The Book Junkie

Thereby Hangs a Tail: A Chet and Bernie Mystery

Chet is back, and he’s as doggy as ever! Introduced in Dog On It, Spencer Quinn’s canine sleuth and his human friend are a winning duo, and they’re back in the sequel, Thereby Hangs a Tail. Chet is a big, silly mutt who knows what’s important in life: food, naps, and interesting smells. Bernie, Chet’s human, has more mundane concerns, like his continuing financial struggles and his PI business. In hopes of easing his finances, Bernie agrees to protect Princess, an award-winning show dog, and her owner. It should be easy money--$2 grand a day to baby sit a fluffy little dog and her owner. When both Princess and her human disappear, though, Chet and Bernie go to work.


In the process of solving the mystery, the human-dog combo encounter some interesting characters: a shady small-town sheriff and his deputy, a pair of aged, motor-home dwelling hippies, some old friends from the police force, and some very odd people from the dog show world. It turns out that all of these people have ties to the case—and some are much less harmless than you would expect! Chet gets dog-napped, rescues Princess, makes friends with the hippies, gets sold to some Bad Guys, discovers a corpse, and puzzles over human behavior (not to mention human figures of speech!)


Chet shows us the world from a dog’s point of view. He is a charming and guileless narrator. If you know dogs, you will be able to see the dog’s-eye-view in Thereby Hangs a Tail. I love Chet’s digressions and confusions! He’s never quite sure how that shoe got chewed on or how he ended up so much closer to the other dog than he started out.


Thereby Hangs a Tail is a wonderful story, and is well worth reading. You’ll enjoy it particularly if you liked  Dog On It, but even if you haven’t, this is a fun read.

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