Rating: 5 stars
Spencer Quinn, aka Peter Abrahams, is the author of the popular (and New York Times bestselling) “Chet and Bernie” series about a private detective dog-and-human team.
Told from Chet’s point of view (the dog), the narrative tends to get cleverly interrupted by such things as wonderful aromas, fire hydrants, other dogs, and, of course, rawhide bones. The muse behind the idea to write about a doggie detective? Abrahams’ wife, of course.
In town to sign copies of his newest release, “A Fistful of Collars,” which had just made the New York Times bestselling list, Abrahams agreed to an interview. He is charming and modest. He hates to brag and he loves his family.
What inspired him to write about a detective and a dog?
Abrahams said, “At dinner one night, my wife said I should do something about dogs.” Although he had included dogs in his other stories, he knew right away that he wanted the dog to tell the story in first person. But he didn’t want a talking dog.
That night, he jumped right in. He wrote the first page of “Dog On It.” It was easy in a sense, he said, because he’s had dogs his whole life and he loves dogs. Diana, his wife and the inspiration behind the Chet and Bernie series, reads all his work-in-progress.
Throughout the series, there have been ongoing plots and one of the most fascinating at the end of the most recent book, “A Fistful of Collars,” is whether the puppy seen in the neighborhood is really Chet’s progeny. And who might the mother be?
Abrahams did say that more information will be included in the next book, which takes place in New Orleans. Of course, with bayou country all around, a new character is Iko, the alligator. Also, in the sixth book, the real location of the series finally is pinpointed.
Abrahams’ editor bestowed a working title on the next book, “A Dog House Named Desire.” Quinn fans will be “desiring” the next book soon. The series is like potato chips — you can’t have just one.
Adults who enjoy Chet and Bernie might want to introduce the next generation to Abraham’s books. “The Outlaws of Sherwood Street” is a great adventure series. The first one is titled “Stealing from the Rich,” and the next book in the series, (predictably) “Giving to the Poor,” will be coming out next May.