Thereby Hangs A Tail
By Spencer Quinn
Chet and his owner Bernie Little are hired to protect Adelina Borghese’s prizewinning pooch, Princess. After Chet steals Princess’ treat, they are summarily fired. However, soon after both Princess and her owner disappear. Then Bernie’s on again off again girlfriend, Suzie Sanchez, a reporter, also disappears after a desperate phone call. The trail leads to an old ghost town where Bernie is arrested and Chet is knocked out. Chet gets separated from Bernie and begins his own adventure. Discovering first Adelina’s dead body, then finding Princess, he subsequently runs into two hippies who sells him to man bound to take Chet to Alaska. Who killed Adelina? Where is Suzie? Where did Princess disappear to for the second time? How does a strange acting sheriff and his deputy in the next county tie into the case? Chet and Bernie track down the clues.
All right, I admit it, I love mysteries involving animals. You just can’t go wrong when animals are involved, especially as either the main character or are intricately involved in the plot. The plot of this book is not new, but who cares? It’s a fun mystery because of the narrator.
Bernie Little: Private investigator, divorced with son, trying to quit smoking, likes bourbon, slob, drives an old Porsche, used to pitch baseball for Army, marksman, father dead, mother far away and remarried. Limps every now and then from a war wound
Chet: Bernie’s dog, has mismatched ears, loves bacon and the odor of cigarette smoke. Dislikes cats.
What can I say? Chet is a hoot. Quinn does an excellent job of getting into a dog’s thinking. The rest of the characters are pretty standard fare with some humorous personalities, but they are enhanced because they’re seen through Chet’s eyes.
Standard conversations. Could have done with a little less profanity from some of the characters. Voices come through pretty well.
First person, or rather, uh, dog, POV from Chet. Quinn does an excellent job of unfolding the case while showing both Chet’s intelligence and his lack of knowledge in certain areas such as human language, memory on certain cases, and his inability to realize when he’s done something because it’s instinctual. Apparently, even though this is only the second book in the series, Chet and Bernie are veterans of investigative work with Chet remembering a lot of previous adventures. I love the humor and Chet’s quirks. I so wanted to read the first book and when I had the chance to buy the second I took it. I will definitely be buying the third and fourth books in the series and hope there will be plenty more.