‘It’s a Wonderful Woof’ by Spencer Quinn is another thrilling Chet and Bernie mystery with lots of holiday charm

It’s a Wonderful Woof by Spencer Quinn

Chet and Bernie (in that order; Chet the dog always comes first!) have appeared in eleven mysteries before this one, and their fans adore them, especially Chet, the intrepid almost K-9 who can smell fear, grab a gun, dig out important clues, and accidentally uncover evidence. Of course, he doesn’t admit that the evidence uncovering is accidental—it just looks like he’s brilliant. But Chet is the first to admit that he leaves the heavy thinking to Bernie, the human part of the private investigation team of the Little Detective Agency.

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‘Tender Is the Bite’ by Spencer Quinn is the latest lovable entry in the Chet and Bernie series

eTender is the Bite by Spencer Quinn

There’s a reason that in the title of this series, “Chet and Bernie,” the dog’s name comes first. As with all the other mysteries in the series, in “Tender is the Bite,” Chet, the almost-K9 shepherd, narrates the tale of his and Bernie’s adventures. Quinn presents this narration brilliantly, and it seems that with each new Chet and Bernie book, Chet’s narration gets better and better. Through Chet’s eyes (and ears and nose, which—no offense—are far superior to ours), we simultaneously know more and less that Bernie does. It’s a delicate balance, writing from the dog’s point of view, and Quinn has it nailed.

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‘Of Mutts and Men’ by Spencer Quinn is the newest Chet and Bernie mystery

mutts and men

In “Of Mutts and Men,” the charming man and dog duo of Chet and Bernie are solving crimes together again, courtesy of Spencer Quinn, who writes as fabulous a dog narrative as anyone. Chet is the four-legged narrator who allows us to participate, albeit virtually, in how the two intrepid detectives solve the crime of one Wendell Nero, a hydrologist who was found with his throat cut, while working at the remote Dollhouse Canyon.

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‘Heart of Barkness’ by Spencer Quinn: Don’t miss this tail-wagging adventure

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“Heart of Barkness” by Spencer Quinn brings back mystery-lovers’ favorite four-legged detective, Chet, with his sidekick, the two-legged Bernie Little. It’s Bernie Little’s detective agency, but both Chet and Bernie are very aware that it takes two to solve most mysteries. That’s why whenever Bernie introduces himself to someone, he introduces both of them. Chet and Bernie are a team and they are inseparable.

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‘Bow Wow: A Bowser and Birdie Novel’ by Spencer Quinn is the 3rd in this Dog-Narrated Series for Children


Young readers love books about dogs and Spencer Quinn’s series about Bowser and Birdie is no exception. “Bow Wow” is the third book in the series that began with “Woof” and continued with “Arf.” Adults might be familiar with Quinn’s series about Chet and Bernie, which features the fabulous detective dog Chet, whose narrative sounds suspiciously like that of Bowser.

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


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.