Thereby Hangs a Tail
Spencer Quinn
ISBN: 978-1-4165-8586-2


Thereby Hangs a Tail, the second in Spencer Quinn’s Chet and Bernie Mystery series, finds detective Bernie Little and his canine sidekick Chet doggie-bone deep in the cut throat world of show dog competition. The story is narrated in first person by Chet, offering a fresh interesting perspective. They initially become involved, he and Bernie, when hired by Adelina Borghese to protect her show dog Princess after receiving a threatening note in the mail. Bodyguarding a dog isn’t this detective duo’s favorite assignment, but the money’s good and they need it. Before Bernie can say “blue ribbon,” both Adelina and Princess have been kidnapped. Bernie is then hired by Adelina’s husband, Count Borghese, to find the pair, but the case becomes personal when Bernie discovers his newspaper reporter girlfriend, Suzie Sanchez, has also disappeared.

Chet and Bernie sniff out leads and follow a trail of clues until a few suspects are in jail. Borghese seems to be satisfied with the outcome, but Bernie knows something is amiss. He sees through the clever set ups, corrupt cops, and paid-off sources. After Chet helps him find a dead body, Bernie doesn’t rest until he discovers the true culprit.

“Is this a great book or what?” as Chet would say. Whodunit was easy to predict, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading the story because of Chet’s clever comical narration. I love this dog, and I’m not a dog person. The reader hears his unique voice consistently throughout the story. Chet is easily distracted and prone to following mental rabbit trails. Being a dog, he doesn’t comprehend common cultural expressions. His literal interpretations lend humor. For example, “cat got your tongue” and “something the cat dragged in” especially confound him. Chet hates cats.

I love this book, have I mentioned that already? And according to Chet, he’s got plenty more stories to tell.

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28 thoughts on “THEREBY HANGS A TAIL by Spencer Quinn

  1. ‘Thereby Hangs A Tail’ is one of my favorite books! As are all the books in the Chet and Bernie series. I especially love each one for different reasons. Each book is unique and builds upon the last as we learn more and more about Bernie and his best friend Chet. There are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments as well as scary and exciting moments. No one should miss out on this series, not even Cat Lovers.

  2. This book is my favorite, because I'm in it. I'm Sam from over there on the Chet The Dog blog and the part of the book starring Princess is me! When the book is made into a movie, I will be playing the role of Princess – just after I can get my family to let my hair grow.

    1. I see some of the Dogs from Chet’s Blog are posting over here. Do you guys really believe that you are Dogs? Or is this just a way to try and emulate the author in the way he writes the character of Chet? Either way, it is a hoot and makes for a crazy blog.

      1. Dear Mr. ABone,
        That is some name you have there. Have you ever buried a bone? I haven't, but I do get to chew on them occasionally even though I am a cat. I prefer pork ribs myself.

      2. Mr. Abone, not everyone on Chet's Blot is a dog or cat…there are some 2-leggeds that post there as well. All are welcome….Come on over!

  3. I also love the Chet and Bernie books. Each one has me hanging on edge of my seat, holding my breadth, when Chet is in a dangerous spot. I laugh out loud at other parts of the book. And somehow, I get the feeling that my own doggies are right there with me, enjoying these exciting and fun mysteries. If you haven't read all 3 books so far (the 4th one comes out Sept. 6), what are you waiting for? Whether you are a dog lover, a cat lover, or just a mystery lover, you are going to enjoy these stories immensely.

  4. Thereby Hangs a Tail is my favorite Chet and Bernie mystery to date. The relationship/friendship that evolves between Chet and Princess is inspiring. It made me realize that if humans could learn dog wisdom, the world might be a better place.

    1. Betty, I really liked that part of the book, too. Almost like a little romance for Chet. He was so tender and caring for her. And she really seemed to like him, too. He was her hero.

      1. Angie: Chet saved Princess (kept her warm at night in the desert) and when Chet was in trouble with a chain around his neck, Princess bit the ankle of the bad guy. (Little but mighty!) Then she sticks her tongue out at the judge at the end and wins the blue ribbon. When Chet runs down to the show ring they "went wild" and acted the way dogs should act. It was all about honesty overcoming pretension and vanity. That's what I liked, though I'm not explaining it well.

  5. I am excited that a new Chet and Bernie mystery is coming out. Each one seems to be better than the last one. I never used to like dogs that much but Chet has changed my mind. I seem to understand them better now that I have met him. Maybe it would be OK to have a dog join the household. Only a nice one that likes cats though.

  6. I am a Friend of Chet, and I post on his blog. Heck, I even won Friend of the Month earlier in the summer!

    1. Dear Mr. Abone,
      The Friend of the Month is a high honor on the blog. You get to have your picture up on the blog for a whole month and you get a signed (and Paw printed) copy of the latest ChettheDog book. I believe it will be TDWKTM starting in September.
      Buddy was the first cat FOM. We are all very proud (and jealous) of him.

  7. TDWKTM=The Dog Who Knew Too Much…the 4th book in the Chet & Bernies series…comes out Sept. 6.

    1. So how does it work? How does one win this high honor of Friend of the Month? Do you have to be a dog or cat to win a book?

  8. Mr.Abone – you do need to come on over and jump into the Chets Blog pool! The dry sense of humor, the willingness to talk to Kats and Dogs…yuup, you would fit right in.
    To become Friend of the Month, you just have to post a picture on the Blog under Friends of Chet. A very scientific and complicated Random something Generator selects one friend every month and they get the place of honor and the book. Be forewarned – woe betide the Friend of the Month who joins not in the frivolity of the blog during their reign.

    1. Hmmm. I don’t know about fitting in, but I do like Abrahams more hard core suspense thrillers. Do you know when he will be publishing another one of these type books?

      1. I haven’t heard anything about a new suspense thriller coming out any time soon. I do know the first book in a new middle school series will be published this coming January. Lots of people who read the Chet and Bernie series also enjoy his Echo Falls series right along with his adult fiction. All are extremely well written with great story lines.

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