The Dog Sitter Detective – Antony Johnston | Book Review | #TheDogSitterDetective | @AllisonandBusby @AntonyJohnston @RichardsonHelen

Meet Gwinny, an unlikely bloodhound, and her four-legged friends determined to dig up the truth.

Penniless Gwinny Tuffel is delighted to attend her good friend Tina’s upmarket wedding. But when the big day ends with a dead body and not a happily-ever-after, Gwinny is left with a situation as crooked as a dog’s hind leg.

When her friend is accused of murder, Gwinny takes it upon herself to sniff out the true culprit. With a collection of larger-than-life suspects and two pedigree Salukis in tow, she is set to have a ruff time of it.

PS nothing bad happens to the dogs!


My thanks to Helen Richardson for the tour invite and the publisher for a copy to review. The Dog Sitter Detective is published by Allison & Busby and available in ebook, audio and hardback (18 May) with the paperback to follow in January 2024.

Guinevere (Gwinny) Tuffel has fallen on hard times with the family inheritance falling unexpectedly short. After abandoning her successful acting career to care for her ailing father who has now died, she finds herself property rich but cash poor. As an older lady, her long absence from the acting scene has repercussions and she is struggling to get auditions to resurrect her career and earn some money. The only bright thing on the horizon is her invitation to her best friend Tina’s latest wedding (number 5) at her amazing country house.

The happy day turns sour however when shortly before the wedding, a body is found in the library and the police make a quick arrest.

Following the shocking events, Gwinny finds herself the temporary carer of a wedding gift, two Saluki dogs Spera and Fede, and with the assistance of a new acquaintance, retired DCI Alan Birch and his Labrador Ronnie, she sets out to discover the identity of the murderer.

This is a cozy mystery with a difference and will appeal to dog lovers everywhere – the dogs undoubtedly stole the show with their antics. Gwinny is a strident and resolute 60 year old woman who doesn’t suffer fools gladly. Whilst I did like her and to be fair, at times she was way ahead of the police in their investigation, I did wince a little at her rudeness and blunt manner – calling her solicitor a chinless wonder and the investigating DCI a halfwit – even if he wasn’t the sharpest blade in the toolbox.

The Dog Sitter Detective is an entertaining read with an intriguing mystery to solve. Gwinny’s role as unofficial private investigator requires some deception, manipulation and a great deal of nerve as not everyone is all that they seem and there is no shortage of suspects and red herrings.

There is a nod to Agatha Christie here, not only in the whole country house, body in the library vibe, but also with the finale where Gwinny plays out her version of Poirot in the dramatic reveal. There is another book to follow next year featuring Gwinny’s adventures, Death in Little Venice and having enjoyed this one, I’m in for the next.

Photo credit: Sarah Walton Photography

Antony Johnston is a New York Times bestselling writer and podcaster. For more than twenty years he’s written books, graphic novels, non-fiction, videogames, film, and more. Much of it has been done with a snoozing hound curled up in his study.

Antony’s crime and thriller titles include the Brigitte Sharp spy thriller novels (The Exphoria Code, The Tempus Project and The Patrios Network) currently being developed for TV by Red Planet; The Fuse, a series of sci-fi murder mystery graphic novels (starring an older female police detective); adapting Anthony Horowitz’s Alex Rider books to graphic novels; and the Charlize Theron movie Atomic Blonde, which was adapted from Antony’s graphic novel. He also wrote Stealing Life, an SFF crime caper novel, and Blood on the Streets, a ‘superhero crime noir’ for Marvel comics.

His productivity guide The Organised Writer has helped authors all over the world take control of their workload, and he interviews fellow writers on his podcast Writing and Breathing.

Antony is joint vice chair of the Crime Writers’ Association, a member of the International Thriller Writers group, a Shore Scripts screenwriting judge, and formerly sat on the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain’s videogames committee. Born in Birmingham, Antony grew up in nearby Redditch before moving to London for work. He now lives and works close to Pendle Hill in Lancashire.

Find out more about Antony’s other work at, and follow him on Twitter at @AntonyJohnston. Visit

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