"If your dog doesn't like someone you probably shouldn't either." - Unknown
I love Spring, and not just because of the sprouting flowers, soft sunshine, and life's possibilities budding anew.
It's time for new book releases, and that's when author Spencer Quinn makes me want to dance with glee. Spencer writes a wonderful series of mysteries about Chet the dog and his human, Bernie Little. Chet and Bernie are detectives; loyalty and unconditional love are the hallmarks of their special relationship (for more about Chet and Bernie, read my review of 'The Dog Who Knew Too Much' from September 2011).
Chet narrates each book in the series: 'Dog On It', 'Thereby Hangs a Tail', 'To Fetch a Thief', and 'The Dog Who Knew Too Much'. Each is delightful and funny, but make no mistake: Suspense is very present, and the 'perps' are unscrupulous.
'A Fistful of Collars' is the newest entry in the series, and, like the previous novels, impossible to put down. And you really don't have to be a dog lover to appreciate them. Chet is the most likable hero; solid, a bit distracted (who wouldn't be when a cat comes waltzing by while you're working on a case?). And his partner, his Bernie, loves and respects Chet with his whole heart. Their partnership is more than just a working one; Chet cares for Bernie, watches out for him, while Bernie has nothing but Chet's best interests at heart. These stories grab me, make me laugh and cry, but most of all, help me understand a dog's POV a whole lot more. I suspect Spencer Quinn is part dog. Read the books; you'll likely agree.
Bernie and Chet have been handed a plum assignment: They have been offered a job as 'babysitters' for Thad Perry, a badboy mega-movie star who is filming in their town. But when an old, unsolved murder rears it's head, Bernie and Chet discover that Thad has ties to the area that go way back.
As much as I loved the premise, the mystery that I want to see solved is that of the strange little visitor to their neighborhood. His howl is similar to Chet's. It's not hard to figure out.
Perhaps Mr. Quinn will grace us with two canine narrators. If he does, I'll gladly howl at the moon.
'A Fistful of Collars' will be released in September 2012, by Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster. If you plan on taking some books on vacation, I recommend this delightful series.