Thereby Hangs a Tail
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.