Tag Archives: Spy Novel



TitleThe Great Pet Heist
Author/IllustratorEmily Ecton / Dave Mottram
PublisherAtheneum Books for Young Readers
(June 2, 2020)
FormatKindle, Hardcover
GenreChildren’s Suspense / Thriller / Drama / Spy
ISBN 10/131534455361 / 978-1534455368


Emily writes under two names: Emily Ecton and Emily Fairlie. She grew up in Virginia and owned a variety of pets. She moved to Chicago and became a writer and producer for the National Public Radio (NPR) news quiz. She now lives in Charlottesville, Virginia. To find Emily’s webpages; click here for Ecton, and here for Fairlie.


When Mrs. Food gets injured and must go to the hospital her little band of pets are left to wonder if she will come back. Afraid that they may have to go to a shelter if she is not able to take care of them; they decide that they must take matters into their own hands…or paws.

Will they live in the ducts, or the park, or will they have to support themselves? These are the options they must choose from. Of course, being wealthy has its benefits and so this merry little band decides to conduct a heist. There is someone in the complex with a stash of gold that they will soon acquire.

Oscar– Mynah bird and the brains of the outfit. He speaks a little human. He develops plans and strategies.

Walt – A black cat with cunning and stealth. When not preening himself, he is the backup for Oscar. He also has connections…Chad the Octopus.

Butterbean – Longhaired wiener dog. She is cause of the whole situation they are in. She conducts reconnaissance and information gathering.

Marco and Polo – Rats. They help with reconnaissance and observation.

Chad – Octopus. Great at moving through the apartment complex, opening doors, bottles and windows.

Wallace – Ex-pet rat. Now he lives in the apartment complex duct system. He is the guide.

Madison– Human girl. She is the temporary caretaker of the pets while Mrs. Food is in the hospital.

Mrs. Food– Elderly human. She is the owner of the pets.

Through careful planning and clever strategy, they execute the mission. Not all goes well, though, and poor Madison is kidnapped! Now they have to plan and execute a rescue mission. Will they save Madison? Will they have to go to a shelter? Will they have to live in the ducts or on the streets? You will have to read the book to find out.


The Great Pet Heist is beautifully written. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this daring tale. The plot is well constructed. The descriptions of the characters are exciting and detailed. The idiosyncrasies of the individual characters are spot on and humorous.

The illustrations in my copy were black and white, but they were very well drawn. Dave brings to life the characters in vivid detail. I only wish my Kindle was color. His illustrations are wondrous to look at and each one is its own work of art.

This is a great book to read to children. It is full of adventure, intrigue, mystery, danger, and adventure. I highly recommend this book.  

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.


Dave starting drawing as a young child. He drew his first comic strip at the age of ten. He studied Design in college. His first paying design job was with a park creating posters and trail guides. His resume includes Designer, Senior Designer, and Freelance Designer. He is also an accomplished book illustrator. He lives in Ohio and has a daughter who has also taken an interest in drawing. See Dave’s webpage here.


I would like to thank Emily Ecton, NetGalley and Atheneum Books for Young Readers for affording me the opportunity to review The Great Pet Heist.


Q. How many tickles does it take to make an octopus laugh?

A. Ten-Tickles (tentacles).


THE RAID – Review

Litercurious Book Review

TitleThe Raid
AuthorSteven Konkoly
PublisherThomas & Mercer (October 8,, 2019)
FormatKindle, Audiobook, Paperback, Hardcover, MP3 CD
Pages / File383 / 3091 KB
GenreThriller, Suspense, Drama


Steven Konkoly is a Naval veteran. He attended the US Naval Academy and served eight years on active duty. He earned his degree in English literature. He is a Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and USA Today bestselling author. His chosen genre for his work is thrillers.


The Raid is the second book originally in a trilogy; but on Amazon there is now a fourth book expected May 11, 2021. This book follows a year after The Rescue ended. Ryan, Brad, and Harlow find themselves once again at odds with a paramilitary organization south of the border.

When they go to investigate a suspected child trafficking organization, they stumble across an elaborate scheme to shuttle US military grade weapons into Mexico. What follows is a fuel driven fight for their lives. The Cartels want them dead; the military wants them dead, and the only one they can really trust is Senator Steele. Running for their lives while trying to counter the killing teams sent after them makes for an adrenaline pumping book.


The Raid is full of political backstabbing, cruel Cartel murder, a US military organization striving for military dominance and human trafficking. The Raid has everything, and more, a thriller needs to be successful. Steven Konkoly has crafted another masterful book which will keep the reader engaged from beginning to end.

In Tom Clancy style, Steven Konkoly has written a book on equal footing with some of the great thriller authors. This series is very well written. The plot is believable and exhilarating. The author does a great job creating the protagonist, the deuteragonist, the antagonist, and a variety of tertiary characters. The characters are well constructed and fully developed. The plot in conjunction with the characters flows well and guides the reader on an exciting expedition of mystery, murder, treason and much more.

My only complaint would be the ending fell a little flat. After an entire book of excitement and intrigue, the ending was a bit out of context with its origins and characters. However, the ending leaves open for another book with the same antagonist.

I heartily recommend this book to any readers who enjoy spy thrillers.

Click to read my review of The Rescue.

Rating: 4 out of 5.