To Fetch a Thief
To Fetch a Thief is the third installment in Spencer Quinn’s Chet and Bernie mystery series. Like its two predecessors, it is a fast-paced and funny story involving the two principle characters, Chet the dog and his owner Bernie Little (partners at The Little Detective Agency).
To Fetch a Thief begins with Chet and Bernie slogging through yet another divorce case. “We hated divorce work, me and Bernie – our specialty was missing persons.” Luckily for the two, that would change when their client handed them tickets to the circus. Upon their arrival, they are disappointed to find that the evening’s performance has been cancelled, due to the disappearance of Peanut the elephant and her trainer. Before you can say “Ladies and Gentlemen,” Chet and Bernie are hired by the trainer’s partner, and the detectives soon set out on a trail that leads them from their home (somewhere in the Southwest) over the border into Mexico, where they run into some very nasty perps (as Chet refers to the bad guys, who he is certain will end up wearing orange jump suits.)
If you haven’t read either of the previous books in the series, it may take you a page or two to get used to Chet’s narration, after all, he is a dog. Quinn makes sure that you remember that, as Chet gives a running play of the story’s action from his limited attention span, which is often interrupted by thoughts of chicken, his inability to count past two, and his opinion of peoples’ shoes. Quinn’s interpretation of life through a dog’s senses is dead on (as best as I can tell anyway). There is a hilarious scene that any dog owner will appreciate between Chet and Peanut and . . . ‘marking.’ Let’s just say that a dog is no
match for an elephant.
Chet’s partner in detection is Bernie Little, a former Iraq vet who is divorced from his wife, and suffering from financial deficiencies. Bernie is a likable character, and well developed despite the fact that the reader must rely on Chet’s understanding of his thoughts and motivations. From Chet’s point of
view, Bernie has all of the qualities that a dog looks for in a human: smart, loyal, good company and an excellent scratcher.
To Fetch a Thief is a great read for fans of detective stories, or anyone who’s ever wondered what goes through their dogs mind during the course of the day.