‘Paw and Order’ by Spencer Quinn: The 7th in the Chet and Bernie tails

paw and order

Rating: 5 stars

“Paw and Order: A Chet and Bernie Mystery” by Spencer Quinn continues the adventures of private detective Bernie Little and his faithful dog and narrator, Chet. Chet makes a great narrator, until he smells a Slim Jim or other savory meats.

Distractions? There are many for Chet including other dogs, guinea pigs (in this story), running toilets, and expensive leather briefcases. Luckily for readers, Chet manages to include plenty of information — enough to help the reader put together the clues. And the lucky readers get the info right from the dog’s mouth, so to speak. The readers, indeed, know more than poor hapless Bernie, whose integrity and high moral standards keep him from striking it big.

He helps those who need it and refuses to take cases from those he doesn’t trust. Not a way to get rich. But Bernie is rich in his association with Chet, a K9 who flunked out of the police academy on the last day.

Bernie’s girlfriend Suzie, a journalist, has moved to Washington, D.C. After “The Sound and the Furry,” which took place in New Orleans, Chet and Bernie decide on an impromptu visit to Suzie. That visit leads to much intrigue and political mayhem. The fate of the country may just rest on Bernie’s ability to find the bad guys — with Chet’s help, of course.

Quinn’s doggy narration is perfect. Take it from a reader with more dogs than most — Chet is lovable and doggy smart. He’s distractible and yet dependable, attentive and athletic, mischievous and marvelous. Bernie trusts him implicitly and Chet trusts Bernie totally. They are quite the pair. And they have quite the following. Chet even has his own website.

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

(Note: This is a reprint of an earlier article)