Dog On It: A Chet and Bernie Mystery

By Spencer Quinn

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Atria Books, 2009

Genres: Mystery, humorous stories

Series: Chet and Bernie Mysteries; 1

ISBN: 9781416585831

Intended audience: Adult

Number of pages: 305

Setting: An unnamed desert city in a valley somewhere between Las Vegas and New Mexico (presumably modeled on Phoenix)

Time period: Contemporary

Plot summary: When Cynthia Chambliss hires the Little Detective Agency to find her missing daughter, Madison, Chet and Bernie are on the case.  It’s a case with lots of stops and starts, twists and turns, and lost and found scents.  Between unsavory characters, including cats and birds, and savory treats, Chet plans to find the perp (with Bernie’s help) and grab him by the pant leg.

Appeal factors:

Pacing: Doggedly quick

Characterization: The story is told in first person through Chet’s eyes (and nose).  The most important secondary character is Chet’s partner, Bernie.

Frame: Definitely dog framed

Story line: A fast, funny story with a loyal and lovable main character who has a mystery to solve and bad guys to run down.

Subject headings:

From PCPL:

Dogs — Fiction.

Missing persons — Investigation — Fiction.

Mystery fiction.

Humorous fiction.

Similar authors:

J.F. Englert – Bull Moose Dog Run Mysteries

Cornelius Kane – The Unscratchables

Garth Stein – The Art of Racing in the Rain: a Novel

Personal notes: I loved this book – I laughed all the way through it, except for the tense parts.  Chet’s voice is pure dog.  I highly recommend this book to all dog lovers (especially if they enjoy mysteries).

Other (diversity, themes, websites): Diversity – police trained dog, Russian gangsters, bikers

Chet the Dog’s blog

Spencer Quinn’s true identityPeter Abrahams


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