Book Review: The Dog Who Knew Too Much by Spencer Quinn

The Dog Who Knew Too Much
Spencer Quinn
Atria Books, September 2011
ISBN 978-1-4391-5709-1
Hardcover (eARC)

Chet and Bernie of the Little Detective Agency are on the case again, this time in search of a little boy who has gone missing from a wilderness camp up in the mountains. The boy’s mom, Anya, had hired Bernie as a bodyguard because she thought her ex might snatch the child but it doesn’t take the detective duo long to discover that something much  more sinister is going on. There’s no doubt that Devin is missing but evidence of bullying leads to questions of camp management. Chet and Bernie set out with the trail guide to find Devin but Bernie then begins to see signs that the camp’s director and the trail guide are not being entirely forthcoming and perhaps criminal activity is afoot.

Chet is the next to disappear and Bernie is arrested and charged with murder after a body is found in an abandoned mine. It’s up to Chet to escape his kidnappers—which he does in typically clever Chet fashion—and find a way to rescue Bernie with a little help from Bernie’s almost-girlfriend, Suzie.

The Dog Who Knew Too Much is the fourth in the series and the first to  have a real, nail-biter mystery—the first three were wonderful, eminently readable books but a bit lightweight in the suspense arena.The charm of a Chet and Bernie mystery, though, lies largely in Chet’s interpretations of the world around him and that’s no less the case in this installment: when Anya says she used to wish time would stop and the only thing left of the sandwiches she, Bernie and Chet have been eating is the crusts of one egg salad sandwich, Chet pegs her as a risk taker.

And just who is that puppy who looks suspiciously like Chet?

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, December 2011.

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