Detective stories these days tend to be more about the gimmick tan the mystery. Colorful detectives have run the gamut from Monks and Priests to Antique Dealers and New Jersey Bounty Hunters. The mystery itself is always good to have, but it is no fun solving it if the Private Investigator isn't entertaining on the way.
Spencer Quinn has introduced an original and captivating twist into the Detective novel genre with the first of the Chet and Bernie mystery series. Bernie is a down-on-his-luck Private Investigator, and Chet is his lovable and faithful canine sidekick. It might seem strange that the detective's dog should get top billing, but this is because the entire story is told from Chet's point of view.
This is a little bit different. James Qwilleran might have solved countless crimes with his Siamese cats Koko and Yum Yum, but neither feline has ever bothered to narrate a story for their master. With a narrative device like this, there is a risk of being too campy or silly. Yet Quinn dodges both dangers and delivers a furry Watson that actually manages not to stray too far from believability.
This is mainly due to Chet. It's hard not to like Chet, and his observations on human events and actions manage to be quite humorous, endearing, an occasionally insightful. This might leave his owner Bernie in the backseat in several parts of the story, but the book never suffers from it.
Let's hope there future adventures in store for Chet and Bernie, because finishing this book definitely leaves you wanting more.