Meet Chet, the wise and lovable canine narrator of Dog on It, who works alongside Bernie, a down-on-his-luck private investigator. Chet might have flunked out of police school ("I'd been the best leaper in K-9 class, which had led to all the trouble in a way I couldn't remember exactly, although blood was involved"), but he's a detective through and through.
In this, their first adventure, Chet and Bernie investigate the disappearance of Madison, a teenage girl who may or may not have been kidnapped, but who has definitely gotten mixed up with some very unsavory characters. A well-behaved, gifted student, she didn't arrive home after school and her divorced mother is frantic. Bernie is quick to take the case -- something about a cash flow problem that Chet's not all that clear about -- and he's relieved, if vaguely suspicious, when Madison turns up unharmed with a story that doesn't add up. But when she disappears for a second time in a week, Bernie and Chet aren't taking any chances; they launch a full-blown investigation. Without a ransom demand, they're not convinced it's a kidnapping, but they are sure of one thing: something smells funny.
Their search for clues takes them into the desert to biker bars and other exotic locals, with Chet's highly trained nose leading the way. Both Chet and Bernie bring their own special skills to the hunt, one that puts each of them in peril. But even as the bad guys try to turn the tables, this duo is nothing if not resourceful, and the result is an uncommonly satisfying adventure.
With his doggy ways and his endearingly hardboiled voice, Chet is full of heart and occasionally prone to mischief. He is intensely loyal to Bernie, who, though distracted by issues that Chet has difficulty understanding -- like divorce, child custody, and other peculiar human concerns -- is enormously likable himself, in his flawed, all-too-human way.
Set in the Valley of an unnamed Western state, Quinn's winning debut introduces one smart canine detective and his partner, PI Bernie Little of the Little Detective Agency, who's pretty quick on the uptake himself. Chet, a "lively mongrel" with one white ear and one black ear, serves as the book's narrator, communicating with Bert via doggy methods that verge on the telepathic ("I wagged my tail, that quick one-two wag meaning yes, not the over-the-top one that wags itself and can mean lots of things"). Wealthy divorcée Cynthia Chambliss hires Bernie, a former cop, to find her missing 15-year-old daughter, Madison, whose father is a real estate developer who smells suspiciously of cat. (Chet's keen sense of smell comes in handy.) When Madison reappears and disappears again, her dad says she's just a runaway, though Bernie thinks otherwise. Chet must use all his superdog tricks to extricate Bernie from a mighty tight fix in a climax that fans of classic mysteries are sure to appreciate. (Feb.)
Copyright (c) Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Showing 1-1 of the 1 most recent reviews
1 . A Fun Read
Posted October 01, 2010 by Darcia Helle , New Port RicheyChet is a dog that flunked out of police training. He is now partners with Bernie, a human, who is a P.I. The two are working a case and the story is told from Chet's point of view.
The plot is well-developed, interesting and moves at a good pace. Since it's told from a dog's perspective, even the serious parts have a twist of humor. This is a light, entertaining and fun read.
February 09, 2009
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Dog on It by Spencer Quinn
I could smell him -- or rather the booze on his breath -- before he even opened the door, but my sense of smell is pretty good, probably better than yours. The key scratched against the lock, finally found the slot. The door opened and in, with a little stumble, came Bernie Little, founder and part owner (his ex-wife, Leda, walked off with the rest) of the Little Detective Agency. I'd seen him look worse, but not often.He mustered a weak smile. "Hey, Chet."I raised my tail and let it thump down on the rug, just so, sending a message."I'm a little late, sorry. Need to go out?"Why would that be? Just because my back teeth were floating? But then I thought, What the hell, the poor guy, and I went over and pressed my head against the side of his leg. He scratched between my ears, really digging his fingers in, the way I like. Bliss. How about a little more, down the back of the neck? I hunched my shoulders a bit, giving him the idea. Ah, nice. Very nice.We went outside, me and Bernie. There were three trees out front, my favorite being a big shady one just perfect for napping under. I lifted my leg against it. Wow. Hadn't realized I was that close to desperation. The night filled with splashing sounds and I zoned out a little, listening to them. I managed to stop the flow -- not easy -- and save some for dampening the rock at the end of the driveway and the wooden fence that separated our property from old man Heydrich's next door, plus a squirt or two between the slats. Only doing my job, but don't get me started on old man Heydrich.Bernie was gazing up at the sky. A beautiful night -- soft breeze, lots of stars, lights twinkling down the canyon, and what was this? A new tennis ball on the lawn. I went over and sniffed it. Not one of mine, not anyone's I knew."Wanna play fetch?"I pawed the thing. How did it get here? Cooped up all day, but I'd kept an ear cocked; except for when I dozed off, of course."Bring it here, Chet."I didn't want to, not with this stranger's smell on it."Come on."But I never said no to Bernie. I gave the ball a lick or two, making it mine, then took it over to Bernie and dropped it at his feet. Bernie reared back and threw the ball up the canyon road."Uh-oh -- where'd it go?"Where'd it go? He really couldn't see it? That never failed to surprise me, how poorly he saw after the sun went down. I tore after the ball, bouncing up the middle of the road in plain sight, got my back feet way forward and sprang, totally airborne, snaring it on the short hop, the way I like, then wheeling around in one skidding motion and racing full speed, head low, ears flattened by the wind I was making, and dropped it at Bernie's feet, putting on the brakes at the last moment. If you know something more fun than this, let me in on the secret."Got it on the short hop? Couldn't tell from here."I wagged my tail, that quick one-two wag meaning yes, not the over-the-top one that wags itself and can mean lots of things, some of which I'm not too clear on myself."Nice." He picked up the ball and was rearing back again when a car came slowly down the street and stopped in front of us.The window slid down and a woman leaned out. "Is this thirteen-three-oh-nine?"Bernie nodded."I'm looking for Bernie Little, the detective.""You found him."She opened the door, started to get out, then saw me. "Is the dog all right?"Bernie stiffened. I felt it; he was standing right beside me. "Depends what you mean.""You know, is he safe, does he bite? I'm not that comfortable around dogs.""He won't bite you."Of course I wouldn't. But the idea was planted in my head, for sure. I could tell by all the saliva suddenly pooling in my mouth."Thanks. You never know about dogs."Bernie said something under his breath, too low for even me to hear; but I knew I liked it, whatever it was.She got out of the car, a tall woman with long fair hair and a smell of flowers an