Thursday, September 22, 2011

'The Dog Who Knew Too Much'

"Bookselling must be a dream job!"  That's a remark I've heard countless times during my many years of bookselling.  But they are right:  Bookselling is a 'dream job'.  

If you read often, you know that there comes a time when you have no idea what you want to read next.  That's when a good bookseller comes into play.  You could always go to an online store, but you won't get the satisfaction of talking to an actual person who will give you an honest opinion/review about a book you've plucked off a shelf.  I'm one of those honest booksellers, and the best part is 'playing the detective'.  "Do you have a favorite author, or genre, or hobby?"  It's fun.  It's demanding.  And it's worth it when the customer comes back a few days later and asks me for another recommendation.

The 'Chet and Bernie' mystery series, by Spencer Quinn,  is one of my most successful recommendations for light, entertaining reading.  But for me, it's more than a mystery series.  The thing that brings me back is the special relationship between Chet the dog, and his partner, Bernie, a private investigator.  They are close, no doubt about it; they read each other so well.  But, for me, the icing on the cake is the fact that Chet narrates each story.  He's real, he's delightful.  Sometimes I wonder if Mr. Quinn is part dog.  It wouldn't surprise me because he captures Chet's essence in such an humorous way.

'The Dog Who Knew Too Much' is the fourth book in the series, and it doesn't disappoint.  Chet and Bernie are hired to find a missing boy who had been staying at a wilderness camp.  Their investigation leads to a very dark discovery, one which threatens both man and beast.  And if that isn't bad enough, a stray puppy who resembles Chet arrives in the neighborhood.

Although the books are a 'quick read', I can almost guarantee that you will go back to them, time and again.  It is the bond between man and canine, along with Chet's boundless curiosity and unconditional love, that drives this series onto best-seller lists.

Everyone should have a Chet like this in their lives.

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