Mysterious Brown Scraggly Dog Appears

Twins Davey and Derek notice a brown scraggly dog with a bloody paw and wonder what’s going on. After a lengthy investigation, assisted by their elderly aunt, and a bit of magic, they discover the answer to the dog’s telling foot. Even magic couldn’t tell them whether or not they solved the puzzle soon enough to save a life.

Brown Scraggly Dog

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Page One

“The twins rushed over to Great Aunt Gigi’s house to continue honing their magical skills under her expert tutelage. They had so far learned one magic trick just before they completed their third case with the magical ivory elephant named Tamba. Today Aunt Gigi had promised to begin training them with their wands to perform other simple incantations.”


Authors have a purpose or an agenda in writing their novels that make them unique. Janice Spina wanted to create children’s novels that would intrigue, but not scare young children.

“I try to make them gentle without anything that would frighten young children. My themes deal in life lessons and teaching young children how to be polite, kind and sensitive to others’ feelings. I want children to know that it is okay to be different. It is extremely important that all children feel safe and loved in their homes and in their lives.”

Davey and Derek retain their polite and obedient behavior throughout the book. Adults are loving and kind as well. The twins only fudge at the truth a bit on occasions to keep their mother from worrying about them, but in the end, they share all and come clean.

Teacher’s Perspective

The Case of the Brown Scraggly Dog would make a good read-aloud for preschool to first graders although it is not a picture book. Children can handle hearing about one to two grade levels above what they can read independently. The themes of good behavior mixed with a sense of mystery and love of animals fit the interest levels of this age group. Derek and Davey learn to ask permission and not forgiveness, which mothers and teachers love. Most children in grades 3-5 can read the 121-page book independently.

Amazon rates the book for Young Adults, Middle Grades, and Pre-teens. As a former fourth grade teacher, I think this book would work with middle-grade students. However, I think young adults would find the adventures of Davey and Derek too mild.


“Janice Spina wrote eight young children’s books, Louey the Lazy Elephant, Ricky the Rambunctious Raccoon, Jerry the Crabby Crayfish, Lamby the Lonely Lamb, Jesse the Precocious Polar Bear, Broose the Moose on the Loose, Sebastian Meets Marvin the Monkey, and Colby the Courageous Cat, and four YA/MG/P/T books, Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series, Books 1-4, copy editor and writer of novels and poetry. Hunting Mariah is her first novel to be published under J.E. Spina. She published her second novel, a paranormal/mystery/romance, How Far Is Heaven, June 2016. An Angel Among Us, a short story collection, was published in March 2017.
Janice has received a Silver Medal from MOM’S Choice Awards for Lamby the Lonely Lamb and the Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards for Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Book 1, The Case of the Missing Cell Phone, and Book 2, The Case of the Mysterious Black Cat, and Book 3, The Case of the Magical Ivory Elephant, and an Honorable Mention from Readers’ Favorite for Book 1,The Case of the Missing Cell Phone, Jerry the Crabby Crayfish received a Pinnacle Book Achievement in April of 2017.

*I received a free copy of this book and chose to review it.

Other Books by Janice Spina

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