Monday, June 11, 2012

Dog on It ~ Spencer Quinn review

Dog on It (Chet and Bernie Mystery #1)
February 10, 2009
305 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon
- Boxset of the first two books (Dog on It & Thereby Hangs a Tail on Kindle and nook)

While it's not one of the new books I need to be finishing (getting there!!), Dog on It was insanely enjoyable and I don't, for a second, regret diverting my attention to it. Told in the first person - er, canine - by Chet, a police K-9 school almost graduate and current partner to Bernie a private investigator, Dog on It is likely unlike anything you've ever read before.

He may be a dog, but he's also, most definitely a detective and as Bernie and Chet investigate the disappearance - and maybe kidnapping - of a teenage girl more and more trouble, and bad characters find them. Chet may not understand everything Bernie worries about (his divorce, custody of his son, money - cash flow specifically) but he certainly proves all the sayings about the loyalty of dogs.

As they investigate we learn more about their personal lives - and Chet's taste in treats - and their past, specifically just what may have caused Chet to become a police school flunk out.

Insanely fun but also so, so good, you'll have trouble putting it down for anything. You'll also be sorry when it's over (despite a fantastic ending), but don't worry because it's just the first in a series with three more already out and the fifth in the series releasing in September.

Telling things from the dog's point-of-view is a great way to do things. It allows author Spencer Quinn to take certain liberties with the story: Chet zones out on parts of conversations that he finds boring, forgets certain parts of past events, tries to remember things but they tend to remind him of a bone he buried somewhere, or he just decides to take a nap. It's a great way to give readers a first person account of the story without giving us the whole story - or it seeming strange that we only get half conversations or stories.

It also allows for some fantastic humor: (After a mom tells her kid how he yawned means Chet's aggressive) "First of all, I wasn't yawning, only stretching my mouth, always nice and relaxing. Second, I wasn't feeling aggressive: She must have been confusing me with hippos, ugly brutes I'd seen on the Discovery Channel and wanted no part of..." (pg 45.)

Not only do I love, love Chet and find little bits of my different dogs in him, I also love that the mystery of Dog on It is strong as well. It doesn't take a backseat to being a cutesy dog book (nor, really, is it a cutesy dog book, I'm pretty sure Chet would find that insulting).

I'm beyond excited to read more in this series and hope we continue to get more about Bernie and see his character develop as well - I love seeing him through Chet's eyes.

If you love mysteries, love dogs at all (or can even put up with them), this is a book for you.

Rating: 9/10

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