Honestly, I'm not quite sure how I feel about Pete the Cat as a co-author of this book. Peg Kehret, I love. Pete, I'm not so sure. At the start of the book, I found myself annoyed, but as the book progressed, it seemed more natural. I think this is, in part, because I am not a pet person. And I find myself in the minority in that respect. So, I think most people would be immediately endeared to Pete and his writing style and honesty, and the fact that humans think every time he utters a yowl he is hungry. I, however, would just sneeze a lot. But I digress. As I am apt to do when I discover an author I enjoy, I gobble up EVERYTHING by that author in an effort to discern if those other books deserve a place on the shelves of our library. The Stranger Next Door seemed to start off a bit slow, but the pattern I've seen with Kehret's books is that I don't get "into" them immediately, but about halfway through the suspense is ratcheted up and I cannot put it down. As this is only the second book by Kehret that I have read, I can't say with certainty that this is true of all her books, but like Ghost Dog Secrets, The Stranger Next Door also has some elements appropriate for introduction during Red Ribbon Week in regards to a strong anti-drug message. Without giving too much away. I found it irritating not to know why Rocky, i.e. Clifford, was being whisked away from his home in such a hurried fashion, but I think that was a feeling purposefully evoked of the reader to mirror what Clifford would be feeling as well. I guessed at what was happening, but not why and was pleasantly surprised (pleasantly doesn't quite fit the outcome...hmmm...can't think of a better word though) at the outcome. I'm hoping to enjoy Peg Kehret's next book equally.