When I fall in love with a series, I am disappointed when I finish a book in it and say that “I liked it a lot.” I expected more from Spencer Quinn’s Paw and Order, the seventh book in the Chet and Bernie Series. (See my reactions to The Sound and the Furry, A Fistful of Collars, The Dog Who Knew Too Much and To Fetch a Thief.) I enjoyed the fact that the novel branched out from the earlier books. The setting is Washington D.C., and the mystery to be solved involves politics and has some international intrigue. I liked that the climax of the plot did not follow the same formula as some of the earlier books. I’m glad that Quinn turned his attention to the relationship between Suzy and Bernie. Some of my favorite moments were when Chet professes his love for Suzy, but at the same time resents giving up the “shotgun seat.”
What I did not like about Paw and Order is that it did not totally feel like a Chet and Bernie book. (I will allow that the year since I read the last novel may have clouded my memory a bit.) Chet is not an integral part of solving the mystery. While the story is told from his point of view, I felt that it could have happened without him. And, the story contained too many instances where Chet is hyper and Bernie tells him to calm down. While Bernie has always been a very macho character, he seemed much more violent than I remembered him. He has been known to have a soft side, but it didn’t seem to come out until almost the end of the novel.
I’m not giving up on Chet and Bernie (and Suzy). Paw and Order was still a good story. But, my anticipation for the next novel is not as high as it has been in the past.