Dog On It
by Spencer Quinn
I could smell him – or rather the booze on his breath – before he even opened the door, but my sense of smell is pretty good, probably better than yours.
As sidekicks, Maxwell Smart and Agent 99 have nothing on Chet and Bernie. This charming detective duo make their debut in Dog On It, the first volume in Spencer Quinn's new mystery series. The fast-paced and funny tale is narrated by the inimitable Chet, Bernie's best friend and canine partner, whose personality and preferences are never in doubt: "I liked to sleep at the foot of Bernie's bed, but my favorite napping spot was in the breakfast nook, under the table with my back against the wall, all cool and shady, plus there was often good snacking around Bernie's chair."
Bernie's enterprise, the Little Detective Agency, limps along, waiting for the next job to arrive. While Chet freely admits that he doesn't always understand the humans around him, the mutt who failed to graduate from the police academy quickly establishes that he's got a nose made for sniffing out trouble -- as well as the tasty morsel.
Dog On It is the first book in the Chet and Bernie mystery series and it is told from Chet’s point of view. Yes, I know that this doesn’t sound special but Chet is Bernie’s dog. These two are an amazing team.
Bernie is the middle aged owner of the Little Detective Agency and he’s okay in his job but his secret weapon is his dog Chet. He helps Bernie in every way he can and always tries to tell him stuff but as it often happens in the human-dog-communication, Bernie is not able to understand Chet’s barking all the time.
I have a dog myself and what was so brilliant about this book is the way Chet is described. Everything he does or thinks – because of him telling the story we, as readers, know exactly what he knows – is typical dog behaviour. I would love to know what my dog, Felix, is thinking most of the time and Spencer Quinn did just that – he gave Chet a voice and enabled him to communicate with us readers.
The story itself is also really gripping. A young girl goes missing and her mother tries everything to get her back and hires Bernie to find her. During the case both detectives – human and canine – get into serious trouble but with the help of their trusted friend there is always a way out.
Dog On It is a fast paced story and an entertaining read for dog lovers and mystery readers.
The books in the Chet and Bernie mystery series are:
- Dog On It
- Thereby Hangs A Tail
- To Fetch A Thief
- The Dog Who Knew Too Much
- A Fistful Of Collars
- The Sound And The Fury
- A Cat Was Involved (a short story)