Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Dog On It: A Chet and Bernie Mystery by Spencer Quinn

Chet - a dog with mismatched ears who failed to graduate from K-9 school - is Bernie Little's partner in a struggling private detective agency in Nevada. They are hired to find a missing teenager, but she shows up on her own. A few days later, she disappears again. Chet and Bernie are back on the case. This time, everything gets much more complicated.

Chet narrates the events and I found his voice rather annoying for the first while. All that barking... just kidding. He addresses the reader in short, often incomplete, sentences. (Hard-boiled detective style; just the facts, ma'm. Except that Chet's facts do tend to meander: "Snake. I don't like snakes.") What I found tedious are sentences like this: "They get upset, humans, and then water comes out of their eyes. What is that all about?" But then, I got caught up in the storyline and decided I really liked Chet and forgave him for being a dog.

Other people have said they laughed out loud while reading this book. I smiled a lot. Three Bags Full by Leonie Swann, a mystery solved by a herd of sheep, has something of the same appeal.

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