1) Recent discussion here came down against the covers of J.F. Englert's three novels narrated by a literate, reflective Labrador named Randolph. I complained that the covers might mislead readers into thinking the books cuter and cozier than they are.
In the covers' defense, though, they reproduce skillfully executed artwork, apparently commissioned for the books, if one can judge by Englert's thanks to illustrator Dan Craig. I've taken part in discussions of copycat covers, the phenomenon that results when different publishers rely on the same stock of photographic images. Why can't the publishers spend a few extra dollars for an artist, illustrator or photographer, and avoid looking cheap and cheesy? I asked. Englert's publishers do this. More power to them.
2) I also like a couple of bits inside the book, A Dog About Town, including:
"He crammed what looked like a Maryland crab cake into our deeply troubled refrigerator, the interior of which had remained a shadowland of petrified broccoli and pizza since the bulb burned out months before."and
"His reputation in the writing life had been launched and sustained by this pedigree of mid-twentieth-century entitlement and superiority, which by the time of his death in the twenty-first century, was anachronistic."and, for what it says about Randolph as a palatable contemporary vehicle for sentiments that might seem precious, dated or eccentric in the mouth of a twenty-first-century human fictional detective, this:
" ... the detective is the last true humanist, standing at that intersection where observation and reason meet emotion and intuition revealing the secrets that measure our fragile, inconstant, but extraordinary beings."© Peter Rozovsky 2010