I am a fan of different, unique, and creative. No matter how weird, silly, or crazy it may be, different is what I am all about. So, when the author of “The Mayor Is Mad.” wanted me to interview the characters from the book, Roscoe and Muldoon, I said yes!
This interview is a conversation with Roscoe & Muldoon, two dog detectives who star in the new book for middle-grade readers, “The Mayor Is Mad.” We talk about how they broke into the investigation business, their favorite TV shows, and the afterlife.
I understand you two began detective work kind of on a whim.
Muldoon: I don’t know about a whim, but we definitely were looking for something to keep ourselves busy. We’d been friends a long time, and when a puppy went missing in our small town, we started out just wanting to help find him.
Roscoe: Once that case was resolved and the puppy was reunited with his family, things just seemed to take off. We were happy they did. Not a lot of people realize this, but a dog’s life can get be of boring. A lot of down time. Your humans are out of the house quite a bit, working, shuttling the kids to soccer practice, running errands, picking up dinner. Although when they get home with dinner, that’s when the boredom ends and the excitement begins.
Would you encourage other dogs to follow in your paw prints and do this kind of work?
Roscoe: Sure, if it you’re the kind of dog that has a nose for this stuff, it’s pretty rewarding to help others. And most dogs do like to sniff around.
Muldoon: You want to be careful, though. Some dogs don’t have the patience for this kind of work, and they leap to conclusions before all the facts are in. Working up a case isn’t as simple as chasing after a ball.
Speaking of balls, which kind do you prefer: 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.
Tell us a little about the book, The Mayor Is Mad.
Roscoe: It’s 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. And our good friend Jackson, who’s a young Maltipoo puppy, disappeared in the middle of it.
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.
That’s quite a lot going on. You must have been worried sick about your Maltipoo friend.
Muldoon: We were, but he helped us crack the burglaries in his own way. Cute as a button, that one is.
Roscoe: But so many questions! You’ve never heard anything like it. “Did you know gutter water tastes funny?” “Would it be fun to fly?” “Do you think green paint smells different than red?” It never ends.
Such an inquisitive mind must help, though, when you’re trying to nail down the facts. So, 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, Roscoe. We’ll see how you like running around when your hips are screaming and you could be lying real still.
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 or Underdog 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.
What’s your position on naps?
Muldoon: We’re in favor of them.
When you’re not holding down the fort, do you travel much outside of the small town where you live? What’s your ideal vacation destination?
Muldoon: I prefer staycations myself.
Roscoe: Ah, jeez. Of course, you do. 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. Any advice on how 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 he 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.
What’s more 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.
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.
This is an idea I have never thought to do and think it’s cute, unique, creative, and fun! Having fun while promoting is always welcomed by me. I am so on board for more interviews like this.