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Chet and Bernie mysteries by Spenser Quinn


One of the most pleasant discoveries I made last year was the mystery series featuring Chet the dog and Bernie Little of the Little Detective Agency, set in modern day California. Bernie is an Iraq vet, a divorced dad whose soft-hearted personality makes him sometimes reluctant to collect his fees. Chet is a former police dog, who flunked out of K-9 school on the last day due to an incident which remains fuzzy, though may have involved a cat. His best friend is Iggy, a terrier who lives with the elderly couple next door. Suzie, a reporter for the local paper, is feisty and independent. She and Bernie have a tentative romantic relationship and she often helps with his investigations.
What makes this series unique is that the stories are narrated by Chet. Before you roll your eyes thinking this makes them cutesy, let me assure you that’s not the case. Nor is Chet one of those wisecracking, smarter-than-human dogs such as Brian on the Family Guy cartoons. His is definitely a canine viewpoint, which feels authentic; full of loyalty, humor and distracted by the smell of bacon.
I’m not sure what breed Chet is, it’s never specified. In one book, some bystanders asked Bernie if Chet was a wolf, which makes him sound like a German Shepherd/Alsatian, but it’s usually a Border Collie pictured on the covers, though that’s not a breed often used as police dogs. Perhaps his breed is deliberately left vague, to let the reader fill it in to their liking?
The series began in 2009 with Dog On It and now contains 4 books. Not only are they engaging mysteries, but incorporate issues such as exotic animal smuggling, bullying and domestic violence, among others, weaving them through suspenseful investigations. I’m looking forward to the future adventures of Chet and Bernie, which will hopefully include many more books in this series.

Atria Books each aprox. 300 pp. Available in traditional and ebook formats

Chet has his own website as well as a fan page on Facebook (look for Chet The Dog).

3 comments on “Chet and Bernie mysteries by Spenser Quinn

  1. Shelley
    January 31, 2012

    My pound puppy just put this book on his TBR list.

  2. Stevie Carroll
    February 12, 2012

    Those look fun.

  3. Janet
    April 16, 2022

    Chet’s breed, like the books, is a mystery. I favour the German shepherd, nothing smaller, as the wolf-like narrator (Chet himself) frequently boasts of weighing a hundred pounds plus.

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This entry was posted on January 30, 2012 by in eBooks, Entries by Jackie, Fiction: 21st Century, Fiction: humour, fiction: mystery and tagged , , , , .

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