I have great pleasure in sharing my interview with Roscoe & Muldoon, two dog detectives who star in their recently released first book for middle-grade readers, The Mayor Is Mad. They talk about not only the book but the beginning of their detective careers, how to deal with pesky fleas, and even questions about the afterlife.
Please tell us a little about yourselves, your detective work, and the book.
Roscoe: We were best buddies for a long time and just started doing detective work to keep busy. Not many humans realize this, but a dog’s life can be kind of dull. We sit around while they’re off to work, dragging the kids to soccer practice, running to the grocery store. Although now that I think about it, when my humans get home from the grocer, it’s usually treat time. I guess that’s why I act excited to see them.
Muldoon: Our first case kind of fell into our laps. A pup went missing for almost a week. The parents were so worried. We asked around, then caught a break when the pup was found hiding under a wrecked car in our town’s junk yard. The Cane Corso who patrols the yard actually found him.
Roscoe: From there, things kind of snowballed. The book tells about a series of mysterious burglaries that we had to solve, all while most of the cats and dogs around town were fighting like, well, cats and dogs.
Muldoon: Don’t forget about the fleas.
Roscoe: Yeah, right. There’s also a flea infestation that threatened to become an epidemic. Makes me itch just to think about it.
What do you guys do for fun when you’re not working up a case?
Roscoe: Muldoon here holds down the floor quite a bit.
Muldoon: Just wait until you’re my age, bub. We’ll see how much running around you do when your hips are screaming and you could be resting.
Roscoe: Anyway, I watch a lot of TV with my humans.
Muldoon: Yup, yup, me, too.
What are your favorite TV shows?
Muldoon: Lassie, Rin Tin Tin, Scooby-Doo if I’m in the mood for something silly.
Roscoe: There’s nothing wrong with the classics. But for my money, I’ll take Frasier every time. Eddie the Jack Russell terrier could take a funny scene and turn it sublime with just one look. Every time. That guy was incredible.
I like to snack when I’m watching the tube. What’s your favorite human food: chicken or cheese?
Muldoon: Why choose? Why not mix both together?
Roscoe: Bleeck! Cheese gives me the tummy rumbles. Rotisserie chicken is pretty bomb, though.
Do you ever get a chance to travel outside of the small town where you live? What’s your ideal vacation destination?
Muldoon: I prefer staycations myself.
Roscoe: Of course you do. Jeez! Me, I’ll go anyplace warm and sunny. The park, the beach, the forest on a summer’s day – anywhere there’s room to roam and a roadway to relaxation.
Muldoon: Give me a cool patch of grass, a shady spot, kibble out of my own bowl, my cushy bed, and I’m one happy Newfoundland. What could be more divine?
Speaking of divine: Do all dogs really go to heaven?
Muldoon: The jury’s kind of out on that one. No one really knows for sure, but I like to think it’s true.
Roscoe: I look at it this way: If you have a loving human, you’ve got companionship, you get fed on the regular, a roof over your head, walks, even someone who, uh, cleans up after you’ve done your business in the park – if you get my drift. If that isn’t heaven, what is?
You two seem like very good boys, but almost every dog gets into trouble now and then. What’s your advice to get out of the doghouse?
Muldoon: I like to keep things simple: One paw in front of the other.
Roscoe: I don’t think she meant the literal doghouse, Doon. On those few occasions as a puppy when I got into trouble, I just opened my eyes as wide and sad as they would go, looked up at my humans, and did my best to shed a tear. It usually only takes one before they forgive you.
Let’s do some quick-draw questions. Naps?
Muldoon: We’re in favor of them.
Tennis ball or squeaker ball?
Roscoe: I’ll take a meatball.
Muldoon: I don’t even chase my dreams at my age. So running after a ball is usually out of the question.
Most terrifying: A running vacuum or a balloon popping?
Roscoe: Are you trying to give us nightmares? I can’t think of many things I like less than a vacuum going full blast, especially if it’s just standing there like a wild beast. And it really messes with my snout, the smells flying everywhere. The whole rest of the day, I can’t figure out what I’m sniffing.
Muldoon: I have to agree. A balloon popping is no picnic, but at least it’s over and done with in a moment.
Muldoon: Any holiday other than Independence Day. Fireworks are not our friends!
Roscoe: It’s not really a holiday, but I do enjoy the dog days of August.
As you mentioned, there’s a lot of animosity between cats and dogs in the book. Isn’t it only natural that different species are going to dislike each other?
Roscoe: There’s a lot of evidence throughout history that species are a kind of tribe. Creatures who don’t look like us may have posed a threat thousands of years ago. It’s a survival instinct embedded in most animals. But instead of blindly accepting that impulse, we should be aware of it and make conscious choices every day.
Muldoon: Right. Equality and democracy are important concepts to everyone. They shouldn’t rely on what kind of animal you are or who’s in charge or how everyone is feeling that day.
Let’s talk more about that flea infestation. Given that we’re still in the midst of the Covid pandemic, any advice for dealing with disease?
Roscoe: Well, first off, fleas are annoying. But they’re generally not deadly.
Muldoon: True, but I think it’s important to listen to science and medicine. Experts know things we don’t, and they’ll be candid even when it’s inconvenient. Even if we don’t want to hear it, we should pay attention.
So when it comes to fleas, you should follow your vets’ advice?
Muldoon: I do.
Roscoe: Some of our feline friends just give fleas the Works.
What the heck are the Works?
Roscoe: You’ll have to read the book to find out!
I’ll be sure to do that. One last question: Will there be more Roscoe & Muldoon adventures?
Muldoon: We definitely have a lot of cases to work up in the next year.
Roscoe: It wouldn’t surprise me if some of them turned up in another book, that’s for sure. But we can’t really say any more than that right now.
Keeping the mystery in the mysterious, eh? That’s all the time we have for now. Thank you to our guests, Roscoe & Muldoon. Their book is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Target, and wherever great books are sold. (See the links below.) Thanks, guys.
Muldoon: You’re welcome.
Roscoe: Thanks for having us.
About the Author
Don Mayhew is a former journalist from California who’s written about sports, movies, music, television shows, books, toys, fatherhood, education, 9/11, deaf culture, fireworks, and life in the San Joaquin Valley. He’s a big fan of Dr. Seuss, the Boston Red Sox, and Bruce Springsteen. Roscoe & Muldoon: The Mayor Is Mad is his first novel for middle-grade readers.
Connect with Don here:
Twitter link (@RoscoeMuldoon): https://twitter.com/RoscoeMuldoon
Facebook link (@RoscoeMuldoon): https://www.facebook.com/RoscoeMuldoon
Buy the book:
Amazon book page: Roscoe & Muldoon: The Mayor is Mad
Barnes & Noble book page: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/roscoe-muldoon-don-mayhew/1140472478
Bookbaby book page: https://store.bookbaby.com/book/Roscoe-and-Muldoon-The-Mayor-Is-Mad