This is my week for reading doggy drama, first The City, now To Fetch A Thief, the third novel in the Chet and Bernie Mystery series written by Spencer Quinn. Like the previous two books, Chet, the dog narrates the story. The effect is unique, sometimes humorous, but not corny. The plot is a serious mystery, just told from a unique perspective. For example, whereas we humans identify others in terms of names or faces, Chet perceives everyone, both human and critter, in terms of scents. His top priority is always being loyal to Bernie. On the other hand, being good usually takes a back seat to such doggy pursuits as Chet marking his territory, snagging a piece of leather to chew on or romancing a She dog in the mood. Chet’s literal interpretation of idioms adds to the humor of the novels.
I am not sure the novels technically fit all the criteria for “Dude Lit,” but they are definitely aimed at the male point of view. Bernie is a rugged PI, concerned about catching and punishing the bad guys, while still concerned about those who are less fortunate and need his help, in this novel his ex-wife, a gay clown, a kidnapped elephant, and a manicurist who lives in a trailer park. Bernie both gets beaten up and beats up. And, well, dogs and dudes just go together.
The latest novel did not disappoint me. Far from it, I am more aware of Quinn’s wonderful writing style. I admire the way that he can affect my emotions with just a few well placed sentences. And, of course, who can resist Chet?