Dog on It - Chet and Bernie, Bk 1 Author:Spencer Quinn Meet Chet, the wise and lovable canine narrator of Dog on It, who works alongside Bernie, a down-on-his-luck private investigator. Chet might have flunked out of police school ("I'd been the best leaper in K-9 class, which had led to all the trouble in a way I couldn't remember exactly, although blood was involved"), but... more » he's a detective through and through.
In this, their first adventure, Chet and Bernie investigate the disappearance of Madison, a teenage girl who may or may not have been kidnapped, but who has definitely gotten mixed up with some very unsavory characters. A well-behaved, gifted student, she didn't arrive home after school and her divorced mother is frantic. Bernie is quick to take the case -- something about a cash flow problem that Chet's not all that clear about -- and he's relieved, if vaguely suspicious, when Madison turns up unharmed with a story that doesn't add up. But when she disappears for a second time in a week, Bernie and Chet aren't taking any chances; they launch a full-blown investigation. Without a ransom demand, they're not convinced it's a kidnapping, but they are sure of one thing: something smells funny.
Their search for clues takes them into the desert to biker bars and other exotic locals, with Chet's highly trained nose leading the way. Both Chet and Bernie bring their own special skills to the hunt, one that puts each of them in peril. But even as the bad guys try to turn the tables, this duo is nothing if not resourceful, and the result is an uncommonly satisfying adventure.
With his doggy ways and his endearingly hardboiled voice, Chet is full of heart and occasionally prone to mischief. He is intensely loyal to Bernie, who, though distracted by issues that Chet has difficulty understanding -- like divorce, child custody, and other peculiar human concerns -- is enormously likable himself, in his flawed, all-too-human way.« less
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I loved this book! Spencer Quinn is the pseudnym of author Peter Abrahams who just won the 2010 Edgar award for Best YA Mystery with his book "Reality Check". So while this is the first book in a new series, it's not a debut book for this writer.
Chet is the narrator of the mystery. He's a Belgian Shepard who almost passed K-9 school. He has one black ear and one white ear, and keen nose and undying loyalty for his human partner Bernie. Quinn captured the essense of what a dog's thought process might be. The narration from Chet's perspestive had me chuckling throuhgout most of the book. There are some parts of high drama where you really could feel the frustration that a dog might feel based on the outward signs of anxiety a keen observer of dogs will have seen in similar situations.
I had the mystery figured out pretty quickly, but solving the mystery wasn't really the point of the book. Seeing how Chet filtered the events, and worked to solve the mystery were the fascinating parts. I've already checked the second book "Thereby Hangs a Tail" and can't wait to see what Chet and Bernie's next adventure is.
Jane S. reviewed Dog on It (Chet and Bernie, Bk 1) on
I loved this book! Found out about Chet and Bernie reading "A Cat was Involved" that gave the backstory how Chet and Bernie got together. As long as you don't have a problem with the dog telling the story, you will love this. Occasionally you are reminded that Chet is telling the story when he says something completely DOG. Have put the entire series on my wish list and hope something will come soon! Can't wait to read their next adventure.