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(Bowser and Birdie #1)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  3,004 ratings  ·  501 reviews
There is trouble brewing in the Louisiana swamp -- Bowser can smell it. Bowser is a very handsome and only slightly slobbery dog, and he can smell lots of things. Like bacon. And rawhide chews! And the sweat on humans when they're lying.
Birdie Gaux, the girl Bowser lives with, also knows something is wrong. It's not just that her grammy's stuffed prize marlin has been stol
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published April 28th 2015 by Scholastic Press
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Cora Yes, I think age 9 is right about what the target demograph is for this book and I feel like she might find some comfort reading it as it is humorous …moreYes, I think age 9 is right about what the target demograph is for this book and I feel like she might find some comfort reading it as it is humorous but also touches on the relationship of the dog and the girl.(less)

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Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,004 ratings  ·  501 reviews

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Jun 01, 2019 rated it liked it

3.5 stars

This is the first book in the 'Bowser and Birdie' series - middle-grade mysteries that are narrated by Bowser the dog.


Eleven-year-old Birdie Gaux and her Grammy are perusing dogs at the animal shelter when Birdie sees Bowser - and it's love at first sight.

Bowser is thrilled to go home with his new family, and is entranced with the smells and sights of the 'Gaux Family Fish-and-Bait Shop', located in a Louisiana bayou town.

Bowser knows he and Birdie will be best friends forever,
Pamela Barrett
Mar 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes all it takes is a fun children’s book to remind me of why I love reading so much—and Woof is one of those books that took me back my childhood; long visits to the library and book mobiles, clutching my library card, and carrying as many books as I could balance. Dog stories, horse stories, Nancy Drew mysteries all beckoned me to unexplored worlds. If you were like that, or want your children to know that feeling then Woof is a good story for them. It’s about a tough gum chewing 11 year ...more
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
5/29/19: I'm enjoying this book. It is geared toward middle grade - ages 8-12 - but sometimes I felt that the dog's voice, was just a little bit adult. I'm finding it very amusing and will probably recommend it to my 13-year-old daughter. I'm pretty curious as to why someone would steal a stuffed fish....

5/31/19: I love the narration of the dog. Here's a favorite quote, from chapter eight:

"Berdie stopped. 'We'll be so visible on the bridge,' she said in a low voice. 'So I guess........' I waite
Jun 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: library, mystery, 2015
In fairness to the story, I should have looked into this book more before reading it. It is a middle grade novel. I do think kids would enjoy the story more than I did because it is told from the dog's perspective, which is fun.

May 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Okay, so why in the world is a grandmother of four reading a book written for elementary school kids? First of all, I'm a huge proponent of anything that kick-starts youngsters on what I hope is a lifetime course of reading. I have immense admiration for best-selling authors who write for that market (the Maximum Ride and Virals series by James Patterson and Kathy Reichs, respectively, for instance). I've read at least one book in both of those series and highly recommend them, BTW.

Now comes Spe
3.5 stars. I'm a big fan of Quinn's adult series, which I think was actually a distraction with this book. This book had the same narrator, and though he's excellent, he sounded exactly like the other dog to me, you know? And when Quinn pulled out a lot of the same cute phrases and lines for the dog, Bowser, to say as the dog in the other book says, and I was hearing them in the same voice too, it felt repetitive and a bit unoriginal. But I liked Birdy and Bowser a lot, and I liked their town an ...more
Connie D
Sep 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Charming and amusing story from the point of view of a dog, Bowser, rescued by a girl and her grandmother. Bowser and Birdie have various adventures as they try to solve mysteries, starting with who stole the family heirloom (a taxidermy fish) and was there a treasure map in it. I love the dog perspective and laughed aloud when I listened to the narration (excellent). The mystery itself is a little Nancy Drewish, I suppose, but entertaining and satisfying because of the detectives: an intrepid b ...more
Too cloying for me. It's like a kid version of the Chet & Bernie series. Not what I was expecting nor what I wanted. ...more
Birdie;s mom works on an oil rig as an engineer and while she is away, Birdie stays with her grandmother and helps out around the family bait shop. Her father has passed away, and she wishes she could remember him, but the memories are fuzzy. For her eleventh brithday, her grandmother lets her adopt a dog that turns out to be the best thing EVER in her life. Now named, Bowser, this mutt steal Birdie's heart and promises to protect her no matter what. A giant, stuffed fish is stolen from the bait ...more
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this. Very good mystery. I’m gonna read the next in the series starting today. ♥️ the 🐕 Bowser
Lis Carey
Bowser is a mutt with a sketchy past, and after a rough life in the city, he's locked up in a pound in a small town in Louisiana. But he finally gets his lucky day--eleven-year-old Birdie Gaux comes in with her Grammy to get her late birthday present--a dog.

It's also Birdie and Grammy's lucky day, though right now only Birdie thinks so. Bowser smells trouble here in the swamp, and he's determined to protect his new buddy, Birdie.

Birdie's mamma is working on an oil rig off the coast of Africa. He
Some of my favorite mystery writers are getting into writing children's/young adult books, including Spencer Quinn. I'm glad he doesn't appear to have abandoned the Chet and Bernie series, but happy that the new Birdie and Bowser books, while obviously geared toward younger readers, are just as much fun for me to read or listen to as the older series.
It's a great day for Bowser when Birdie and her grandmother come to the bare-bones animal shelter he's in and choose him as Birdie's 11th birthday
Mark Baker
Feb 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Bowser is thrilled when Birdie and her Grammy pick him to be their new dog. The trio has just returned from the shelter when they discover that Grammy’s prize marlin is missing. The stuffed fish was only worth sentimental memories. Or was it? Rumors of a treasure map spark Bowser and Birdie’s interest. Can they solve the mystery?

Like Spencer Quinn’s series for adults, this middle grade novel is narrated by Bowser the dog. That part of the story is cute and feels right, although it can get over d
Nov 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Birdie is an eleven-year-old girl, living with her grandmother. She adopts Bowser, or maybe it’s really the other way around. They become inseparable, and Bowser would lay down his life to keep Birdie safe. But a break-in at her grandmother’s bait shop and the theft of a prized stuffed marlin sets Birdie and Bowser off on the quest to find the thief. The charm of this wonderful story lies in the fact that it is narrated by Bowser. Though brilliant for a dog, much humor results from his interpret ...more
Sheila Beaumont
This "Bowser and Birdie" mystery is as much fun as Spencer Quinn's "Chet and Bernie" series. As in the latter mysteries, the story is told from a dog's point of view. While Chet is sidekick to P.I. Bernie Little, Bowser is sidekick to an 11-year-old girl, Birdie, who lives in Louisiana bayou country. The mystery is excellent, and Bowser's narration, which is very much like Chet's, is hilarious. If you've read all the "Chet and Bernie" books, give this a try. You'll probably enjoy it just as much ...more
I absolutely adore Quinn’s series for adults featuring Chet the Jet and Bernie, so when I heard of this foray into the shelves of younger readers, I leapt at the chance to check it out for myself. And I am glad that I did! The book opens with eleven year old Birdie who for her birthday selects a Bernese Mountain dog-German Shepherd-Poodle mix at the local shelter who she promptly names Bowser. When she returns with her Grammy to the bayou bait shop, a robbery is discovered and Birdie, following ...more
This MG mystery is, as Bowser would say, "Off the charts!" I absolutely love that the narrator is Bowser, a rescue dog, who is brought home by Birdie. When a family "heirloom," (stuffed fish) is stolen from their family's bait shop, Birdie and Bowser secretly set out to solve the mystery of its theft. As they hone their sleuthing skills, Birdie & Bowser discover new friendships, learn some small town history, and uncover family secrets. I literally laughed out loud as well as shed some tears as ...more
May 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook-reads
This was pretty adorable. The Southern setting and the mystery reminded me of Three Times Lucky, another middle grade mystery that I enjoyed. The fact that the story is told from the dog's perspective gives the story a great sense of humor--Bowser is easily distracted and forgets clues throughout. But he loves Birdie and is a fierce, loyal friend. I wish we would have gotten a little more development of Birdie's human friends, but perhaps that will happen as the series progresses. ...more
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Birdie is about to make the best friend she will ever have in s scraggly giant of a dog she names Bowser. She is spending time with her grandmother in the Louisianan swamp where mystery is just around the corner. You see there is this big fish story about a treasure hidden somewhere, and only the map knows. But this map is hidden in this stuffed fish. This is a classic set up for most kids mysteries. The entire adventure is shown through the eyes of Bowser, but beware as he is easily distracted ...more
Robin Lee Hatcher
I absolutely adored all of the Chet and Bernie Mystery novels and was sorry when I ran out of more books in the series to read. So I was glad that there was a new series, featuring a new dog-narrator. Bowser has very much the same voice as Chet, but he is paired with a young girl, Birdie, as his partner. Because she is a kid, Birdie adds a fun new dynamic. I'll definitely be going on more adventures with this pair in the future. WOOF was, I believe, written for young people. Would be suitable fo ...more
Dec 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Read this for my 4th grader's book club night. It was a good mystery told from the dog's point of view which was fun.

It takes place just after Bowser is adopted from a shelter by an 11 yr old girl named Birdie. Bowser is trying to find out what is expected of him and if the changes are good or bad. His viewpoint is easily distracted and his memory is not good but he also pays attention to things that the humans are not noticing at all.
Ginny Tata-Phillips
May 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Young folk's version of Chet and Bernie series. Although I am a big fan of Spencer Quinn, I am not so sure about this (apparently) beginning to a series for kids. He should stick with writing for big people, IMHO. ...more
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Dog lovers who are mystery lovers must read Spencer Quinn's books! This series is aimed at the younger set, grammar-school aged, but I enjoyed it as well. ...more
Dec 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Spencer Quinn creates an intriguing story Woof, set in the twentieth century on the swampy side of Louisiana. This book is the most intriguing story I've ever read. Spencer Quinn, the author, is mostly known for his mystery books. His books are known for his fascinating mysteries and how they always keep you on the edge of your seat. This Birdie and Bowser novel starts out as Birdie’s grandmother is buying Birdie a dog. Birdie picks out Bowser and that's where it all began. Neither of them knew ...more
Sep 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Birdie is a 12 year old girl who is living with her grandmother. Bowser is a new friend is a stray dog that got rescued and now living with Birdie and her grandmother.

The sheriff is not helpful and has a strong dislike of Birdie's grandmother. So Birdie and Bowser is try to investigate the case themselves.

The fun part is that there is quite a lot of dialogue from Bowser point of view. Bowswer is a smart dog but don't really understand human speech. And he loves Birdie and is protective of her.
"I'm all about pitching in when I can. And who was Bowser again? Oh, right. Me. I'd have to remember that."

Bowser has had a very eventful life: some good, but more not-so-good. Now he's being adopted by Birdie and her Grammy. And he could not be happier. "There was something about how Birdie was looking right into me, a look that said Be a pal, clear as day."

Birdie's mom is an engineer currently on an oil rig off the shore of Angola. Birdie's father was a police officer in New Orleans, but was k
Cara Hinton
Sep 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Sweet story about a young girl who gets a dog. Book is narrated by the astute Bowser (the dog), as they solve a crime in their town. These are happy easy to read books that are great for young adults as well as adults! Kind of like a modern day Nancy Drew!!
Danielle Norris
Mar 02, 2016 rated it did not like it
Well, I am in the minority but I did not like this book. First of all I found the narration confusing. I know it is the point of view of the dog, and it reads like a dog wrote it. Can you say, SQUIRREL? So instead of the one day it has taken me to read the other Bluebonnet nominees this takes me a week. I kept putting it down. I had to make myself read it, and what kind of Children's book do I want to make myself have to read.

A quotation throughout this book that comes from Birdie's father is "N
Apr 23, 2015 rated it liked it
This is my second book that I have read by this author. The first book I thought was ok but nothing that got me interested enough to read more books but this author. However when I saw this one I thought I would check this author out again and I thought my nephews would like this book. Which by the way I did like this book. I did find myself smiling while reading this book. This is due to Bowser and his comments. Yes, dogs can talk and the things they say are hilarious. At times Bowser acted lik ...more
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Play Book Tag: Woof - Spencer Quinn (4 1/2 stars) 2 12 Dec 05, 2016 10:06AM  

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Spencer Quinn lives on Cape Cod with his dog Audrey, and is hard at work on the next Chet and Bernie adventure.

Spencer Quinn is a pseudonym of author Peter Abrahams.

* A Chet and Bernie Mystery


Other books in the series

Bowser and Birdie (3 books)
  • Arf (Bowser and Birdie #2)
  • Bow Wow (Bowser and Birdie #3)

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