Friday, January 16, 2009

Dog On It Doggone Funny!

Dog On It:
A Chet and Bernie Mystery
By Spencer Quinn
AtriaBooks
Advance reading Copy
305 Pages


DogGone! I loved Dog On It! Ok, as an independent professional book reviewer, I’m able to get away with that trite beginning; at least I hope you don’t mind too much, I couldn’t resist! And since Spencer Quinn, created Chet as the lead character in his Chet and Bernie Mystery, Dog On It, somehow I don’t think he will mind!

Expectation for this book, after reading the initial blurb online, moved up greatly when, on the back cover, one of my most favorite authors, Robert B. Parker, declared: “A detective, a dog, and some major league prose. Dog On It is a genuine joy.” With Parker’s recommendation, I admit that I immediately started to read it to see if there was any relation to Parker’s dialogue/writing style in his Spencer series, which I love, especially between Spencer and Hawk! Now, Chet does not talk, so his thoughts and actions are what carries the place of dialogue; however, he and Bernie are so in tune that you think that surely they are indeed having a conversation! Still it was delightful to read the level of “exchange” between these two partners in a private investigation agency.

Of course, clients often ask Bernie why he keeps saying “us” for the ...Agency, but readers have no such problem! We can readily see that there is truly a committed partnership between Bernie and Chet, the latter of whom just happens to be a dog... In fact, Chet saves Bernie twice from life-threatening situations in just this one book, so I’d say that works to cement them both as important members of the agency!

Because in this case, a great mind and a great nose are needed to solve what happened to the teenage girl who may or may not have been kidnapped. Admittedly Chet cannot “tell” Bernie that he has seen the girl and was in fact saved by her, so that the case is not immediately solved by Chet leading Bernie to the girl...but, then, we wouldn’t have this delightful tangled and twisting chase to find her!

The case includes the Russian Mob, an undoubtedly dastardly group of men and women; however, I have to admit that I was just having too much fun watching Chet working hard to solve the case, only to have his mind wander off to that great tidbit of food he’d found, or...whatever happened to reveal his short attention span! As expected, the mystery is great and somewhat suspenseful...but you’ll be reading this first in a series, because of the main character—Chet! He’s too doggone much fun to miss!

Enjoy!

G. A. Bixler
For Amazon Vine