Monday, April 9, 2012

BOOKreMARKS: My Getaway Suggestion for Dog Lovers

If reality is getting you down and a vacation is out of the question right now, I recommend you turn to the pages of Spencer Quinn’s “Chet and Bernie Mystery Series” for your escapism. It has action, eco-mindedness, suspense, potential love stories, and, best of all, dogs. In fact, half of the Little Detective Agency workforce—and the narrator of the series—is the canine Chet.

Chet provides the nose and bark for the detective team, and the comic relief and altered perspective for the reader. He is Everydog and yet quite his own singular dog, too. His brand of logic and his attempts to translate human language drive the story as the plot thickens in the background. And, of course, his canine wisdom keeps him leaps-and-bounds ahead of the humans in figuring out clues to whatever mystery is at hand.

In To Fetch A Thief, Chet describes watching the parallel, symbolic reactions of two men after the demise of their marriages. On the verge of giving an insightful analysis of the scenes, Chet admits: “I came very close to having a big thought, but it didn’t quite come.” Oh, Chet, you’ve no idea how often that happens to me.

I appreciate Chet’s take on numbers (“I don’t go past two myself,” says he), his love of pastries, and his fearless approach to life.

So far, the series includes Dog On It, Thereby Hangs A Tail, To Fetch A Thief, The Dog Who Knew Too Much, and (to be released in September) A Fistful of Collars. It’s breezy reading told well. It will make you think twice before talking to your dog and will likely increase (if that’s possible) your admiration for your pooch. And for as long as you’re reading, your concerns about the economy, the weather, or whatever keeps you up at night will switch to Pause mode.

It doesn’t get much better than that.

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