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Hunting Elf
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Elf is a purebred Silky Terror, I mean Terrier, who is the last son of a world famous champion show dog. When the breeder dies a mysterious death, her husband sells the entire litter, including Elf, to people wanting pets. Three local breeders/dog show fanciers want Elf for his bloodline. Instead he goes home with June McCoy who intends on giving Elf to her mother for Christmas. June's mother doesn't want to care for a dog, but that's OK because Elf has taken off. And so begins the adventures of Elf

Elf's main human is Dan McCoy, June's husband. Dan doesn't want a dog especially one like Elf. Elf has a tendency to lift his leg where and when he pleases and eat things that end up returning to the carpet for Dan to step in. Breeders, Selena Kisco and Marie Carcioma, and handler Bruce Rose want Elf for stud services and decide to use any means necessary to get him. Throw in TV detective and neighbor Jerry, new age dimwit brother-in-law Edgar, an exasperated Officer Miller and clueless dog trainer Martin into the mix and you have a delightful story for any time of the year.

This is really a fun book to read. Author Dave Donelson's characters are well-rounded and full of life. I don't recall the story stalling at any point. There is one scene that felt forced and was a little confusing. **SPOILER** Several lady senior citizens rip open June's convertible trying to rescue Elf from what they feel is a dangerously hot car (Elf was waiting in the car while June and Dan had breakfast in a restaurant). There was no clue to the weather being hot or humid, just a few nutty ladies who apparently like destroying other people's cars. Dan tries to intercede as the ladies rip off the top and throw large rocks at the windows and Dan. I thought one of those ladies was Marie Carcioma from the description but was wrong (the confusing part). In the end, Elf bolts away only to be . . .

Hunting Elf is light-hearted story will keep you glued to the pages. Elf is a sweetheart and smart, very smart. He'll keep you in stitches with his antics. If you ever thought you trained your pet this story will fill you in on the truth. Hunting Elf, a doggone Christmas story is a good read any time of the year.
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on December 13, 2010
Hunting Elf, a doggone Christmas story by Dave Donelson is a delightfully amusing whodunit set in suburban New York. Prize-winning dogs, demented dog breeders and well-meaning dog owners slash would-be detectives feature heavily in this humorous caper which centers around Elf, a purebred Silky Terrier puppy with seriously desirable lineage, a couple of crazy old bags who will stop at nothing to get him, and Dan, Elf's hapless human, who just wants to be left in peace at Christmas time. But `tis NOT the season to be jolly when Elf runs away on an exploratory adventure around the suburb, leaving the hapless Dan and his posse of equally hapless friends to `hunt' him down. The plot thickens with the arrival of Elf's stalkers - two dog breeders with one thing in mind - to dognap Elf in order to breed prize-winning terriers for profit and glory. In show dog circles the ladies are well-known enemies, with a long history of rivalry between them, a point which goes unnoticed when bodies of dog-involved individuals begin to turn up after an encounter with Elf. Three murders later, Dan and his friends are on the case, busy chasing slippery dognappers who are busy chasing the even more slippery Elf who's busy chasing anything that moves, leading everyone on a merry-go-round likely to end up badly for some and worse for others. But all good things must come to an end. The bad guys get their just deserts and Elf is returned safely home, just in time to celebrate Christmas.

Well-written and compelling, the story moves along at a steady pace, allowing the reader time to absorb the action (of which there is plenty) without feeling overwhelmed by it. Donelson's comic timing is faultless; there are `laugh out loud' passages throughout the story as well as many witty descriptions. Donelson does particularly well with his descriptions of Elf's dog behavior, which he brings to life in vivid detail and with a good dose of humor. The tale is peppered with odd ball characters who add to the general sense of hilarity; Dan's other-worldly brother-in-law Edgar and the seriously teenage pet shop attendant Moonrat among the most memorable. Hunting Elf is a funny and very enjoyable read. Thoroughly recommend it.
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on January 1, 2011
Even your best friend can drive you crazy, especially when he's the four-legged variety. That's what Dan McCoy learns when Elf, the title character of this entertaining novel, moves into his house during the holidays. Elf is a Silky Terrier who does all the normal puppy things and then some. He not only pees on the rug, he crawls inside the Christmas turkey for a little snack. Not only does Elf roll around in smelly things in the yard, he brings home a family of fleas after visiting a lawyer's office.

Elf is the only surviving son of a Westminster Best In Show champion, which means a bunch of wacked-out dog show fanatics want to steal him from the McCoys. Murder and mayhem ensue as Elf runs away, gets caught, runs away again, gets stolen, then escapes his captors right in the middle of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. It all adds up to an entertaining story that can be enjoyed by readers of all ages.
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on January 1, 2011
I was laughing out loud within a few pages. The story surrounds a rambunctious puppy named Elf. Elf is purchased as a Christmas present, but bring a whole lot of baggage with him. Hunting Elf is full of crazy people. Elf has other plans. He wants to stay with his half trained humans.

The characters are likable but a little too crazy to be believable. Fortunately t he writing and fast pace of the story makes up for that. Hunting Elf is more of a mystery than a Christmas story and can easily be read anytime. I'm not normally a mystery person, but the story was so funny, that I couldn't stop reading. The story may not be very believable, but it is still worthwhile read. Hunting Elf can be easily be read by Tweens and adults.
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