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Sunday, October 12, 2014

A FISTFUL of COLLARS (Chet and Bernie #5) by Spencer Quinn

Chet and Bernie Break into the Movies!

Published in 2012 by Atria Books.

I have four mystery writers that I regularly follow: Robert Crais, Michael Connelly, C.J. Box and Spencer Quinn's Chet and Bernie series.
 The premise of the series is simple. They are buddy books featuring Chet and Bernie, crime-fighting partners much like Holmes and Watson or Spenser and Hawk. Except for one important point - Chet is Bernie's dog. 

The story is told from the point of view of Chet, a trained police dog that never quite graduated from the academy to a "leaping" incident that "involved blood." 

Chet understands enough about human society so that the story doesn't bog down but he has that easily distractable live-in-the-moment quality that all dog lovers recognize.

In A Fistful of Collars Chet and Bernie are hired by the mayor (a politician that Bernie hates for a variety of reasons) to safeguard the city's interests while a major Hollywood film is made right there in the Valley. This Western movie stars Hollywood's current top-of-the-heap pretty boy action hero with a whole bunch of hidden problems. Chet and Bernie are supposed to keep this star out of trouble but soon enough Bernie finds that some things don't seem quite right and soon enough Chet and Bernie find a dead body and a possible connection to something else that could derail everything...

Although I was not convinced by the way that Bernie initially discovers the problems, once the mystery gets going it is pretty good. However, this may be the best book for Chet. I thought that his character was pulled off especially well. Better character writing tips the balance and makes this a 4 star book.

Reviewed on October 10, 2014.

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