Mystery Books for Sale

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by Spencer Quinn
Atria, September 2012
320 pages
ISBN: 1451665164

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

The mayor wants to bring the movie business to the valley, and Chet and Bernie are just the guys to provide security for the visiting movie star, Chad (and see that he stays away from drugs and alcohol). This fifth book in the series featuring the financially clueless, environmentally conscious PI Bernie and his faithful dog, Chet, is just as humorous as the previous four. As in the previous books in the series, Chet narrates the story. He continues to be mystified by the breeze behind him when he's happy, and he continues to find Bernie the best in the world, but he has started almost to make some connections between people's actions and their motivations.

As Chad and the movie company arrive in the valley, Bernie and Chet discover that he and his bodyguard, Jiggs, have early ties to the area that they don't want exposed. As Chet and Bernie travel around the city trailing Chad and his cat, they stumble upon a dying gangster who mumbles a name. In the search for the man behind the name, and the history of that man's relationship with Chad, they uncover a murder that took place in the area 20 years ago. Was Chad the murderer? Jiggs? In the end, Chet and Bernie discover the truth as they both fight for their lives.

At the beginning of the book, Bernie's girlfriend Susie moves out of town to take on a new job. As the mystery plays out, so does Bernie's and Susie's long distance relationship, with commentary from Chet (who loves Susie and the treats she carries). Bernie's son shows talent as he makes an appearance in Chad's movie, and Bernie's ex-wife shows signs of becoming a stage mother. Chet gives us his perspective on all events, as well as what seems like a developing relationship with the cat.

This book, like all of the books in the series, was great fun. Both Chet and Bernie are very likeable characters, and while the mystery may not be the most complex or deep, the characters are well drawn and time spent with them is very enjoyable. Dog lovers will love this book as they follow Chet's thoughts (which are so easily derailed by a treat).

Sharon Mensing is the Head of School of Emerald Mountain School, an independent school in the mountains of Colorado, where she lives, reads, and enjoys the outdoors.

Reviewed by Sharon Mensing, September 2012

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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