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Wisdom + Fun = Chet the Dog

I've read every novel Spencer Quinn writes because it's always inspiring, suspenseful, and fun. I love light reading, and this is some of the best. Quinn's ongoing tales of the adventures and misadventures of Bernie, a private eye, are told through the inner voice of his dog Chet.

Sounds corny, but it's not, and Quinn is getting really good reviews. Thanks to Divine Openings fan Lynda Collins of Toronto for turning me on to Chet the Dog some years ago.

I just checked out Scents and Sensibility from the library, and before I return it I just have to share with you some random high vibration moments from this book... as much to repeat the pleasure as for the joy of sharing with you...

Detective Bernie Little always talks to Chet to help sort out his thoughts and make sense of the cases's clues. Chet's thoughts give the narrative of the stories, and are most delightful, wise, and positive:

Bernie: "Didn't I tell Ellie I was divorced and seeing someone, and didn't she say "same" or something like that?"
Chet's thoughts: I had no idea what he was talking about. That was bad. On the flip side, I still had Shooter (another dog's) chewy. That was good, one bad and one good always leveling out to good, in my opinion.

Bernie, after being attracted to a woman who is not his girlfriend: "Do I have to beat myself up for that?"
Chet's thoughts: I stopped in mid-chew. Bernie beating himself up? Had I ever in my whole career heard anything worse? Could he have forgotten about that lightning-quick jab and the damage it could do? ... He wouldn't stand a chance! I wondered about taking Bernie for a long run in the canyon, maybe work off some of his excess energy. You had to get out in front of problems, as Bernie says... A simple plan--find a tennis ball, drop it at Bernie's feet--was already forming in my mind...

Bernie: "Am I losing it, Chet?" He rubbed his forehead.
Chet's thoughts: What was this? Something totally beyond me. I curled up on the shotgun seat and thought about biscuits. Another one would have been nice. But you can't let little disappointments bring you down in this life. Forget all about them and get on with something else! For example: a nap.

"Hey," Bernie said, "see the shooting star?"
He pointed at the sky. Whatever it was, I missed it, but it was still pleasant to gaze at the night sky with Bernie..... then came a silence, pleasant until I felt Bernie's thoughts begin to darken. He actually smells different when that happens.... like the smell is coming from a smaller Bernie. I edged up against him.

I shifted toward Bernie, possibly sitting on his feet.
"Maybe, Chet, the whole construct of human progress is a sham. Then what have we got?"
What did we have? Was that a question? Any easy one, always my preference: what we had was me and Bernie gazing out the window of our place on Mesquite Road, some expert head scratching under way, and not a care in the world. Was it possible Bernie had somehow missed all that? I gave him a close look, something I could do without turning my head. Human eyes may not be lined up in the best possible way. No offense...

The truth is there's not much color variety when it comes to humans, not compared to how we roll in the nation within (the dog kingdom.) Take me, for example: mostly black but with one white ear... ever seen a human colored like me? The point is humans go on and on about skin colors when it isn't even one of their strengths. And they have so many strengths: cars, tennis balls, bacon, and that's just without even thinking, which is how my mind works best.

"Chet! What do you think you're doing?"
Whoa. Possibly standing on my back legs, pawing at the door? Maybe more like clawing into it, somewhat deeply? If that was really happening, I got it under control, and pronto. If you'd looked, you'd have seen me standing silent and still beside Bernie, like a good citizen, whatever that happened to be. You'd have thought I'd been like that the whole time. And... and hadn't I? Hey! You'd have been right! And me, too! Which made me like you! What a day I was having, and it had hardly begun! It was great to be home.

Enjoy reading the novels!


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