When Chet the dog, “the most lovable
narrator in all of crime fiction” (Boston Globe), and his human partner, PI
Bernie Little, are approached by a down-and-out older man with a cardboard sign
at an exit ramp, Bernie is shocked to discover the man is a former teammate
from his high school baseball team. Chet and Bernie take Rocket out for a good
meal, and later, Bernie investigates Rocket’s past, trying to figure out what
exactly went wrong.
Then, Rocket goes suspiciously missing. With his former teammate likely in danger, Bernie goes back to his old high school for answers, where much that he remembers turns out not to be true—and there are powerful and dangerous people not happy with the questions Bernie is asking.
Bernie soon learns that he misunderstood much about his high school years – and now, Chet and Bernie are plunged into a dangerous case where the past isn’t dead and the future could be fatal.
There was a time when the characters I’d most like to meet were Fortune, Ida Lee, and Gertie from Jana DeLeon’s Miss Fortune mystery series. They have been bested by Chet and Bernie from Spencer Quinn’s Chet and Bernie mystery series. I’m not going to say anything specific about this book, except to implore you to read this series.
Even though Chet is the personable narrator, he is and always will be—a dog! His extra sensory perception, and I don’t mean paranormal but his greater canine senses, help Bernie anticipate trouble. Chet is charming in his doggy ways, loyal, trustworthy, and puts in his best effort to be Bernie’s crime-solving partner. Readers often wonder whether it is Chet or Bernie who is the sidekick.
There is a saying that “a picture is worth a thousand words,” and perhaps for most writers that truism would be correct. But Spencer Quinn isn’t most writers. In the last paragraph of this book he continues the scene until the last sentence—when readers are left not with just a picture but a two-minute mental video of what Chet did next, what Bernie’s reaction will be, and how the crowd will react—a great, chaotic time was had by all. Few writers have that ability to project the next scene in the reader’s mind without having to write it, and all the while, ending the book on such an “up” note.
Note to readers: Author Stephen King endorses Spencer’s books—so if you don’t believe me, you can rely on his opinion. Robert B. Parker was a fan of Spencer’s, too.
Spencer Quinn is the pseudonym of Peter Abrahams, an award-winning author of the Echo Falls mystery series. He has won the Edgar Award, Agatha Award, and the Edgar Allen Poe Award. https://www.peterabrahams.com/
Hooked! That’s all I have to say. Now to start Chet and Bernie from book 1
Well, that was a rousing endorsement. I had not heard of the series before. I'll add the first book to my TBR list.
A new series for me! Thanks for the enthusiastic endorsement.
What a fun concept!! Someone you'd like to meet more than Swamp Team 3? This definitely sounds like a must-read.
Oh! I can't believe not one of you have read this series. Chet's my hero, and he injects comic relief where it is sorely needed. The series started in 2009. I'm envious--you all get the fun and now you won't have to wait for the next book--which is my favorite way to read--bingeing!! These are not cozies--except for the love.
PS--Be sure to read the short story of how Chet got kicked out of K-9 school. The title: "A Cat Was Involved."
I love Spencer Quinn! If you have young readers in your life, be sure to recommend Quinn's Bowser and Birdie mystery series. They're terrific fun. Better yet, buy the books and give them to the youngsters.
Love the series, although I have to admit I haven't kept up with it. Definitely an addition to my TBR list.
Sounds like a great series! Wonderful review!
A series new to me! Can't wait to binge-read it. Thanks for a great review, Elaine.
Oh, and I didn’t know about the short story! Thanks for pointing that out, EB!
Great review as always, Elaine.
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