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Vignette – A Dog’s Life – #FourthWallFriday by @JohnDolanAuthor #AtoZChallenge

VFourth-Wall Fridays are usually long and involved but today I asked John to write me  vignette to represent V for the #AtoZChallenge. A small window where he and his world-build of his series mixes it up. Vignette’s are fun, not so much a teaser but more like a way to get someone interested with a taste. Like the taste from the sauce bubbling, you get just what you need to get an idea of what it will be like but not a full story. This one is wrapped up in a nice ribbon for a great Fourth-Wall Friday addition.

We’d been living on the Thai island of Samui for a year when it happened.

My wife and daughter were going off to Bangkok for some retail therapy and they left me in charge of the house, the responsibility for which included looking after our Jack Russell terrier, Percy.

“Whatever you do,” said Mary, “Do NOT leave the gate open. Percy will be off like a shot. Remember the last time he escaped?”

“I am not a complete idiot,” I said in my best adult voice.

Of course, I am. Within six hours of their leaving, Percy had fled to freedom. I don’t know how I managed to foul up so quickly. My only excuse is that I am a man.

I spent the rest of the day scouring the surrounding roads and coconut groves, putting up reward posters, and reporting the dog’s disappearance at the local police station where I was greeted with bemused looks. I generally got very sweaty, and not just because of the tropical sun. Percy was Mary’s darling boy and she would kill me if he wasn’t here when she got back.

As a long-shot, the next morning (having lied on the phone the previous evening that all was well), I pitched up at the offices of ‘The David Braddock Agency’, Samui’s private detective firm.

Braddock himself was not on the island, but his personal assistant, Khun Da, gave me her attention – when not distracted by her baby who seemed to like drooling a lot.

I handed her photographs of the jail breaker, pointing out the distinctive brown markings on his white coat.

“He may have been kidnapped,” said Da, putting the damp baby across her shoulder. “If he’s a thoroughbred, there will be a market for him.”

“Of course he’s a thoroughbred. He should be anyway, he cost enough.”

“Though he may also have been taken for illegal export to Vietnam. They are very fond of dog meat there.”

“You have to find him for me,” I whined. “Divorces are expensive.”

Da studied the photos. “I know a dog that looks like this,” she said. “But there are no big brown spots across his back. Perhaps we could paint some on.”

“Paint some on? Are you crazy?”

Da shrugged. “We’ll see what can be done. The David Braddock Agency has not failed on a case yet. Give me a couple of days.”

If I had had a tail, I would have left with it between my legs.

Two days later, with my wife’s return looming, the dog was still missing. I had not informed Mary of the disaster and was praying for a miracle, when Da appeared at my house holding a Jack Russell. The dog’s markings were identical to Percy’s. There was only one problem.

“Da, this is a female. Unless you know where we can buy a stick-on penis, I’m still in trouble.”

She wrinkled her forehead. “Give me an hour,” she said. “I might know somebody who can help with that.”

Percy (can you tell if the penis is taped on?)

Percy (can you tell if the penis is taped on?)

About John Dolan

Vignette - A Dog's Life - #FourthWallFriday by @JohnDolanAuthor #AtoZChallenge

"Makes a living by travelling, talking a lot and sometimes writing stuff down. Galericulate author, polymath and occasional smarty-pants."

John Dolan hails from a small town in the North-East of England. Before turning to writing, his career encompassed law and finance. He has run businesses in Europe, South and Central America, Africa and Asia. He and his wife Fiona currently divide their time between Thailand and the UK.

His mystery novel 'Everyone Burns' and 'Hungry Ghosts' are the first and second in the 'Time, Blood and Karma' series. the third one 'A Poison Tree' - launches on 12th May.

Vignette – A Dog’s Life – #FourthWallFriday by @JohnDolanAuthor #AtoZChallengeEveryone Burns
Series: Blood and Karma, Time
by John Dolan
Pages: 288
Published by Tention Books
on January 4, 2012
Genres: Detective, Mystery
Amazon • • Goodreads •

'He opens a drawer of his desk, casually takes out a pistol, flicks off the safety catch and points it at my head. 

He says almost sorrowfully, "Do you imagine me to be a gangster, Mr Braddock?"' 

It is January 2005 and the charred remains of two Europeans have been discovered on the Thai island of Samui. 

Local Police Chief Charoenkul, sidelined by his superiors, enlists the reluctant David Braddock, a burnt-out private detective, to assist in an ‘unofficial’ investigation. 
But Braddock has problems of his own, including an affair with the same Police Chief’s wife ... 

Peppered with irreverent humour and some pithy comments on everyday life in the Land of Smiles, Everyone Burns is much more than a crime novel. It is also a carefully-crafted psychological study of an anti-hero for our time.


  1. Love this book. Love John. Hey John, I’ve joined a Goodreads group called A Good Thriller that I think you might like. Fun mix of readers and authors.

    • Ooooo. Gimme a link, quick, Vic 🙂

      • Here’s the link:

        • Ta, V. Just joined. See you over there!

          • Oh, good. Now we can start inappropriate conversations that disturb other members.

  2. I loved “Everyone Burns.”

    Terrific book, and John is one of my favorite writers.

    Percy is so cute, even with the fake penis.


  3. Thanks for having me here, Kriss. It was fun!

  4. JD at his usual hilarious self! Percy and I have something in common! Oops! more information than was needed. Thanks, Kriss. Thanks, John.

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