‘The Sound and the Furry’ by Spencer Quinn: Pure Chet and Bernie mystery fun

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Rating: 4 1/2 stars

Spencer Quinn’s Chet and Bernie mystery series has a lot of fans and with good reason. With the latest in the series, “The Sound and the Furry,” Quinn (also known as Peter Abrahams) again brings his particular style of mystery joie de vivre to his readers.

Bernie, of the Little Detective Agency (Bernie’s last name is Little), and Chet, the almost-K-9 (who unfortunately flunked out of K-9 school at the end due to an unfortunate incident with a cat), take their partnership from the dry Arizona desert to steamy Louisiana.

There’s a mystery to be solved, and leave it to Chet, with some assistance from Bernie, to solve the crime. As usual there are lots of suspects, lots of threads to be untangled, and lots of confusion. But Quinn, as usual, comes through at the end with it all neatly tied in a bow, crime solved, bad guys in custody, and Chet riding shotgun in the Porsche.

Chet learns a lot about himself in the deep South — namely that he doesn’t like alligators named Iko.

The beauty in Quinn’s writing is immediately apparent to anyone who has a dog. Chet, the narrator of all the stories, tells it all from a doggy point of view. And, like all dogs, he’s interested in food, smells, more food and more smells.

For example, “I’m pretty good at remembering who smells like what, hard to explain why, just one of the things I bring to the table at the Little Detective Agency. But as for where I’d picked up this particular scent before, the answer refused to come forward in my mind…All of a sudden I wanted to lift my leg — just a notion, of course — against this hat stand Lord had in his front hall. You’d probably get some different sort of notion.”

“The Sound and the Furry” includes family feuds, drug dealers, a shrimp heist, oil wells, a hungry alligator, a stolen dog, a kidnapped inventor, and, of course, lots of bad guys. It’s lots of fun, lots of excitement, and an overall good read. Don’t miss it.

For those wanting to start the series at the beginning, “Dog On It” was the first book; then “Thereby Hangs a Tail,” “To Fetch a Thief,” “The Dog Who Knew Too Much,” and “A Fistful of Collars.”

Please note: This review is based on the final hardcover book provided by the publisher, Atria Books, for review purposes.