A Book Review Column by The Colorado Canines and Jodene


A Chet and Bernie Mystery

by Spencer Quinn

October is known as a shadowy and eerie month so we thought we would review a gripping mystery.  In the July issue of Dogpawfile Magazine we reviewed Dog on It , a simultaneously intriguing,  and  amusing mystery that introduced you to Chet and Bernie.  Chet and Bernie are a dog and man private investigation team who go together like biscuits and gravy .  In Thereby Hangs a Tail, they are once again on the trail of a sinister crime.

In this work, Chet and Bernie find themselves in the glamorous and sometimes ruthless world of dog shows.  Initially, the team is hired to investigate threats made against one of the top show dogs in the country, fluffy little Princess.  In the beginning  it truly seems like just a “fluff” job,  but it turns much more serious when Princess and her wealthy owner are both abducted.  Add to that, the disappearance of Bernie’s (on again, off again) girlfriend, a reporter covering the dog show and the Princess story.  Now it’s more than a job, it’s personal.

The investigation leads the duo to a ghost town where strange things are happening.  The pair become separated and the text leaves you wondering if they will ever be reunited. Together and alone, they encounter quite a cast of supporting characters: the rich husband who calls himself a Count, a dubious  sheriff and deputy, a disgruntled dog handler, and two hippies stuck in the 60’s.

This mystery, filled with danger and peril, will keep you on the edge of your seat .  Be assured, however, that all is not serious business.  Remember,  the story is narrated by Chet, the clever dog with one white ear and one black ear.  He speaks to us in human language, but he does not always quite understand the words as evidenced by Bernie’s discussion with Lieutenant Stine and Chet’s reaction:

(Bernie inquired as to clues in a limo and it’s driver)

“Nada,” the lieutenant said, “Went over the limo. It was clean.  Questioned the driver and that trainer lady.  They didn’t see diddley.”

(Chet narrates)

“That caught my attention. Bernie was a big Bo Diddley fan, sometimes played ‘Hey Bo Diddley’ on his ukulele around the campfire.   Was Bo Diddley a suspect in the case? That was going to get Bernie upset.”

You won’t be able to resist a chuckle when Chet wonders about ‘crocodile tears’ and ‘a red herring.’

Spencer Quinn (aka Peter Abrahams) has once again written a book that is both humorous and suspenseful.  A satisfying whodunit that carries the reader along as if on a leash! One more note, Quinn ingeniously leaves us with a bothersome cliffhanger, so readers will be “begging” to read the next Chet and Bernie Mystery, To Fetch a Thief!

The Colorado Canines give Thereby Hangs a Tail six paws up!

Jodene gives Thereby Hangs a Tail  five stars out of five!


Join us next month for another review of a book written for dogs and dog-lovers!


2 responses to “BOOK NOTES AND PAW VOTES


  2. Hey, he looks like me in that pic!!!bol

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