I initially reviewed this book last year, but it's just been released in paperback, so I wanted to share it with you again in hopes that if you missed it the first time, you'll pick it up now! I really love this series!
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 Books for providing me with a copy of this book for review!