I really appreciate wit. And when I saw the title of this book about a detective and his dog solving mysteries, I just had to read it. Dog On It is the first in a series of Chet and Bernie Mysteries by Spencer Quinn. The stories are told from the Chet’s point of view. The catch is that Chet is a dog. Quinn cleverly shares the dog’s perspective in a funny, almost attention-deficit syndrome sort of way. Such as, Chet is easily distracted by key words that remind him of past jobs or smells that make him think of not only good guys, but also bad guys, or simply just food. Aside from his detective work, Chet likes to point out interesting phrases in the English language, like “head over heels”. Chet doesn’t understand why it’s a special state as everyone’s head is always over their heels! Chet’s counterpart, Bernie, is a down on his luck private investigator but with Chet’s help that all changes.
The mysteries introduce the reader to many different characters and locations, taking you along to help solve the mystery right alongside the characters, which always keeps you guessing until the very end. The “hardest” parts for me to read were when Chet gets separated from Bernie and Chet has the possibility of being hurt or mistreated; I don’t understand how people can treat dogs badly for no reason. Overall, I enjoyed the initial books in the series as entertaining, suspenseful collections of stories with a canine twist. If you love dogs and a little intrigue you will appreciate many aspects of these books as well as the stories themselves. Following are brief descriptions of the individual books I had the pleasure to read.
Dog On It was probably my favorite of the series. It introduces Bernie, a detective, and Chet, a K-9 school “almost”, that run the Little Detective Agency. The mystery they solve involves the kidnapping of a teenager where divorced parents, Russian mobsters, and a band of bikers all play a malevolent role. I liked the way the story wove together the characters, details, and plot so you never quite knew what or who to suspect until it all came together in the end.
To Fetch a Thief was probably my least favorite of the series. The mystery revolves around the circus and a stolen elephant. Parts of the story were a bit too far-fetched for me and not terribly believable.
Thereby Hangs a Tail was another “ok” read. The detective agency was hired to protect a woman and her famous show dog as they receive threats before a big dog show. The plot was more predictable than the other books – but perhaps it’s because I’m familiar with the show dog world and some of the intrigue that occurs there.
The Dog Who Knew Too Much was probably my next favorite. Bernie and Chet look for a child missing from a camping area. Throughout the story, there are a lot of twists and turns exposing unexpected avenues towards solving the mystery, which keeps the reader guessing. Chet knows the bad guys but isn’t able to communicate it to Bernie – how frustrating!
The author’s latest books include: A Fistful of Collars, The Sound and the Furry, A Cat Was Involved, and Paw and Order. Though I’m encouraged by the books of his I’ve read, I have not yet made my way through these four. Have any of you read any of these books?! If so, please share your feedback!
Category : Book Reviews