The Black Spaniel Mystery


by Betty Cavanna

Published 1945

When I was a little girl, we went to a nearby library that was in a castle-like building.  Made of stone, with flagstone floors and stained-glass windows, little nooks and crannies and hidden places to curl up with a book.  The children’s library was bright and happy, full of color and chairs just the right size.  I loved that library.

And I remember checking out this book.  It’s the old library binding–that printed hardcover.  They don’t seem to bother making special library editions of books any more,  but I have so many discards in my personal collection that are bound this way; they’re perfect.  This book’s pages are soft and so worn down on the edges that sometimes it’s hard to turn the page.  Sixty years of reading will do that to a book, I suppose.

Years after I first read it, I found this book–the same copy I’d read as a child–at the library discard sale for a quarter.  And so The Black Spaniel Mystery became a permanent part of  my collection.  And even those book is not brilliant literature, it is a happy and innocent story, where honesty, integrity, hard work, and friendship, are rewarded.  4/5.