By Spencer Quinn
Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Atria Books, 2009
Genres: Mystery, humorous stories
Series: Chet and Bernie Mysteries; 1
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.
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.
Dogs — Fiction.
Missing persons — Investigation — Fiction.
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