|Dog on It: A Chet and Bernie Mystery
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Meet Chet, the wise and lovable canine narrator of Dog on It, who works alongside Bernie, a down-on-his-luck private investigator. Chet might have flunked out of police school ("I'd been the best leaper in K-9 class, which had led to all the trouble in a way I couldn't remember exactly, although blood was involved"), but he's a detective through and through.
In this, their first adventure, Chet and Bernie investigate the disappearance of Madison, a teenage girl who may or may not have been kidnapped, but who has definitely gotten mixed up with some very unsavory characters. A well-behaved, gifted student, she didn't arrive home after school and her divorced mother is frantic. Bernie is quick to take the case -- something about a cash flow problem that Chet's not all that clear about -- and he's relieved, if vaguely suspicious, when Madison turns up unharmed with a story that doesn't add up. But when she disappears for a second time in a week, Bernie and Chet aren't taking any chances; they launch a full-blown investigation. Without a ransom demand, they're not convinced it's a kidnapping, but they are sure of one thing: something smells funny.
Their search for clues takes them into the desert to biker bars and other exotic locals, with Chet's highly trained nose leading the way. Both Chet and Bernie bring their own special skills to the hunt, one that puts each of them in peril. But even as the bad guys try to turn the tables, this duo is nothing if not resourceful, and the result is an uncommonly satisfying adventure.
With his doggy ways and his endearingly hardboiled voice, Chet is full of heart and occasionally prone to mischief. He is intensely loyal to Bernie, who, though distracted by issues that Chet has difficulty understanding -- like divorce, child custody, and other peculiar human concerns -- is enormously likable himself, in his flawed, all-too-human way.
- Two Paws Up!
This is such a fun read! I've never been a big reader of detective novels, but I love dogs and that's what got my attention. Chet's 'voice' was so dead on as he told this story, missing tidbits when he fell asleep or getting distracted by the smell of something. Being the owner of four marvelous mutts myself, I could SO understand exactly where he was coming from! Before I had even gotten a quarter of the way through the novel I was already telling people about how good it was. I commend Spencer Quinn for some very creative and enjoyable writing. ...more info
- Thumbs Way Up
I loved this book! I read it cover to cover, smiling all the way. Dog lovers, mystery lovers, hop on the Chet and Bernie wagon. This is a "can't miss" book....more info
- Best detective fiction I've read in a long, long time
I LOVE this book. I resisted reading this book but it sounded good from the list my library sent me of the new additions to their collections,so I reserved it. When I got it I still resisted picking it up - thinking it was another little cozy book. But shortly after reading the first chapter I couldn't put it down and I read it straight through. As soon as I was done - I didn't want it to end, I couldn't stop myself, I started reading it again! And I read it again the next week. Who, I ask you, reads a mystery again - and again! The voice narrating the story, is Chet,a lovely dog - and he's exactly as a dog would be if he could talk. And did I say it's pretty funny, too? You won't be sorry you've bought this book, if you like dogs and like to read a good mystery....more info
- Loved this book so glad it will be a series
This was a great book to read. Fun, funny and a mystery to boot. A nice quick read. Dog lovers will relate to Chet and Bernie. I loved it my 10 year old loved it too as well as the ladies in my book club. Two paws up!...more info
- You Can't Have It Both Ways
Reviewer: Renee S. N.Y.C.
Loved Chet, loved Bernie, thought the book was not bad for a first novel. The mystery was a little too easy to solve for an adult novel, but the relationship between man and dog made up for any lacks in the plot. And no, I didn't think it was meant to be YA, though I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it for YA readers. The reviewers who condemned it for bad language are living on another planet if they think there is anything in this book that teenagers haven't heard before.
I had just one problem with the book - the voice. If Chet is smart enough to have remembered and narrated the story, why is his memory so faulty during the course of events? Come on, Mr. Quinn - you can't have it both ways! Either Chet is an ordinary dog, with what I thought was a wonderful depiction of how a dog's mind works - the distractibility, the short - term in - the - present memory and the inability to understand many aspects of the human world, or he is The Narrator, who knows what he knows. Every time Chet switched from Narrator to dog, it jarred me right out of the story's flow. I hope Mr. Quinn will get it a little smoother in the next book. Can't wait to read it and meet those lovely partners again....more info
- Doggone Good...
Amusing, witty and interesting. I'll never look at my dogs in the same way again.. Great characters and I loved Chet....more info
- Funny & inventive
A new twist on a detective book --- from the dog's point of way. Very clever. I found myself laughing out loud at times. ...more info
- Can't Wait For a Sequel
This book is a really great, fun read. For the first time in a long time I can honestly say that once I picked this one up I could hardly put it down. If the author can keep up the quality I am guessing this could be the first in a very long series of books. At least that's what I am hoping will happen!...more info
- A Porsche by any other name (an open letter to Spencer Quinn)
I love this book. I love Chet, the dog. Bernie's okay too. But Chet -- "Chet the Jet" is awesome. I loved the book so much, when I came to the end, I turned to the front and began reading it again. As Chet would say, nothing better.
I am not a noir or mystery aficionado. The book is a rollicking, good-time read.
And now for my critique, Mr. Quinn: The Porsche. The Porsche. Bernie loves his Porsche. Chet loves the Porsche. Nothing better. So it breaks down. So what. It's a Porsche. Right?
One small problem: it's a front-engine Porsche. What the heck, Quinn? I mean, when you talk ~Porsche~ you're talking about air-cooled, two seats (with a "book shelf" seat in back), kidney-bouncing suspension, air-cooled and... wait for it... rear engine.
What is next?
Shall we come to learn that the biker gang was actually riding Harley-Davidson SS-250s???
So Spence, if it's not too much to ask, please make sure that Bernie drives a proper 911. Chet the Jet deserves as much.
Anything else would be a crime (or a moving violation, at the very least)....more info
- Good Read
Dog on It: A Chet and Bernie Mystery Just finished it. The story line was a little obvious, but the dialog with Chet the Dog as the narrator made the book a pleasure to read. I will definitely read the next book when it comes out! Move over Rin Tin Tin and Lassie, the Millenium has a new super K9.....Chet!...more info
- Dark cloud on the horizen?
So the groomer finds the knot/lump on Chet's back and leaves a note for Bernie and posts it on the door. It gets swept off and lands behind the recycle bin. Does this mean there's a medical threat looming in Chet's future??? I regret I did not have time to read all of the reviews so don't know if anyone else addressed this conundrum.
I wish Chet would be described better so we could fantasize about his heritage (different color ears doesn't quite fill the bill). I would have had the girl (or Suzie even) going back to the shelter and adopting the little puppy Chet mentions. I was hoping SOMEONE would take him. ...more info
- I'll ride along with Chet and Bernie any time!
First Line: I could smell him--or rather the booze on his breath--before he even opened the door, but my sense of smell is pretty good, probably better than yours.
I'd better get this off my chest first: when I was little, I'd never miss an episode of "Lassie" on television, even though Mom would make remarks about Lassie coming in to spell H-E-L-P in the mashed potatoes. I've been all grown up now (at least physically) for quite some time, and once I put childish things aside, I've never been a fan of talking animal books. Perhaps I'm entering my second childhood, but now I find myself a fan of a talking dog, and his name is Chet. (Actually he never does "talk"...he just thinks really loud.)
After a run-in with a cat, Chet flunked K-9 school and now finds himself a partner in the Little Detective Agency. Life with private investigator Bernie Little is tops in Chet's book, and when divorcee Cynthia Chambliss hires Bernie to find her missing fifteen-year-old daughter Madison, Chet is ready to get to work.
Although Quinn never comes right out and tells us where the book is set, he mentions saguaro cacti a few times, so that does an excellent job of narrowing down the location. Chet and Bernie are in Arizona. (Probably Phoenix after reading Bernie's comments about the growth of the city.) Told entirely from Chet's point of view, I enjoyed this book immensely--and not just because of Chet. Bernie is a very strong character, too, with his own highly developed smarts and his views on the environment. One of the pleasures of reading Dog On It was seeing everything from a canine perspective and wondering how the author would work those clues so that Bernie could pick them up and go to work on them himself. (Unlike Lassie, Chet can't leave messages in the spuds.)
Strong characters, a fast-paced engrossing plot, and the added bonus of seeing everything from a very different perspective makes this debut a fun read.
There has been quite a lot of speculation about author Spencer Quinn's true identity. Sarah Weinman seems to have figured it out. Chet also seems to be turning into quite the celebrity. He has his own blog, you can find him on Twitter, and he has his own Facebook page.
Here's to many more mysterious adventures with Chet and Bernie!
- Pure Delight!
By now, you must know all about this marvelous book and what a joy it is to read. I don't have a dog but Chet obviously represents the dog world with pride. Normally I like a complex mystery and this is not what I would call complex.
What it is is a charming and witty mystery novel with a reasonably simple plot. However, when Spencer Quinn chose to set up Chet as the narrator of the story, he clearly had a brilliant brain explosion.
He might have had Chet just listen and describe the developing plot around him but his choice to send Chet off on his own at points throughout the book help this book to reach the level of pure and fascinating entertainment.
He also doesn't make Chet too smart. Certain words and actions of humans confuse this dog and he is often puzzled by the people around him. That only adds to the joy of reading "Dog On It". And thank goodness for Chet's sense of wit. Chet's thoughts on birds, cats, lizards and humans all make for a lot of fun turning pages. Getting to know Bernie, the human private investigator through Chet's thoughts and eyes make Bernie all the more fascinating.
I read this book in two days and am looking forward to the next Chet and Bernie novel. I think that after you pick it up, your reaction will be the same.
- Utterly Charming
Spenser Quinn either has loved a dog or is one. In "Dog On It" he perfectly captures the both intensely focused and scatter-brained mind of a dog. Chet and his partner Bernie (those who don't know better might refer to Bernie as Chet's owner), are private eyes looking for a missing teenage girl. Chet is a very lovable, intelligent canine who sometimes gets, well, a little distracted. It is hard to stay on task when there are irritating birds or abandoned Cheerios around. Not to mention the memories of a great steak (with A.1. steak sauce) or the bark of a new female dog down the street....
The mystery of the missing girl is not a very difficult one to solve, but it provided a frame to hang the adventures of Chet and Bernie. What makes this book such a treasure is Chet and his way of looking at the world. Quinn does a great job of showing the many facets of Chet: caring, devoted to Bernie, preoccupied with food, great senses of sight and smell, but a horrible long term memory.
This is a very quick and enjoyable read with parts that are laugh out loud funny. I read it on my Kindle yesterday and now am ordering a "hard copy" so I can loan it out to the long list of friends who already want to borrow it. Highly recommend.
- Couldn't finish the "Dog On" thing
I forced myself to read to chapter 9 and gave up. The writing seemed a little plain to me, and the plot didn't hold my interest. The way Chet described what was going on was somewhat annoying and tedious, and his distractions were completely frustrating. I wanted him to stay focused on the main story. I guess I thought this dog would be a little more interesting than the average, everyday dog. 2 stars for some comedy, but other than that this book was mostly a waste of my time. Sorry, to all you fans who love it...maybe I will try it again someday down the road. Maybe....more info
- cute and humorous, but noir it's not
Lightweight and easy, after all the narrator is a dog. No big mysteries. But I did laugh and the story flew by. A perfect airport/beach read....more info
- A Story Written from a Dog's Point-of-View
Dog on It is a delightful story, narrated by Chet, the dog-partner of a private detective. Chet shares with us his endearing doggy insights into his adventures as he helps his partner, Bernie, solve the mystery of a missing girl. The descriptions of Chet's view of things truly seem what we would expect a dog to think. Focusing on interesting smells and the incessant quest for food, Chet saves his master, as he demonstrates the loyalty typical of a dog to his master. This highly enjoyable, humorous book is filled with enchanting comedy and is a must-read, especially for dog-lovers!...more info
- I am in love with a dog!
I loved this book! Quinn is one smart guy, and Chet is a truly wonderful literary creation. Bernie is good, too, but it was Chet who stole my heart. Quinn sticks to a dog's perspective so well that it makes the story magical--and funny, too! Because Chet relates what's happening even when he doesn't really understand it, the reader can follow the plot better than Chet can.
I ordered a free sample on my Kindle, and as soon as I read it, I just had to keep reading so I ordered the book! I should also mention the Kindle formatting was great.
Even folks who don't read mysteries will love this book!
- The most excited I've been about a book in a long time.
This is a great book for both mystery lovers and dog lovers. Spencer Quinn really puts a voice to how I imagine a dog would think. It is funny, and yet a very compelling mystery. All of the main characters are likeable and I want to spend time with them. I am very much looking forward to other books in this series. I have been recommending this book to anyone who will listen....more info
- dog's life
If you love dogs or like animals, you'll love this book. My only criticism is that the solution to the crime was obvious way before the book revealed the answer. However, the telling of the story from the dog's point of view was a great twist and executed to perfection. In fact, most of the suspense comes from the situations Chet manages to get himself into and how he gets out. As I read the story and looked at my dog, I appreciated the accuracy of the writer's observations about man's best friend and the way dogs seem to think. Of course, Chet is a bit smarter than the average dog, but why not? It makes for a good story....more info
- An interesting idea
I read it and liked it. I'll probably read the sequel just to give Quinn a second chance. Having Chet speak in present tense would have been more fun I think. Chet's short memory would have been supported by present tense. But it was okay all in all....more info
- Creative, fun read for anyone who appreciates canine companionship
Spencer Quinn's "Dog On It" is a fun read for anyone who appreciates canine companionship and believes that there's a lot of intelligence going on in their doggies' heads. The shtick here is that Chet, trusty companion to his P.I. owner, Bernie, is both narrator and equal partner in the enterprise. Chet's got his own narrative going on about the case they're working on. The frustrating thing is that he can't communicate it all that well to Bernie...just like he can't quite figure out how to work that doorknob when he's locked in the house.
Quinn's take on canine-dom seems spot-on to me: just when you think Chet's got super-doggie powers, his pooch-centric narration is interrupted by treats, food left on the ground, cats, cat smell, annoying pet birds, far-off 'she-barks', pal Iggy's yapping, a good scratch behind the ears, etc., etc. etc...pretty much how I imagine a dog's brain to work. ...more info
- Absolutely hilarious!
This is one of the most enjoyable books I've read in a long time. Not one that you have to put a lot of cerebral interaction with, admittedly, but very entertaining in a "feel good" kinda of way. I feel like Chet is really speaking to me. Now I know why my dog, Gus, does some of the things he does -- it's all natural! (((smile))) ...more info
- More fun than mystery
This book is definitely geared towards people who want a fun read with interesting characters. The plot is based around Bernie being hired to investigate the disappearance of a young girl whom he is certain has been kidnapped despite no ransom being made. As a mystery novel, well, it was a bit obvious and straight forward. But it's pretty obvious that the author didn't intend on writing a hardcore detective mystery... otherwise he wouldn't have dropped quite so many clues about what was going on! The interesting thing about this book is the way it gives you a two-way insight into the mystery itself because Chet (the narrating dog) knows information that Bernie (his owner) doesn't, and Chet doesn't have Bernie's understanding of human behaviour, so you tend to piece all the bits together yourself. But at the end of the day, it's more about Chet, his personality and his relationship with the slightly down and out Bernie. You can't help but get wrapped up in Chet. I found myself egging him on every time he knew more than the humans, or "tsk"ing when he was too busy scarfing up moulding snacks from under furniture and totally missed a crucial piece of information. Even the glaringly, over-the-top coincident that saves the day on a very close call (occurrences that usually irritate me to no end) was forgiven just because I was enjoying the adventure too much. ...more info
- I'll never look at my dog in the same way again
I will never look at my beloved dog in the same light again. I will always wonder exactly what he is thinking as he looks at me or reacts to a certain situation. This book is delightfuland and still keeps the mystery afloat. I certainly look forward to a sequel.........
- A Very Enjoyable Read
Dog On It is a thoroughly delightful story about Chet the Jet and his best friend Bernie Little. The mystery of the missing girl is what drives the plot, but it was Chet's thoughts and observations that continually brought smiles and laughter to my reading experience. If you like dogs, or if you have a dog, or if you are just thinking about wanting to have a dog, then I would be willing to bet that you would enjoy reading this story. Chet is a loyal, true blue companion, willing to quickly forgive any of his partner's short-comings, and visa-versa. Chet gives the reader emotional and humorous insights into why "his guys" have become man's best friend. "Don't get me started on the uselessness of the human nose." "Bernie's brains and my nose, we were unbeatable."...more info
- 4 1/2 Stars -- What An Enjoyable Read!
Dog On It is the first book by Spencer Quinn in a new mystery series featuring Chet and Bernie, who are partners in The Little Detective Agency. What makes this book extremely fun and uniquely enjoyable is that the detective, Chet, the narrator in the book, is a very lovable and wise dog. He's in charge of security in the partnership, and Bernie, his human partner (and owner but don't tell Chet that) is the planner and chief decision maker. In Dog On It, Chet and Bernie are hired to investigate the disappearance of a teenage girl who may or may not have been kidnapped. Bernie decides to take the case due to a cash flow problem -- a problem that Chet is not all that clear about. If you are a dog lover (primarily), as I am, and a mystery fan (more secondarily), I think you'll be a big fan of this book and especially of Chet. It's really Chet -- moreso than the mystery itself, which is entertaining albeit pretty predictable -- that drove my strong interest in the book and made it hard for me to tear myself away from reading it. Chet, with his doggy ways and his endearingly hard-boiled voice, is full of heart, occasionally prone to mischief and intensely loyal to Bernie. Bernie is also a very likable guy, though flawed in his "human" ways that Chet at times finds difficult to understand. I'm looking forward to Quinn's next book in this series so that I can trail along with Chet and Bernie on their next case....more info
- Chet, the carnivorous canine narrator, has found his "Voice"
Chet, the carnivorous canine narrator, has found his unique "Voice". He is a lovable character, who is sufficiently humble to admit being a Police Academy K-9 dropout. However, his brilliance and bravery know no bounds. He deals with getting knifed, tasered and razored, as if it's all in a day's work. Chet is a funny, witty dog, who is consistently loyal and loving to his human partner Bernie (the P.I. with financial issues). But, watch out if you are a "bad guy", and Chet senses a scent of wrongdoing. He will lunge first, and ask questions later, maybe. Or, as he so aptly puts it, "I have Bernie's back, and he has mine......sometimes, there's blood involved....." His wisdom is uncanny, his memory exceptional, and his philosophy of life is simple yet witty (ie: Is it important to have 2 matching ears?).
Hope this unique twosome returns with a sequel soon. Looking forward to the movie, where Chet will manifest visually, too. (According to the blog, movie rights for this book were snapped up in February!)
This book was a dog-gone good read. The intriguing plot was secondary to the character development and interplay between Bernie and Chet. It almost seemed like a reversal of the expected, with Bernie operating on instinct, and Chet thinking practically. (For example, he hopes Bernie has more 2-for-1 coupons at their favorite restaurant, since he favors steak over kibble, but they're down on their luck financially.). There are times, however, when Chet's wolf ancestry comes to the forefront; like when he is Woof Woofing with his next door neighbor Iggy, ("he barked, then I barked, then he barked, then I barked, etc.....), or daydreaming about the she dog barking off in the distance.
It is quite apparent that Spencer Quinn has spent much of his life immersed in doggy culture. Even before his current pet, Audrey. As a fellow dog fancier, I recognize his understanding and insight into their behavioral quirks and endearing qualities. Enjoyed this book so much, I plan on re-reading it once more, to get a better handle on the admirable interspecies partnership, between Bernie and Chet. Chet's narration made me laugh alot, and tear up occasionally, touching an emotional chord deep inside.
Can you tell I really loved it?
author of "Boomerang - A Miracle Trilogy (The tale of a remarkable Boston Terrier)"...more info
- I want MORE Chet
All I can say is that I hope this is the 1st of many Chet and Bernie adventures...such a delight!...more info
- Doggone Good...
Amusing, witty and interesting. I'll never look at my dogs in the same way again.. Great characters and I loved Chet....more info