Tuesday, November 3, 2009

DOG ON IN by Spencer Quinn

by Spencer Quinn
Atria Books/Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
ISBN: 9781416585831

Chet, the canine narrator of Dog On It, may have flunked out of K-9 school but he’s found his niche as partner to Bernie Little, owner of Little Detective Agency. Bernie is divorced and lonely and misses his son Charlie. Chet doesn’t understand the concept of money but takes his cues from Bernie and knows Bernie is worried about their finances. Bernie is hired by a divorced mom to find her missing daughter, Madison, who turns up unharmed with a story that’s obviously made up. A few days later, Madison is missing once more and this time Bernie suspects it’s the real thing. With Chet leading the way, they follow Madison’s trail, which takes them to a group of nefarious Russians determined to stop them from finding Madison.

Told from a dog’s point of view, Dog On It offers a refreshing addition to the mystery genre. Chet perceives most things through body language, odors, and tone of voice. His perceptions are adept and it is amusing how food and other things distract him. Chet’s thinking processes seem much like what this reviewer would attribute to a dog’s thoughts. The voice of Chet is amusing and a bit noir-ish, which suits the book. Fun read.

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