Summer continues in the most brilliant way here in the Pacific Northwest. We haven't had rain for quite a while, and while I enjoy the sunny days, I consider this one a nuisance. I have the flu, and no amount of air conditioning is going to make me feel better.
I have stayed in my pajamas all day while I consume massive quantities of ginger ale and toast. Children's screams of joy and activity from the nearby swimming pool have been barely tolerated. In fact, it's been keeping me from proper rest. I could easily stand on my balcony and tell everyone to shut up, but that wouldn't be neighborly, would it?
So, I read. Stacks of new advance reading copies sit on a table near the sofa, and while they all look wonderful, I have chosen the one that I've been eagerly waiting for.
Locked away from the outside world, I opened Spencer Quinn's new book, 'The Sound and the Furry' and immediately fell into Chet and Bernie's newest adventure.
Chet the dog is the narrator once again, and a better one you'll never find (I still swear that Mr. Quinn is part dog). Full of love and friendship, with a dollop of worry, this continuation of the story of the two private eyes is a welcome addition to this hilarious series.
While out on a drive, Chet and Bernie come upon a prison work crew and find Frenchie Boutette, a man they helped send to jail. Frenchie asks Bernie and Chet for help in finding his missing brother, Ralph, somewhere in New Orleans. But before they can leave, they are attacked by a gang called the Quieros. Although Bernie has been offered another job in Alaska (with a bigger payday), he decides to help Frenchie, instead. The Boutette family has a long-running feud with the Robideau family, and at first, Bernie thinks the Robideau's had something to do with Ralph's disappearance due to a dispute over a missing load of shrimp. But when Bernie discovers a hidden clue, the search takes a dangerous turn. Soon, the duo is fighting Big Oil, black ops, the Quieros, and Iko the vicious alligator.
The 'Chet and Bernie' series is interesting, but it is Chet's narrative voice that drives this series well above others. His voice, while pure canine, is full of devotion, love, pride, and furry excitement. Chet is weak when food is involved; no matter how attentive to duty he tries to be, a Slim Jim can drive him to distraction.
So, if you're suffering from a cold or the flu during this incredible heat wave the whole U.S. seems to be experiencing, take a load off and begin reading this wonderful mystery series. You'll get some good laughs, you'll cry a few tears (the tear-inducing moment in this new story is especially tissue-worthy), and you'll celebrate the love and friendship shared by two very interesting private investigators.
As for me, it made me feel quite a bit better.
Laughter, it seems, is the best medicine.
'The Sound and the Furry' will be released in early September 2013 by Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster.