The Case of the Cat with the Missing Ear (The Adventures of Samuel Blackthorne series)

By Scott Emerson

Simon & Schuster, 2003
Pages : 240
Suggested Ages: 9 and Up
ISBN: 9780689858611

Meet Yorkshire terrier detective Samuel Blackthorne as seen through the eyes of his chronicler, friend, and fellow canine, Edward R. Smithfield, a retired veterinarian. In their first thrilling case together, they come to the assistance of elegant greyhound, Molly Kirkpatrick, who seeks their help to find out why her brother, Patrick, a shy, hardworking accountant, failed to return from a neighborhood pub the night before.

Written in the style of Sherlock Holmes' Dr. Watson, Smithfield's meticulous narrative describes Blackthorne's "uncanny ability to see things other dogs couldn't and to smell things other dogs wouldn't" as he prowls the foggy streets of San Francisco in 1887 and contends with kidnapping, gambling, nefarious politicians, and even murder. Blackthorne's special talent is in employing the powers of observation and deduction.

When readers then migrate to the source of Scott Emerson's dog-based homage, the Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle, they will recognize and appreciate the ornate Victorian style of the narrative and revel in the diabolically clever deductive reasoning skills of the great detective. The videos and movies about Sherlock Holmes starring Basil Rathbone or Jeremy Brett make for some fine watching and a stirring introduction to the series.

Reviewed by : JF.


If you love this book, then try:

Doyle, Arthur Conan. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Franklin Watts, 2007, c1892

Erickson, John R. The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog. Puffin, 1999.

Hoeye, Michael. Time Stops for No Mouse. Putnam, 2002


Howe, James. Bud Barkin, Private Eye. (Tales from the House of Bunnicula series) Atheneum, 2003.

Shipton, Paul. Bug Muldoon: The Garden of Fear. Viking, 2001.

Titus, Eve. Basil of Baker Street. McGraw-Hill, 1958.

Vande Velde, Vivian. Smart Dog. Harcourt, 1998.

Van Leeuwen, Jean. The Great Christmas Kidnapping Caper. Dial, 1975.

Critics have said

The characters are not merely shades of Holmes and Watson, but are interesting and colorful in their own right. Mullett's black-and-white drawings help bring the characters to life. Blackthorne and Smithfield's adventures will leave mystery fans howling for more.
School Library Journal