Saturday, November 06, 2010

To Fetch a Thief

To Fetch a Thief: A Chet and Bernie Mystery (Chet and Bernie Mysteries)I'm not sure if it was the sudden dip in temperature yesterday, but I had pain like I haven't faced in months. I've actually been writing in my prayer journal recently about how grateful I am to God for providing me with some relief. I still have constant pain, but it's been dialed down to a level where I can still do what I need to do. Mia makes it to piano lessons, I get to Mom's once a week to eBay, I'm making it through. Yesterday I tied the dogs outside as part of my normal schedule. I carry Cooper out and hold him until he's attached to the chain, while Charlie is on a leash at my wrist. Normally it's not a big deal, but yesterday as I was trying to unravel the knot he had made in his chain, the mailman pulled up to the box, and Charlie decided to give chase, forgetting that he was on a leash and nearly tearing my arm from its socket (okay, not really, but it felt like it). I think the combination of the jolt to my body, along with the cold changed my whole day.

Back in the house, I started having shooting and stabbing pains in my wrists and hands. I'm used to aching and throbbing; that's a daily occurrence. Shooting and stabbing is rare. As the day went it, it got worse and worse until I was reduced to a ball on the bed praying over and over "oh God, it hurts". Jesse came home early from work to get Mia from the bus and take her to dance class. He hasn't had to do that in a long time, and I was so grateful for his sacrifice.

I spent much of the day sleeping. When I was awake, I was reading today's book, and let me tell ya, that book brought me a great deal of joy in the midst of my pain. I'm feeling better today, but I'll take it easy in hopes of getting back to "normal" by Monday.

To Fetch a Thief by Spencer Quinn is the third book in the Chet & Bernie mystery series about a dog and his private detective owner. I was interested in this series from the first book: Dog on It. The premise of first person narration by the dog, Chet, sounded fascinating, and the reviews were good. But like many other books I want to read, I didn't get around to it until I received To Fetch a Thief in the mail from the publisher. I shouldn't have waited! Bernie Little runs the Little Detective Agency with help from his best friend and dog Chet. When the two successfully conclude a divorce/adultery case, the client gives Bernie a couple of tickets to take his son, Charlie, to the circus. When Bernie, Charlie, and Chet arrive, they discover that the circus has been canceled for the day due to the disappearance of its elephant, Peanut, and Peanut's trainer, Uri. The owner is sure that Uri has gone to the side of animal rights protesters and taken Peanut to freedom, but Uri's best friend Popo, the clown, isn't so sure and hires Bernie to find the truth. The investigation will take Bernie and Chet to the dark side of town and through the deserts of Mexico before discovering the sad truth behind Peanut's disappearance. Chet's narration is completely charming. He's a bit smarter than you imagine the average dog to be, yet he often digresses into past cases or memories before losing his place completely. The writing is so clever, I found myself reading several passages aloud to my husband because I had to share them with somebody. Quinn keeps Chet smart and funny without ever crossing the line into sentimentality. Although Chet doesn't always understand what's going on, his observations give the reader a clear view. Just when the book seemed to have settled into a cozy sort of mystery, Quinn throws in some major suspense and action, giving the story new life and making it more than just a cute animal series. This is a first rate mystery series with fantastic writing, terrific characters, a plot with lots of twists and turns, all told through the eyes of the dog everyone would love to make their own. Quinn has quickly become of my favorite authors, and I will be immediately be ordering the first two books in the series: Dog on It and Thereby Hangs a Tail.

Thank you to Atria for providing me with a copy of this book for review!