A Review From BookPage

A dog’s eye view

Review by Rusty McDaniel

Call me Rusty.

BookPage (or rather, a certain BookPage writer) asked me to review the second in Spencer Quinn’s Chet and Bernie mystery series. I’d rather be a pirate (B’arrrrrrrgh!), but the book was written by Chet, a dog, and deserves the attention of the author’s peers. So, being “one of my guys,” as Chet puts it, I’m happy to lend a paw.

To begin with, this book looks good and smells good. (Chews well, too, though a little pulpy in the middle.) Chet, a dog of an unrecognizable breed, works alongside his godlike human, Bernie Little, Private Investigator. They check out a mysterious case of dognapping, involving a “tiny fluffball” named Princess. Princess came to town for the Great Western Dog Show and disappeared somewhere into the dry gulches and canyons—along with her ill-fated owner, an Italian contessa, and Suzie, Bernie’s girlfriend.

Details are sometimes hazy, but Chet is more observant than your average dog. (Present company excluded.) His soliloquies often involve taking human metaphors literally, as in pondering the connection of poles to Polish sausage.

Life is always great for Chet, as for all of us dogs, so don’t expect any noir here. But he is not unphilosophical—“whatever that is,” as he often says modestly. Dogito ergo sum (“I am a dog, therefore I am”) appears to be his ruling concept, though not in so many words, of course. I did notice that he can’t seem to bark Latin. So few dogs, ahem, can.

Any reader with a nose for nastiness may sniff out the perp early on, but the real fun is in Chet’s take on humans and their world. He’s not above expressing his amazement at the many ways in which dogs are superior (hearing, smelling, etc.). Still, he retains an unqualified love for his human, and he expresses universal truths eloquently—like the superiority of bacon chew strips over other forms of entertainment.

Great job. Good Spencer.

Rusty lives with his owner, Maude McDaniel, in Cumberland, Maryland.


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This entry was posted on Friday, January 15th, 2010 at 9:48 am and is filed under Chet The Dog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

7 Responses to “A Review From BookPage”

  1. B. Stover
    5:08 am on January 15th, 2010

    Dogito ergo sum and universal truths….I love it!

  2. Max & Buddy
    6:54 am on January 15th, 2010

    Chet, did you and Bernie hear about Auggie in Indiana. His human's wheelchair got stuck in the snow, and Auggie went and got help. His human rescued Auggie two years ago, and now Auggie returned the favor! Way to go Auggie!

  3. Chet The Dog
    7:33 am on January 15th, 2010

    Thanks, Max and Buddy. I'll try to check this out.

  4. Cosmo
    8:03 am on January 15th, 2010

    Wow, nice review Chet – I love how you tell it like it is!

  5. Melanie
    8:14 am on January 15th, 2010

    Who says Chet can't do Latin?

    Maybe he's just never tried it.

    With a mixed pedigree who knows what genes lurk?

  6. LizF
    12:09 pm on January 15th, 2010

    It's good to see a review from the other nation! My copy of THAT has arrived so I'm looking forward to reading Chet's soliloquies – and finding out what's happened to Suzie.

  7. Tweets that mention A Review From BookPage -- Topsy.com
    5:43 pm on January 15th, 2010

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