Gayle Nastasi, animal consultant and author
The Junior Handler Mysteries are a set of rollicking adventures, which take young readers into the world of dog shows … and more. These books are available in paperback and e-book format, with beautifully illustrated covers by the incredibly talented Jenny Hawkyard.
Kids, dogs and special dog show classes just for youngsters: what could be more fun? Try adding a psychic Saluki hound with a nose for trouble, a mysterious body that appears and vanishes at random, a dark, spooky museum with a stuffy curator, and an exciting police chase through the night! Meet Ree Antonio, her junior handler friends Jake and Stacy, and her trouble-finding Saluki Merlin, in The Corpse That Wasn’t There, the first of a new series of mysteries for young readers: The Junior Handler Mysteries. Merlin leads the kids on a merry chase and lands them in the middle of a mystery that must be solved…or Merlin may lose his life! Just who is the dead guy behind the sheds? How does his body keep vanishing and appearing in new locations? And what’s up with the mean old museum curator, anyway? The Junior Handler Mysteries are more than just an exciting adventure. Each story contains a glossary of terms and introduces young readers to the exciting world of dog shows, Junior Showmanship…and more!
Stacy invited Ree and Jake to her uncle’s rescue farm, to help train his Great Dane for the show ring. Little did they know that big trouble would be right around the corner. Of course, with Ree’s psychic Saluki hound, Merlin, tagging along, that probably shouldn’t have come as a great surprise. Follow the kids and their dogs on a wild adventure that introduces them to wildlife rehabilitation, and brings them up against a group of unsavory characters with criminal intent. The junior handlers learn about wild birds of prey, raccoons and a horrible disease called rabies…the hard way. Isn’t it always “the hard way” when Merlin’s involved? Wild Wings of Danger is the second book in the Junior Handlers Mystery Series.
An out of town dog show, a creepy old inn (could it even be haunted?), a mischievous (some even say he’s psychic) Saluki and … comic books? What do all these things have in common? Not a heck of a lot–unless, of course, you’re hanging out with Rhiannon Antonio and her Junior Handler friends. Travel with Ree, Jake, Stacy and their dogs (including Ree’s trouble-attracting Saluki hound, Merlin) to a distant dog show, where the families wind up staying in a run-down old inn. In The Willow’s Shade finds our young handlers chasing shadows, tracking the theft of one of Jake’s prize possessions, and landing in hot water once again. Of course, this is all thanks to good old Merlin (although his Irish Setter pal Finn has a paw in this one, too)! In The Willow’s Shade follows The Corpse That Wasn’t There and Wild Wings of Danger as the third book in the Junior Handlers Mystery Series.
What, you want me to tell you what it’s about? No way! It’s a secret!