Sunday, April 2, 2017

Review of "The Dog Who Knew Too Much" by Spencer Quinn




Bernie Little and his hundred-plus pound dog Chet run the 'Little Detective Agency', somewhere in the western United States (this story seems to be set in Colorado). The series is narrated by Chet, whose somewhat limited vocabulary, unfamiliarity with idioms, and doggie logic set the stage for plenty of smiles. Bernie is a West Point graduate, good at his job, and Chet is his invaluable partner, always ready to clamp his jaw on perps and drag them off by the pants.

In this book Anya Vereen hires Bernie to pose as her boyfriend for parents' weekend at Big Bear Wilderness Camp, where her son Devin is a camper. Anya is estranged from her husband Guy and wants protection. Soon after Bernie, Chet, and Anya arrive at the camp they learn that Devin apparently wandered off during an overnight campout in the mountains and is missing.

Bernie, Chet, and troop leader Turk Rendell return to the campsite where Devin disappeared but things don't go well. Turk is uncooperative and less than truthful and Devin can't be located. Things get worse when a death occurs and Bernie is arrested for murder. It soon becomes clear that something unsavory is going on in this mountain community and many of the locals - including the judge, sheriff, deputies, and camp personnel - just may be in on it.

By dint of good luck and clever moves Chet manages to help Bernie with the assistance of Bernie's girlfriend Suzy. In the interim Bernie is treated badly, Anya is intimidated, Guy gets into trouble, and Chet manages to scarf down biscuits, hamburgers, kibble, and half a BLT.

The plot doesn't quite gel in a believable way but the book is entertaining and the bad guys get what they deserve - which is always satisfying. I'd recommend the book for fans of light, humorous mysteries.

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