“I could smell him – or rather the booze on his breath – before he even opened the door, but my sense of smell is pretty good, probably better than yours.”
Cynthia Chambliss retains The Little Detective Agency to find her fifteen-year-old daughter, Maddison, who failed to return home after school. Despite financial difficulties, Bernie is reluctant to take on the case: Maddison has been missing for less than a day. And Cynthia’s property developer, ex-husband, Damon Keefer, is also against retaining Bernie. He believes his daughter has just run away, to Las Vegas, because “she’s impulsive, like her mother”.
Bernie and Chet piece together Maddison’s last known movements to determine if she’s run away or been kidnapped or worse. Throughout the search for Maddison, we follow the trail through Chet’s eyes and nose and learn more about Chet and Bernie in the process.
While I lecture my dog training classes not to anthropomorphise dogs, I liked Chet’s narration. It’s how I imagine a dog might think and talk: “Bernie went to the bed, stripped of a pillowcase that looked pink to me, although I’m not judge of colour, according to Bernie. I sniffed at it a couple of times, got Madison’s smell: young human female, with hints of honey, cherry, and a kind of sun-coloured flower I sometimes saw along roadsides. Bernie folded the pillow-case and sealed it in a plastic bag.”
I suspended my disbelief and wholeheartedly believed in Spencer Quinn’s Dog On It and Chet and Bernie and thoroughly enjoyed the novel. And I look forward to reading more in the Chet and Bernie Mystery series!
© 2017 Robert Fairhead
Welcome to the blog posts and selected writing of a middle-aged dad and dog owner. Among other things, Robert is an editor and writer at Tall And True, an online showcase and forum for writers, readers and publishers. In 2020, he published his first collection of short stories, Both Sides of the Story (available from Amazon).