We've reviewed many a dachshund book on this site over the years. This month, for a slight change of pace, we're going to tell you about a couple books by dachshund lovers that have dachshunds for peripheral characters.

The Second Diary by Ciara Threadgoode.

In the early days of radio, the daytime hours were filled with continuing dramas, which, because they were sponsored largely by soap companies, came to be called "soap operas." These stories inevitably migrated to television, where, among the excesses of the seventies – prolix plots and utterly improbably happenings – they caused the genre to become an object of scorn.

But, when they were fresh and new, there was a good reason why the shows were popular. They created real characters – characters who, over the course of time, became welcome visitors in many American homes five days a week. They became more real, and better loved, than some of the flesh-and-blood family members of their loyal audience.

So, when we call The Second Diary a soap opera, you can see that we mean it in the classical, and very positive, sense.

There is family drama in this book. Life and death, love and hate, betrayals and loyalties, conflicts resolved and festering. And you care about all of it, because the characters come alive on the page.

The story is related alternately by two narrators, two generations removed, so we see events from both points of view. The story moves along crisply, and there are enough loose ends so that you will be relieved to know that a sequel is planned.

And, yes, there are dachshunds in it.

To order this book from Amazon, click here.

Spirits of the Jungle by Shirley Jones & Jacquelyn Yznaga.

And now for something completely different. If The Second Diary was rooted in family life and drama, Spirits of the Jungle is exotic, mystical, fanciful and completely different from almost anything you and I are likely to encounter. For which, granted some of the disturbing and frightening scenes in the book, we should probably be thankful .

Shirley Jones, co-author (with her sister, Jacquelyn Yznaga) of the book, and Dachshund Delights customer, asked us to include the official publisher's blurb, so here it is:

Cheryl, owner of a miniature red dachshund, has a lifelong dream of exploring as an archeologist which comes to fruition in 1972 as she and four other archeology students and two professors take a riveting seven month journey to Central America. Aware of the war between two opposing armies of rebel soldiers deep in the jungles, they trek and dodge bullets while exploring caves with lavish Mayan treasures. Temptation leads to eventual consequences as they discover gold and crystal skulls prohibited to be removed.

Cheryl's love of nature and unbridled curiosity often lure her to explore alone and is sought by a spirit offering her a priceless, dangerous gift. Her persistence in acquainting herself with a small child heightens the danger to her and the group leading to their capture and are escorted to a hidden underground facility controlled by Nazi soldiers. A marvelous secret is revealed.

Their journey draws them to meet missionaries, priests, personal alien contact with lights of an unknown source and an ominous archeologist with a tribe of ancient people leading to a deadly truth.

The end of their travels is erupted by a devastating earthquake, killing two team members. Cheryl's pain is eased by the love of a lost little dachshund.

If Mayan mysteries and momentous secrets are your thing, you might want to check this out.

To order this book from Amazon, click here.

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