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September 6, 2012

Jimmy Mender and His Miracle Dog by Angelo Dirks and Leland Dirks is the latest novel from the duo who happen also to live here in Colorado. Full disclosure, we’ve become friends since Lilly and I reviewed their first book: Angelo’s Journey, which tells the fantastical backstory of a time when Angelo (a border collie) went missing. I loved that novella, and I adore this new book as well.

Jimmy Mender and His Miracle Dog opens with a tale of instant chemistry and unexpected love. Then, it becomes a heartfelt and surprisingly suspenseful mystery.

best dog blog, champion of my heart, Book review Jimmy Mender and His Miracle DogYou’ll travel alongside Paul (the protagonist) as he follows a trail stretching from California to Alaska, trying to figure out what went “wrong” with that brief, profound relationship with a cowboy named Jimmy Mender.

As usual, Dirks uses a supporting case of canine characters to help drive and unite his unique style of high-concept fiction. Expect emotional highs and lows, and plenty of laughs, but you can trust Dirks to deliver redemption in the end.

Either this love story is based on actual events, or it’s rendered in such relevant and believable detail that it feels more real than most modern fiction.

All that matters to me is that it’s real and raw and believable … even with its magical and dream-soaked symbolism.

If you love the music of Broadway — Phantom, in particular — you will experience the story in more depth than I did. Since I love show tunes, but don’t know that score at all.

Also, if you have visited or lived in San Francisco, I’m sure the details of that locale will be of keen interest. I’ve not been there.

I have just two picky things to share:

  • One or two of the advice column letters used as a literary device skirt being pedantic. Just a tiny bit. I noticed it, but it did NOT hinder or harm the story in any way. Just me thinking a lighter touch would have sufficed.
  • Based on my rural experiences and stories from others, I doubt the backwoods Alaska types would be quite that welcoming to a stranger. I could be wrong, though. I’ve never been to Alaska, either.
In the end, though, Jimmy Mender and His Miracle Dog is a great read, especially with autumn coming … when, at least for me, nostalgia sets in. If you’ve ever wondered “What if?” this book gives you the chance to chase the answer.



Jimmy Mender and His Miracle Dog by Angelo Dirks and Leland Dirks

In paperback

For Kindle

For Nook



FTC Disclosure

I purchased a Kindle copy of the book, but Leland Dirks did send me a personally signed copy of the printed book. And, yes, I appear in the acknowledgements.



About the Author Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related.

I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

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