Tag Archives: Chet and Bernie

Scents and Sensibility – book review

I’ve owned Scents and Sensibility, the 8th book in the Chet and Bernie series, for at least a year (it was published in 2015).  When  I interviewed Peter Abrahams (pen name Spencer Quinn) in September 2016 for my column in NZ Dog World, he had put his plans for another Chet and Bernie ‘on hold’ whilst writing The Right Side.  (The Right Side was published last year, 2017, and is on my reading list).    Scents and Sensibility

Given that I’m a huge Chet and Bernie fan, I held off reading this book since I knew the ninth book would be a way off.  Scents and Sensibility was another good read with a solid pace to the story of Chet and Bernie, my favorite private detectives.

Chet and Bernie return home one day to find that Mr Parsons, their elderly neighbor, has a new saguaro cactus planted in his yard.  Since the cactus is a protected species, Mr Parsons is soon under investigation and he shows a decided reluctance to reveal the source of the plant, which he says was a gift.

Bernie steps in to help and, soon, there is a murder to investigate.

saguaro from Wikipedia

A saguaro cactus (Source: Wikipedia)

We also meet a new puppy named Shooter who bears a striking resemblance to Chet.  Has Chet fathered puppies???

The book finishes with Bernie, our hero, in hospital but on the road to recovery – the scene is set for Book #9.  Presumably, in the next book we will also find out if Bernie’s relationship with Suzie is over or not.  Suzie has only a brief mention in this book; she’s taken a job in London and wants Bernie to join her…

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Paw and Order – book review

I’m working my way through the Chet and Bernie series.  Here’s my review of the 7th in the series – Paw and Order.

Paw and Order

This story finds Chet and Bernie in Washington, DC – where Bernie seeks out his on-again/off-again girlfriend Suzie Sanchez, who is now based there in her work as a journalist.

She’s deep into an investigation and doesn’t want to talk much about it.  Her source turns up murdered.  Bernie and Chet get sucked into the word of international intrigue and espionage.

This book is filled with the humor that we love as Chet tells the story from his perspective.  But I have to be honest, it wasn’t my favorite plot of the books so far.

Perhaps that has something to do with the setting of Washington, DC – not my favorite city and politics is not my a favorite subject, either.

Still, a good read.  And since I want to move onto the 8th in the series, it pays to read them in order because there are always references to past cases.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

The Sound and the Furry – book review

In this 6th volume of the Chet and Bernie mysteries, the Little Detective Agency is hired to find Ralph Boutette, who has disappeared in Louisiana.

The Sound and the F

Ralph, an eccentric inventor, is part of the colourful Boutette family who seem constantly in conflict with another local family, the Robideaus.

Through their powers of investigation, Chet and Bernie uncover a story much larger than a family feud involving big oil and pending environmental disaster.

And Chet even tangles with a gator named Iko, to add to the authenticity of the bayou surrounds.

Not my favorite Chet and Bernie mystery, but still very entertaining.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

A Fistful of Collars – book review

Thanks to being under the weather with more time in bed, I’ve just finished another book.  The fifth book in the Chet and Bernie series, A Fistful of Collars, sees Bernie and Chet on the site of a film with famous star, Thad Perry, whom they have been hired to protect.


The big question:  is Thad a murderer both past and present?  There are actually several murders during the course of this story and it’s the second one that I wasn’t expecting.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Chet and Bernie series, the books are narrated from Chet the Dog’s point of view.  Here’s a few things you should know about Chet:

  • He failed out of K-9 School on the last day
  • He’s a member of The Nation (his term for dogs)
  • His favorite treats are by Rover and Company, although he likes Slim Jims and basically anything else he can find
  • His best pal is Iggy who lives next door. Unfortunately, Iggy doesn’t get out much.
  • He rides shotgun (front seat) with Bernie in their Porsche (he gets in the back for special people like Bernie’s girlfriend, Suzie)

I’ve ordered books 6, 7, and 8 in the series and so there will be more reviews to come – although probably not quite so quickly as these last two since I am on the mend.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

The Dog Who Knew Too Much – book review

The dog who knew too much

I’ve just finished the fourth book in the Chet and Bernie series by Spencer Quinn.  Like the previous three books, this one didn’t disappoint.

Bernie and Chet are hired to help when a young boy goes missing from a wilderness camp.  But a missing child is the least of Bernie’s worries as murder and mayhem enfold in a small and corrupt town.

As with the other Chet and Bernie books, Chet (Bernie’s dog) narrates this story.  Chet likes to ride shotgun in Bernie’s old Porsche and accompanies him to the camp with the camp leader, who turns up dead in an abandoned mine the following morning.

Meanwhile, Bernie’s girlfriend Susie gets the wrong impression about the Bernie’s relationship with his new client…

It’s a great story, with insightful commentary from Chet.  Well worth the read!

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Thereby Hangs a Tail

Chet and Bernie are at it again in this second installment of the Chet and Bernie series by Spencer Quinn, entitled Thereby Hangs a Tail.

Thereby hangs a tailLike the first book, Dog On It, the narrator is Chet – the canine partner of Bernie Little of the Little Detective Agency.  Bernie’s romance with reporter Susie Sanchez isn’t a smooth ride and she goes missing at a time when Bernie is hired to investigate threats made against a show dog, Princess.

When Princess and her owner are kidnapped, the mystery deepens.  Once again, Chet finds himself in the middle of the action – and along the way his nose helps him to identify tasty treats to inhale.

Will Chet and Bernie find Susie alive?  You’ll have to read the book!

I didn’t enjoy this story as much as the first book – but well worth a read for summer.