Cover Image: Eleven Huskies

Eleven Huskies

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Eleven Huskies is the third book in the Dr Bannerman Vet Mystery series by Canadian veterinarian and author, Philipp Schott. Shortly before he is due to go there on a family canoeing trip, veterinarian and part-time sleuth, Dr Peter Bannerman is called to Dragonfly Lodge to examine some very unwell huskies.


When he arrives, he learns that a float-plane has gone down on the lake that morning, with the loss of three lives and, as he puzzles over what is ailing the dogs, the RCMP report that the pilot was shot, making this a triple murder. As he organises transport to New Selfoss for the sickest dogs, apparently poisoned, he wonders who might have wanted to harm John Reynolds’s prize-winning dogs, coming up with theories that range from credible to utterly outlandish as he uncharacteristically indulges in wild speculation with no basis in fact.


Before returning home, he observes the interplay between Lodge staff, notes a pre-dawn canoe crossing the lake, and is shot at when he visits an old friend at the Dragon Lake First Nation settlement. He can’t help wondering who might have been the target of the plane crash: aside from the pilot, there were a flashy entrepreneur and a local indigenous politician on board; and, not believing in coincidence, he wonders if the poisoning is somehow related.


A few days later, Peter arrives for his trip, this time accompanied by his wife, Laura, his RCMP brother-in-law, Kevin and Kevin’s partner, Stuart, and of course his champion scent dog Pippin. And while Kevin is on vacation, he and Peter can’t help discussing both of the so-far-unsolved mysteries, postulating that everyone at the Lodge, staff and guests, are potential suspects.

In this instalment, Schott subjects his characters to a terrifying ordeal when a natural disaster cuts short their canoeing trip, gives Laura’s seemingly bumbling brother a chance to shine, deprives Peter of a classic locked-room denouement, and has Pippin using his sensitive nose on three occasions, one of which saves the lives of four people.

Peter eventually figures out who the killer is: “This process was always mysterious to him. His mind would meander somewhere that was pleasant but felt irrelevant, and then it would leap across a void to an unseen path that had been running in parallel all along. He wished he understood it so he could harness it properly, but at least it existed at all.” Or does he?

As usual, the prologue is from the perspective of the creatures requiring Peter’s veterinary expertise, and there is a preview of the fourth book in the series, Three Bengal Kittens. This is an entertaining and very enjoyable cosy mystery series, and more of quirky Peter Bannerman, Pippin, and their support characters, is eagerly anticipated.
This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and ECW Press

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Fans of quirky amateur sleuths will love the Dr. Bannerman series. Peter Bannerman is a veterinarian, practicing in a small Manitoba town, close enough to Winnipeg for day trips. He has developed a reputation for being an amateur sleuth (see books 1 and 2 in this series). In Eleven Huskies, he is called to northern Manitoba to see about some very sick huskies. It seems they’ve been poisoned and no one can figure out why. At the same time, a small plane is shot down nearby on Dragonfly Lake. Again, no one can figure out why someone would do that. Coincidentally, the location is where Peter and his wife are scheduled for an upcoming canoe and camping vacation (Peter has friends in the area, and has enjoyed being there before.)

There are some very frightening scenes as Peter and his friends and family are caught in a wildfire while on their camping and canoe vacation, which elevates this story from a “typical” cozy mystery. (The author notes that this was written before the horrific wildfires of the summer of 2023.)

There are a wide variety of people in this story, including visitors from Iceland (Peter’s town has a solid Icelandic heritage), his Nigerian friend Stuart, some mushroom-hunting men from Belorus and First Nation people, including Peter’s friend Lawrence. Peter’s dog, Pippin, plays a large role in the story, with his excellent sense of smell and tracking capabilities.

I bounced between the audiobook and the ebook for this title, which was very convenient. Miles Meili narrates the audiobook and does an excellent job with the many voices and accents.

Thank you to ECW Press and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advance readers copy of this book and to ECW Press Audio and NetGalley for the opportunity to listen to an advance copy of this audiobook. All opinions are my own.

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🔥Exciting action, baffling happenings in Manitoba wilderness setting👨‍⚕

The Eleven Huskies had me hooked throughout, with memorable main characters and a fast-paced plot.

I love the Dr. Peter Bannerman, DVM, character with all his quirks, especially his love for LOTR, mathematics and unusual facts, the way he has to push himself in social situations and how he interacts with his tolerant wife and his boastful RCMP brother-in-law Kevin. He's a pretty unique and appealing amateur detective.

But it's the mysterious illness of a team of huskies and murder and mayhem in the backwoods that really cinched my appreciation of the story. Dr. Bannerman finds himself in the thick of mystery, danger and drama even on his canoeing and camping vacation, and takes his family into it with him. I couldn't stop reading even before the action and danger in the woods! I liked the mix of suspects and how the author kept shifting suspicion around and build the tension.

I never did guess whodunit but I had a great time speculating along with Bannerman. Recommended.

Thanks to ECW Press and NetGalley for sharing a complimentary advance copy of the book; this is my voluntary and honest opinion.

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This one didn't hold my attention the way that Six Ostriches, the second book in the series, did. Of course I was worried about the poisoned dogs, but the actual murders? Those were felt like an isolated event that had little to do with Peter and his wife's canoe trip. What did pull me in and keep me turning pages was a harrowing scene about halfway through the book. Suddenly I was very interested in what was going to happen next. I love the characters and the way they feel more like real people than your usual cozy mystery protagonists, but I can barely remember who died or why they were killed.

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The world of fiction is full of amateur sleuths from every profession and walk of life, but Peter Bannerman is the only crime solving vet that I'm aware of - certainly the only one doing it in the setting of rural Canada. Philipp Schott serves up another slice of 'cosy crime' in the forests and lakes of Manitoba, this time starting with the poisoning of a team of sled-dogs. Bannerman arrives at the isolated setting of Dragonfly Lake to treat the animals on the same day that a small plane crashes into the lane, killing all three on board. The incident is soon found to be murder, leaving the local police busy and Bannerman free to do his usual amateur sleuthing on the case of the dogs. But perhaps the two crimes are linked,,, Once again our veterinary hero might have unwittingly got involved in something much more dangerous than it initially seemed.

This is the third in the series of Bannerman mysteries and I would say it's the best - and I did like its predecessors. It's very gripping with an extended period of 'peril' that lasts for most of the entire second half of the book, thanks to the characters getting caught up in a wildfire. The sections describing the fire are frightening and feel very realistic and make you realise just how dangerous and unpredictable these fires are. With more and more such fires occurring all over the world - including in Canada - it is very topical. I think for people who haven't experienced such a thing first hand, it's quite hard to comprehend the scale and nature of these fires - how fast they move, how they can 'jump' and change direction. Certainly I feel like I have a better understanding now of why these fires are so dangerous and hard to manage.

The book balances the 'mystery' and 'action' elements well, with the mystery working quite nicely and I wasn't able to guess 'whodunnit' until it was revealed. There is an element of the 'country house' murder mystery setting towards the end, when the suspects and sleuths are all trapped together in a lodge surrounded by the fire. It's fast paced but still manages to retain the twistiness of plot needed for a story of this nature and despite the drama, it felt less far fetched than the average 'cosy-crime' (of course, all such stories have an element of unreality about them, which is part of their appeal). I like the characters, including the wonderful Pippin the dog, and it's nice to 'catch up' with them again.

Fans of the cosy crime genre should definitely get into this series - it isn't essential to read them all in order, but it would be better to do so if you can. Often with series of this kind I start to feel by the third book that they're running out of steam, but in this case it feels like it's just getting into its stride. I'm looking forwards to the fourth already.

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Pro
* The animals 💜💜💜
* Tolkien and No 1 detective agency reference
* Classic locked-room mystery, complete with Agatha Christie reference
* Love Peter with his big heart and all his quirks
* Love the setting
* Very good pacing
* The series is really hitting its stride

Con
* Really dislike the audiobook narrator. He has a nasal tone and an odd inflection that fails to follow the storyline. Terrible accents.
* Very similar to Christi Lefteri’s Book of Fire. Coincidental.

Thank you to Philipp Schott, Miles Meili, ECW Press, and NetGalley for an advanced review copy in exchange for an honest review.

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I had the pleasure of both reading and listening to the audio of Philipp Schott's latest addition to his veterinarian Dr Peter Bannerman, an on the spectrum amateur sleuth series set in Manitoba in Canada. The audio is once again ably narrated by Miles Meili, with clarity, with the ability to keep me immersed in the gripping mystery from beginning to end, it is approximately 7 hours and 30 minutes long, and includes the start of the next in the series at the end. Peter finds himself called to a remote fishing lodge in the beautiful Canadian wilderness, where John, the owner, has had his 11 husky sled team poisoned, with the leader of the pack suffering the most, with serious liver damage. As it happens, a seaplane has come down, with the pilot and his 2 passengers killed.

It turns out it is a case of murder, Peter is planning to come back here for a break, first returning home to his wife, Laura, and, along with RMCP police officer and brother-in-law, Kevin, and his Nigerian partner, Stuart, pack for a kayaking and hiking holiday, staying at the Lodge, accompanied by beloved smart, well known sniffer dog, Pippin, Peter, being the curious soul and lover of puzzles that he is, cannot help but investigate, thinking the poisonings and the seaplane murders are probably connected. While the landscape is breathtaking, the group unfortunately find themselves caught in the terrifying firestorms, so intense and harrowing that even the lodge comes under threat, a dangerous lodge that harbours a killer amongst its guests and staff. Matters worsen with the increasing chaos as the fire storms come closer, and with the lack of power and no communications. Will Peter be able to sift through the host of suspects to arrive at the truth?

For me, it is Peter's quirky obsessive personality that often struggles to understand other humans, along with the animals that come with his profession that make this such a delightfully engaging crime series. The sense of location here is marvellous, and we get an all too real feel for the horrors of the damage and fear that fire storms bring to the local area and its population. This is a wonderfully entertaining and compelling mystery series with an appealing protagonist and I recommend both the book and the audio to readers and listeners interested in the series. Many thanks to the publisher for the ARC and ALC.

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Veterinarian Peter and his family are taking a camping/canoeing vacation in northern Manitoba, where he learns that some champion sled dogs have been poisoned, and a floatplane has been shot down, killing three people. Are the two incidents related? Then the vacation is marred by a large forest fire, and someone else is shot when everyone is trapped by the fire. The power goes out., and Peter is sure the murderer is trapped with them. The title is kind of misleading since the huskies aren't really the focus of the story. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC.

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Dr. Peter Bannerman, the vet-turned-sleuth, is back in this third mystery of the series. Peter received a call to attend the sick sled team of huskies (eleven of them) belong to a fishing lodge in northern Manitoba, where Peter and his family planned to spend summer holiday on a canoeing trip. It turns out to be a poisoning case. Who would do that, and why? Was there a connection between the dog poisoning with the plane crash which had happened at the same time?

Three people were dead from the plane crash. It was caused by a shot aimed originally to the pilot. As usual, Peter is involuntarily wondering what is the motive? But, of course, his main attention right now is in the huskies. That, and the upcoming canoeing trip with Laura (his wife), Kevin (his brother in the police force), and Stuart (Kevin's boyfriend). Last but certainly not least, Pippin the dog, Peter's great sniffer who has helped him in previous cases, will accompany Peter in this trip, which would be one they'll never forget!

It's an entertaining cozy mystery. The murder mystery itself isn't too intriguing. Something the murderer had said several chapters before last instantly told me who the murderer most probably be, and I wasn't wrong. In fact, we didn't get to know the suspects very well to be able to guess, and but for that "revelation" I wouldn't have any clue. But it's a cozy anyway, and I guess I'm more interested to know whether the lead dog of the eleven huskies would make it at the end or not, then who the real murderer was.

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Not read any of the authors other works. I requested this solely because it was about huskies and i live with one.

This is the story of vet detective Peter. He gets a call from someone in canada that their huskies have all been poisoned. Peter suspects foul play and begins to investigate. At the owners lodge he is staying in a few people get murdered and Peter has to try and figure out who the culprit is.

I enjoyed the story, i am glad that Atlas was okay in the end.

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Manitoba veterinarian Dr Peter Bannerman makes an urgent house call to a remote fishing lodge in the north of the province, to the owner’s eleven huskies who have varying degrees of liver damage. Suspecting they have all somehow ingested a liver toxin, he sends the three sickest dogs to an animal hospital for intensive treatment, knowing that he’ll be returning to the lodge for his annual family vacation in two days time and can then keep an eye on the other dogs. Also on the morning he arrived at the lodge, a seaplane trying to land crashed into the lake, killing the pilot and both passengers. As one of the passengers was a crypto-currency magnate, so Peter wonders if the crash was in fact an accident.

After they arrive at the lodge, Peter and his wife Laura, her brother Kevin, a Canadian Mountie, and his partner Stuart along with Peter’s dog Pippin, are all looking forward to taking an overnight camping and kayaking trip. On their first day kayaking they notice a forest fire and pray it won’t come their way and interfere with their trip or come anywhere near the lodge.

This is another excellent addition to this series featuring Dr Bannerman. As always, I enjoyed the descriptions of the landscape, this time in the wilderness in northern Manitoba. It was also great to see all the characters, Peter with his quirky personality, Laura helping to keep him calm, while knitting up LOR and Star Wars characters into jumpers and toques as well as jokey Kevin and his more sensible partner Stuart. I did miss seeing Peter with his patients at his practice, but even vets deserve to take a vacation. Without giving spoilers, there is plenty of action, danger and threat both outdoors and inside the lodge and it’s far from the relaxing outdoors vacation they had planned. Peter and Pippin do less sleuthing than in the previous two novels, but rest assured his brain is still actively thinking about the huskies and the plane crash and eventually all the pieces will fall into place.

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Another complex and interesting crime to be solved by Dr Bannerman. Love this series set in Canada. Thanks #netgalley for the advanced copy.

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I enjoyed this book. The recurrent characters are great as are the new ones. The story is fast-paced and really held my attention. Importantly, the book works well as a stand-alone. There were a couple of things that I particularly appreciated. Some of the characters had accents, but instead of using phonetic spelling to convey the accent, Schott used non-syntactic sentence structure to convey the accent. The other thing Schott did well was when he made pop culture references, he smoothly worked in a quick explanation which I found helpful. I found this book to be well worth reading. Thank you to Netgalley and ECW Press for the advance reader copy.

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4 stars

This book is a great addition to the Dr. Peter Bannerman series. Peter is a veterinarian who practices in beautiful Manitoba where he lives with his creative wife Laura and their sniffer dog, Pippin. I am absolutely positive that the author, Dr. Schott loves animals as much as his character Peter. He is a vet I would like to take my assortment of animals to.

I really like the descriptions of the scenery that backgrounds every story in the series. I like the mixture of English, French and First Nations speech. It makes the dialogue so much more authentic. I also appreciate the made up words in the novel such as “Canicide.” (chuckle).

Peter is an amateur detective, aided of course, by Pippin. I like reading about his adventures and near-misses. He seems like such a kind person. And his relationship with his wife is endearing. I will certainly continue to read Dr. Schott’s books!

I want to thank NetGalley and ECW Press for forwarding to me a copy of this great book for me to read, enjoy and review. The opinions expressed in this review are solely my own.

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I really enjoy the Dr. Peter Bannerman series. Dr. Peter is a veterinarian with a wonderful dog Pippen who has one of the best sniffing noses in the province. Dr. Peter is a bit quirky, but he knows it and embraces it. (If we could all be so wise to embrace our quirkiness.) I also love that his wife knits custom items with hobbits and other interesting items, probably pushing infringement rights ... but at such a small scale that its under the radar. When ever an advance read by Philipp Schott is available, I try to put it at the top of my list.

So ... back to the story. Dr. Peter is called in because someone's sled dogs have all become sick (at the same time). As Dr. Peter arrives, he finds out that a float plane crashed the prior day and is being investigated. Interesting. Coincidence? Or not?

I really enjoyed this story. (One chapter in particular needed a bit more detail in my opinion, but giving that info to the publisher.)

Even though i really like the Dr. Bannerman series, I really like Philipp Schott's book The Willow Wren. It has a really different perspective of WWII and is based on one of Philipp Schott's relatives.

Many thanks to NetGalley, first for introducing me to Philipp Schott. And thank you to NetGalley and ECW Press for approving my request to read the advance read copy of Eleven Huskies in exchange for an honest review. Publication date is 14 May 2024. (So glad that my 500th NetGalley review is a Philipp Schott novel. And another good one.)

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A very enjoyable mystery! Dr Bannerman, a vet, is called to investgate the poisoning of eleven huskies at the same time as a small plane crash nearby. He's a very methodical, orderly and precise man which leads him eventually to conclude the two incidents must be related. And so starts his investigation into the two incidents, together with his wife, his dog Pippin, and his RCMP brother-in-law. This was more than a cosy mystery but less than a heavy thriller. A comfortable, easy reading mystery. This is the third book in the series. I haven't read the first two books but I was able to pick up the characters and references quite easily. The only thing that isn't mentioned is what type of dog Pippin is! Maybe that's in the other two books! All round good read!
Thanks to Netgalley, the publisher and the author for a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

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4.5 Stars. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the advance copy of Eleven Huskies by Dr. Philipp Schott. Having enjoyed the two previous books featuring Dr. Peter Bannerman, veterinarian and amateur detective, I immediately moved it to the top of my reading list. Recently, I have been struggling with finishing several books and even not completing a couple. I felt this would be an entertaining remedy for my reading slump due to my experience reading about Dr. Peter's compelling exploits. I found this compelling mystery even better than the previous two crime books in the series.

The author, Dr. Schott, lives in Winnipeg and has many years of clinical practice in veterinary medicine. Before starting this fictional series, he wrote popular books of anecdotes and essays about his clinical experiences as a vet. His fictional series, starring Dr. Peter Bannerman, describes a man involved in criminal cases due to the animals connected, much to the dismay of his wife, who fears for his safety. His brother-in-law, Kevin, is a member of the RCMP and regards Peter's investigations as interference in police procedures.

Pet owners admire and respect Dr. Peter as a capable and caring veterinarian, but he is regarded as odd in the community. He has obsessive-compulsive traits and minor characteristics of autism. He has displayed some difficulty in socializing and in reading people. He does feel emotions but submerges them with rational, logical thought guided by order, numbers, lists, and his love of puzzles. In this book, his unusual thought patterns and problems conversing with people are not as noticeable. He has been following advice and making a great effort to socialize and talk to people.
Dr. Peter makes a quick trip to the north of Manitoba before a family camping holiday. The remote area is noted for visitors who hunt in the forests and fish in the lakes. The writing is descriptive and atmospheric, and the characters are intriguing and believable. He discovers that a lodge owner has eleven husky sled dogs that have fallen sick. It is believed that someone poisoned their food. Dr. Peter arranges to have the sick animals transported south to Winnipeg for further diagnosis and vet care. He also learns that a floatplane has been shot down, and three people on board have been killed. He feels that the two crimes must be more than a coincidence.

After a quick flight home, he returns for the camping adventure with his champion sniffer dog, Pippin, his wife, her brother, RCMP officer Kevin and Kevin's significant other. Peter is obsessed with the well-being of the sled dogs now in Winnipeg, and a way the plane shot down may be connected. The situation surely won't interfere with a pleasant camping vacation in the wilderness. A raging forest fire approaches, and the group must run for their lives. The firestorm rapidly surrounds them, and Peter's eyes are temporarily damaged. Some unexpected help saves their lives and gets them back to the lodge.

The complex plot now shifts to a locked room mystery. There are twenty-four inside the lodge, and one may be a killer. There is a former guide and trapper that Kevin suspects. He resembles Santa Claus and is friendly and jovial, but he is considered a loony and wanders around outside with a gun. Did he set the fires? Among the guests are American fishermen and three Belorussian men gathering mushrooms. Why would they come all the way for mushrooms? Kevin suspects a nefarious purpose. It is known that one of the staff members has a criminal record. Peter believes he has worked out a motive involving a deranged, frustrated romantic obsession. The generators go out in the blizzard, and the fire approaches the lodge. The radio has been broken. Who is sabotaging the equipment?

Everything is thrown into darkness. A shot rings out, and someone is seriously wounded. The people gathered in the darkened room are terrified. Who will be the next victim? Physical fights break out as they struggle to save themselves from the gunman. Have Peter or Kevin come closest to figuring out the solution to the crime spree, or is it too late? Will the lodge catch on fire amid all the terror and chaos?
Recommended to readers who like complex crime stories, especially ones involving animals. The publication date will be in May.

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The Dr. Bannerman series has been some of my favorite books I’ve ever read, they bring me immense joy. I don’t typically read mysteries, but the series has completely captured my heart and I hope for more of these novels. Eleven Huskies is a fantastic addition, I would recommend to anyone who is looking for a lighter read or is into mysteries.

In short summary the series are cozy mysteries that follows Dr. Peter Bannerman, a veterinarian, and his dog Pippen as they attempt to solve animal and human crimes in and around the Manitoba town of New Selfoss. Eleven Huskies is a wonderful addition to the series, keeping the tone consistent but relocating the action to a hunting lodge in Northern Manitoba. The stakes are high, as a mushing team of huskies has been poisoned, there’s been a plane accident murder and a fire has locked the occupants of the hunting lodge in with the murderer. Can Peter figure out the poisoner?

Eleven Huskies has many of the hallmarks of the series – Prairie landscapes and people, the high stakes of animal lives and the somewhat hapless investigations of Dr. Bannerman. The story keeps with my expectations of the series, it was jaunty, easy to follow and held my interest well. I was pleased with the pacing and found the ending similarly satisfying to the other books of the series.

The strength of the series is in their wonderful sense of place, there is a granularity that is really beautiful in the setting. It’s a lot of fun to have a novel set like this in the Canadian prairie. Almost all of the characters are very well drawn and feel like full individuals. Even people met in passing have an interiority that is appealing.

Part of the fun is these books are told through Dr. Bannerman’s perspective, whose limited social skills, slight obliviousness and mild superiority complex often prevent him from seeing the full extent of the situation. You are seeing the world through Peter’s scope and you are along for the ride with him, for all his powers and flaws.

I hope this series continues and would love for Pippen and Peter to cast farther abroad in other Canadian provinces!

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