I read once that a dog appearing on the cover of a book means the dog dies by the end but I didn't think of that when I bought this book by Spencer Quinn and luckily that maxim didn't hold true this time! Chet tells the story of how he and his master, Bernie Little, solved the case of a missing teen-aged girl named Madison. Luckily Chet understands a lot of human words and can relate their conversations to the reader. We also learn a lot about his world through smells and sounds.
We learn that his favorite things are steaks, riding in cars, and Bernie, who adopted Chet when he failed to get his K-9 certification.
"'What's with you right now?'
Nothing, nothing was with me: stoned out of my mind, that was all. I got my tongue back in my mouth; it was all dried up from the wind, felt more like one of those towels I sometimes found on the laundry-room floor. I liked burying those towels out in the backyard near the big rock, but burying towels was never easy. The chew strips - that was another matter, easy to bury and - Whoa! At that moment I had a very faint memory of burying one that I hadn't dug up yet, near the orange tree by old man Heydrich's fence. Maybe it was still there! I was gazing up at the moon and making plans when we turned in to a driveway and came to a stop behind Cynthia Chambliss's car."
Chet is an amazing dog, quick to respond to Bernie's commands and independent enough to end up in all sorts of predicaments, like time spent in a dog pound. That was a close one! Like most dogs, he doesn't have the best memory except when it comes to scents and can be easily distracted by things to eat or chase.
I give this book a hearty recommendation to people who love dogs and mysteries, two of my favorite things! And no, Chet doesn't die because Mr. Quinn is writing more books! I can't wait!
My rating for this book: +++++