Book Reviews

Review: Scout and Malcolm (High Order of Undercover Dog Detectives – Book 1) by Z. Y. Doyle


I was kindly sent a free paperback copy of this book by author Z. Y. Doyle for a review.  This is such a great book, it’s one of my favourites!  Though it’s aimed at Middle Grade ages I believe many adults will love the canine capers in here too!   Here is my review:

Scout is a detective working alone at the High Order of Undercover Dog Detectives (HOUNDD). But when a new case of a missing Airedale puppy comes in, she’s given a new partner, Malcolm, an Irish Wolfhound. With Malcolm secretly being a mutant and completely new to the job, can they find the puppy in time and is there more to the dognapping than it first seems?

Wow, I really love this book! From the first pages I just couldn’t put it down and had to finish it. The story is told from Scout’s point of view, in the first person perspective and also in the present tense. The first chapter launches straight into the action as Scout has to rescue her friend Rita Mae from a fox. The chapters are short and we soon follow Scout to HOUNDD headquarters where we learn all about the undercover dog detectives and the story of the dognapping that follows.

It’s at HOUNDD headquarters that we meet the other main character of the book, Malcolm. I really love this character. He’s so funny and all his mutant issues really make the story so funny. I couldn’t help but smile and laugh at all the things that happen to the pair.  The humour is really good and sort of slapstick in nature.  It really reminds me of some great animal movies I’ve seen and I could see this story turned into a film or animation!

The book is really well written. I’m never a fan of the present tense in books but I’m pleasantly surprised how much it didn’t bother me with this book. The story is fast paced but flows really well and I never wanted to put the book down. The humour and the overall story is one that would appeal to many adults as well as the children the book is aimed at.

The ending of the story is a satisfying one. There’s no left over cliff-hangers or anything like that but there could easily be future books in the series and this being labelled as ‘book 1’ I really hope there will be more. The book has a map of the neighbourhood at the start, making it easier to understand where and how close different places are. There are also some fun paw prints at the start of every chapter which I enjoyed.

I’d recommend this book to everyone! Although it’s targeted at middle grade ages (pre-teen) I think many teens and adults will really enjoy reading this too though it would probably appeal more to those that like dogs and animals in general.  Such a good story, I really recommend it!

Rating: 5/5

Review published on Goodreads, click here

Author’s website:

Book description:

Get ready to meet the furriest heroes on the block in Scout and Malcolm: High Order of Undercover Dog Detectives Book 1!

Scout Peck, 100% mutt.

Rescue Trixie, a missing Airedale puppy.

Scout has a new partner. Malcolm is a rookie Irish Wolfhound with a secret: he’s a mutant. His genetic disorder causes him to faint when frightened and drool enough to fill a swimming pool.

Scout and Malcolm must face paw-to-paw combat with a delinquent dog, battle a sinister feline foe, and outwit dastardly dognappers too, if they want to save Trixie in time.


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