A Fistful of Collars

Readers familiar with the private investigating team of Chet and Bernie will recognize the silhouette on the cover of Spencer Quinn's A Fistful of Collars as the collar-sporting Chet himself, the lovable, wily, brave, albeit unreliable, canine narrator of Quinn's previous four mysteries. Since 2009, when Quinn (aka thriller writer Peter Abrahams) introduced detective Bernie Little and his partner in Dog on It, the duo has cracked every case--but not, as Chet reminds us, without their share of bad breaks and close calls.

Chet isn't a talking dog, but a thinking narrator, so the reader sees the big picture even if Bernie doesn't. Chet is a devoted partner, and his instincts are sharp: he knows when to chomp on a perp, sniffs trouble from a mile away and has a knack for telling the good guys from the bad. This time, the trouble-prone movie star they're assigned to keep straight while he's filming in town leads them down shady alleys, into the desert and to more than one unsolved murder.

Chet's ingenuous black-and-white view of Bernie's goodness and criminals' evil ("He'll be smashing rocks in an orange jumpsuit at Northern State!") and his good humor will win reader loyalty long before he tracks down his first clue in Quinn's delightful buddy tale. While it cites characters and plots from earlier books, A Fistful of Collars will have no problem engaging and entertaining readers just discovering this series. --Cheryl Krocker McKeon, bookseller

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