Of Mutts and Men

Spencer Quinn. Forge, $26.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-29769-3
The appeal of Quinn’s routine 10th Chet and Bernie mystery (after 2019’s Heart of Barkness) lies solely in the conceit of a whodunit narrated by a canine. Wendell Nero, chairman emeritus of the geology department of Valley College in an unspecified western state, has a problem he won’t go into when he meets Bernie of the Little Detective Agency. They agree to get together the next day at Wendell’s trailer, where Bernie and Chet, the dog, discover their potential client sitting at his desk with his throat slashed. Chet’s olfactory senses identify the recent presence of a male “gum chewer who liked cherry flavor,” and Bernie notices a convenience store receipt listing a recent gum purchase. These clues lead the pair to the knife-wielding Florian Machado, who admits to stealing Nero’s wallet after finding him dead. Bernie believes Machado is innocent of murder, and continues to search for Wendell’s killer. The homicide case doesn’t compel, the internal logic of what words Chet does and doesn’t understand is underdeveloped, and there’s no deepening of either lead’s character. For now this series is on autopilot. Agent: Molly Friedrich, Friedrich Agency. (July)
Reviewed on : 05/04/2020
Release date: 07/07/2020
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-1-250-29770-9
Library Binding - 489 pages - 978-1-4328-8419-2
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