Thereby Hangs A Tail Review – Fredericksburg.com
“How,” says Spence, “are we going to get the business cards out to people who want them? Did you think of that?” Admin gives him a cold look. They don’t always get along, Spence and Admin. Meanwhile Bernie wants me to post this review. “Fredericksburg,” he says. “Big Civil War battle.” Uh-oh. I love Bernie, of course, but don’t get him started on Civil War battles.
DETECTIVE DUO UP TO THEIR USUAL TRICKS
January 17, 2010 12:36 am
IT’S ALWAYS a good sign when your friends and co-workers beg to read the first in a new mystery series after you review it.
And you know the sequel is every bit as good–if not better–when the wag who usually sniffs that he normally reads nothing but nonfiction barely comes up for air once he cracks it open.
Such is the case with “Thereby Hangs a Tail,” Spencer Quinn’s howlingly funny follow-up to “Dog On It.” The appeal here is the narrator, a mixed breed bruiser of a canine named Chet, who is all dog. No human characteristics for this pup, no sir.
Here’s a sample:
“I barked again, no real reason. We were on the job, out in the night, driving fast. Anything better than this? You tell me.”
Chet’s partner in taking a bite out of crime–and criminals, in Chet’s case–is one Bernie Little. He’s a former Marine and policeman with a penchant for booze, bad investments and a broad named Susie Sanchez who mysteriously disappears halfway through their latest case.
Luckily for Chet, Bernie is also smart, savvy and good at what he does, and the pair is gaining attention for their detective skills. Their work attracts the attention of Countess Adelina di Borghese, who hires Little Detective Agency to serve as bodyguard for Princess, a tiny ball of fluff entered in the Great Western Dog Show, and to sniff out why someone is mailing her threatening letters.
The case looks like an easy way to earn a couple grand a day–until Chet impulsively nabs a treat meant for Princess. He and Bernie are fired on the spot, but Bernie convinces Adelina’s husband, the Count di Borghese, to hire them back when she and Princess go missing.
The search for the abductors will lead them to a desert ghost town, cause a separation that will nearly send Chet to Alaska, and touch off a frantic search for Susie, who disappears while tracking down a story about the di Borgheses for her paper.
Along the way there’s a subplot about Bernie’s hasty bet on tin futures that will involve several trips to Mr. Singh’s pawnshop to cover his position and Chet’s hilarious confusion about various famous people’s names.
“Wild Bill Hickock?” he says at one point. “Sounded like a perp, although I didn’t remember him; but hard to remember them all–we’d cleared so many cases, me and Bernie.”
Do any other doggone mysteries get better than this? You tell me.
This entry was posted on Sunday, January 17th, 2010 at 8:38 am and is filed under Chet The Dog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.