Richmond Times-Dispatch On Thereby Hangs A Tail

If you’ve ever been to a dog show, you’ve seen the range of strong emotions: joy, disappointment, resignation, anger, excitement. But strong enough to lead to crime?

That’s the initial premise in Thereby Hangs a Tail (309 pages, Atria, $25), the second entry in Spencer Quinn’s series featuring private investigator Bernie Little, who lives in an unnamed state in the Southwest, and his lovable mutt, Chet. And once again, it’s Chet who narrates the tale. Call it first person canine.

Adelina di Borghese wants to hire Bernie after receiving what she perceives as a threat against her little show dog, Princess. But the case takes a far more sinister turn when Adelina and Princess are abducted and Bernie’s girlfriend, reporter Suzie Sanchez, goes missing. Bernie and Chet become separated, but, once reunited, work together to crack a complicated case with a number of suspects.

Given an ominous turn near the end of this well-conceived story, a sequel can’t come out too soon. And with a pair of affable heroes, regardless of leg count, “Thereby Hangs a Tail” will have you sitting up and begging for more.

– Jay Strafford


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This entry was posted on Monday, March 1st, 2010 at 9:24 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.

18 Responses to “Richmond Times-Dispatch On Thereby Hangs A Tail”

  1. B. Stover
    4:41 am on March 1st, 2010

    "First person canine." I like that.

  2. Mollypop
    5:01 am on March 1st, 2010

    B. – I was just going to say that!

  3. Melanie
    5:06 am on March 1st, 2010

    It's always good to be in the "know." By the way Chet, one of our puppy owners said she woke up to snow on the Cape.

    I know you like snow, I wonder if Spence or what ever his name is's dog likes it too?

  4. Rio - The Evil Pug
    5:16 am on March 1st, 2010

    Heh!…that Jim Strafford has no idea just how much begging has been going on….snort!… and to what lengths some of us will go to get info about T-FAT….heh!… I liked his play on words … “a pair of affable heroes, regardless of leg count”… Snort!

    Damned!….groundhog!…. we here are sick of winter!…grunt!… hasn’t it been six weeks already?….aaaaaaargh!

  5. Mollypop
    5:50 am on March 1st, 2010

    The review mentions the ominous turn at the end of the story. Mr. Strafford, just come here with us. You don't have to wait for the sequel. Uh oh, have I said too much? We have proven ourselves to be very good at getting to the bottom of things, and perhaps things to come.

    Superior espionage, eh!

  6. Rio - The Evil Pug
    6:35 am on March 1st, 2010

    Molly!… you’ve grown quite a bit since I first met you…snort!… I wonder if its not time to upgrade you from Supply Clerk… grunt!….maybe give you a small part in helping Wookie on the next assignment…mmmm!

    So!…cough!… do any of you have some ideas knocking around in your heads about how to get the Pub Date??…. I’m just interested, that’s all…. Snort!… we need some brain-storming for this one… Grunt!…it will be very tricky indeed.

  7. Mollypop
    6:38 am on March 1st, 2010

    Cmdr. Rio – One thing we have to keep in mind is how long the batteries will last in the device that PFC Wookie so cleverly planted.

  8. Mollypop
    6:41 am on March 1st, 2010


    As Neil Young said, "Rust Never Sleeps."

  9. Rio - The Evil Pug
    7:31 am on March 1st, 2010

    Heh!… don’t worry yourself over the M.C.D…. Grunt!… Wookie has been back once already making sure it is working properly!… Snort!… reference to this was on the response page of “To Fetch A Thief”… Gruff!… we have bigger fish to fry this time…I need ideas from everyone…snort!

  10. B. Stover
    8:02 am on March 1st, 2010

    Rio: What are the "bigger fish"?

  11. Melanie
    8:27 am on March 1st, 2010

    Rio, have you and Wookie gone fishing? Too cold here for that. Big Fish huh?

    Waiting . .

  12. Rio - The Evil Pug
    8:38 am on March 1st, 2010

    Sorry!… I thought everyone was on the same page as me… snort!

    Admin!… he is the key to getting the Pub Date… grunt!… Wookie has seen him carrying a large brief case on his way to and fro from Spencer’s house…snort!….Spence does not let Admin use the computer very often…wheeze!… so I am guessing that he keeps all things “Spence” inside this briefcase…grumble!…and keeps the briefcase near him at all times…grunt!

    Plan!… we need to come up with a plan to distract Admin and get inside the briefcase… Problems!…there are lots of things that could make it very difficult… the brief case is probably locked…Snag!… And once opened, we will either need to photograph the papers that pertain to the Pub Date, or steal them outright… Thieves!… I don’t like that last idea… Grunt!…I think we should be able to do this without either Spence or Admin finding out our Agents were even in their midst….wheeze!

    Ideas!… I want everyone (who wants to participate)…cough!… give us their ideas on how to pull this amazing mission off… snort!

  13. B. Stover
    9:45 am on March 1st, 2010

    According to the publisher's website, "Untitled #3" by Spencer Quinn will be published on October 26, 2010.

  14. Gus & BooBear
    10:10 am on March 1st, 2010

    Way to go, B.Stover!! But maybe since they now have a title, the date may get moved up a bit!!!

  15. Diane Brodson
    1:30 pm on March 1st, 2010

    B. Stover! Your cyber-skills are admirable! And you have a friend who is a physics teacher and understands the mysterious ways of water. I'm envious.

    Abbiethekitty – Alice does not look happy in that ridiculous sweater.

    Rio – you little snort-hound – I'm blowing you a kiss!

  16. Melanie
    3:06 pm on March 1st, 2010

    So Long to Wait . . .

    Briefcase, hmmm. Do any of the Kats know of a lock picking burglar mouse?

  17. AbbietheKitty
    3:42 pm on March 1st, 2010

    ~Diane, you are so right. I think Alice was planning ways to humiliate and torture us when that picture was taken. I believe she yorked up a huge hairball right after.

    Cats have their way of getting even.

    ~Rio It seems you no longer need to go undercover to find out the publishing date. These things sometimes change though so maybe that is why you haven't been given the date by Spence. Or, of course, maybe the evil 'admin' has kept it from him.

    From Alice's staff

  18. AbbietheKitty
    3:42 pm on March 1st, 2010

    It is sure nice to see all these good reviews. Way to go Chet!


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