A clever update on Norbert Davis' Doan and Carstairs dog-and-dick team, Spencer Quinn's CHET AND BERNIE series goes the old pulpster one better: the stories are actually narrated by the pooch.
And the ever-upbeat, irrepressible Chet has quite the voice, pragmatic and non-judgemental, but in its own way saucier than a bowl of Gravy Train. A dropout from the police academy's K9 program (something about a cat -- let's not go there), this 100-pound mutt, with his one white ear and his one black one, is clever and loyal to a fault, and a suitably doggy 'tude that says he's seen it all, but he just doesn't understand humans sometimes. And, like his "master," an ace detective. You ought to see him sniff out clues.
His boss and partner, Bernie, meanwhile, is the head of the Little Detective Agency, a down-but-not-out gumshoe toiling under the relentless sun of the unnamed "Valley," somewhere on the West Coast, trying to cope with the all-too-human problems of divorce, child custody battles and overdue bills. Yet Bernie's an all-round decent guy, a dogged investigatorand still the "best all-around guy in any room, any time" (at least that's the way Chet sees it).
Although Quinn dodges the cutie-pieness and mawkish sentimentality of so many pet-and-detective cozies, he can't quite dodge sub-genre's penchant for excruciating puns (aka "puns so bad I wish I had thought of them"). I mean, really. A Fistful of Collars?
Now THAT'S GENIUS!!!
Chet and Bernie's creator, Spencer Quinn, lives on Cape Cod with his dog, Audrey. Or does he? Quinn is actually the pseudonym of suspense author Peter Abrahams.
Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
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