Dog On It: Book summary and reviews of Dog On It by Spencer Quinn

Dog On It

A Chet and Bernie Mystery

By Spencer Quinn

Dog On It
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2009,
    320 pages.

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Book Summary

Meet Chet, the wise and lovable canine narrator of Dog on It, who works alongside Bernie, a down-on-his-luck private investigator. Chet might have flunked out of police school ("I'd been the best leaper in K-9 class, which had led to all the trouble in a way I couldn't remember exactly, although blood was involved"), but he's a detective through and through.

In this, their first adventure, Chet and Bernie investigate the disappearance of Madison, a teenage girl who may or may not have been kidnapped, but who has definitely gotten mixed up with some very unsavory characters. A well-behaved, gifted student, she didn't arrive home after school and her divorced mother is frantic. Bernie is quick to take the case -- something about a cash flow problem that Chet's not all that clear about -- and he's relieved, if vaguely suspicious, when Madison turns up unharmed with a story that doesn't add up. But when she disappears for a second time in a week, Bernie and Chet aren't taking any chances; they launch a full-blown investigation. Without a ransom demand, they're not convinced it's a kidnapping, but they are sure of one thing: something smells funny.

Their search for clues takes them into the desert to biker bars and other exotic locals, with Chet's highly trained nose leading the way. Both Chet and Bernie bring their own special skills to the hunt, one that puts each of them in peril. But even as the bad guys try to turn the tables, this duo is nothing if not resourceful, and the result is an uncommonly satisfying adventure.

With his doggy ways and his endearingly hardboiled voice, Chet is full of heart and occasionally prone to mischief. He is intensely loyal to Bernie, who, though distracted by issues that Chet has difficulty understanding -- like divorce, child custody, and other peculiar human concerns -- is enormously likable himself, in his flawed, all-too-human way.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Chet must use all his superdog tricks to extricate Bernie from a mighty tight fix in a climax that fans of classic mysteries are sure to appreciate." - Publishers Weekly.

"[S]hould appeal to hard-boiled fans and canine fanciers alike." - Kirkus Reviews.

"Starred Review. Even cat lovers will find it entertaining. This first in a projected series by newcomer Quinn is highly recommended." - Library Journal.

"Essential for all mystery collections and for dog lovers everywhere." - Booklist.

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Rated 3 of 5 of 5 by Dorothy T.
A Dog Tale
Told from the dog's point of view, the book is funny and cleverly done. Knowing the premise beforehand, I was looking forward to reading this, but when I finished it, I felt like this is more of a guy's book (not that I am a reader of that which is known as "chick-lit" by any means). I also noticed that Chet the dog is nearly the only one not to drop the f-bomb. He was definitely my favorite character. I am not sure that all this doggie stuff won't become tiresome as the series progresses, but I don't think I will find out.

Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Big-dog lover!
What a dog!
Anyone contemplating buying a dog for the first time should read this book because THIS is what a dog anyone wants to own should be like: smart, funny (yes, I know canines don't have "human" emotions; just deal with it, okay?) and oh-so-loyal. What's not to love? AND if that someone seeking a 4-legged friend also loves a good mystery, enjoys laughing out loud, and has any flaws him- or herself . . . well, then, he/she has a book to love and recommend. What a fun read! Come on, Spencer Quinn: do it again & again.

Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Stephanie
In My Opinion
Starting out I read this book just because I had to do a book report. This was the first one that I saw and could actually remember what I read on the back of the book. As I began reading, the dogs’ point of view immediately caught my attention. I am not a big reader so when I read 180 pages in one day it means something. The point is if you have a dog or had a dog or even like dogs you will really enjoy reading this book. If you see it on the shelf it is definitely worth reading it.

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Author Information

Spencer Quinn Author Biography

Photo: Diana Gray

Spencer Quinn is the author of seven Chet and Bernie mystery novels: Dog on It, Thereby Hangs a Tail, To Fetch a Thief, The Dog Who Knew Too Much, A Fistful of Collars, The Sound and the Furry, and Paw and Order (2014). He lives on Cape Cod with his dogs Audrey and Pearl. When not keeping them out of mischief, he is hard at work on the next Chet and Bernie mystery.

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