The fourth entry in the irresistible New York Times best-selling mystery series featuring canine narrator Chet and his human companion Bernie, “the coolest human/pooch duo this side of Wallace and Gromit” (Kirkus Reviews).
Combining suspense and intrigue with a wonderfully humorous take on the link between man and beast, Spencer Quinn’s exceptional mystery series has captured widespread praise since its New York Times best-selling debut, Dog on It. The Dog Who Knew Too Much marks the duo’s triumphant return in a tale that’s full of surprises.
Bernie is invited to give the keynote speech at the Great Western Private Eye Convention, but it’s Chet that the bigshot P.I. in charge has secret plans for. Meanwhile, Chet and Bernie are hired to find a kid who has gone missing from a wilderness camp in the high country. The boy’s mother thinks the boy’s father – her ex – has snatched the boy, but Chet makes a find that sends the case in a new and dangerous direction. As if that weren’t enough, matters get complicated at home when a stray puppy that looks suspiciously like Chet shows up. Affairs of the heart collide with a job that’s never been tougher, requiring our two intrepid sleuths to depend on each other as never before. The Dog Who Knew Too Much is classic Spencer Quinn, offering page-turning entertainment that’s not just for dog-lovers.
When Bark to the Future releases in August 2022, there will be thirteen books in this series. This is the fourth book and does just fine as a standalone. I could as easily have come in on Book 12—and would have liked to! I’ve found a new doggy protagonist to love—Chet. It’s just plain clean, good canine fun and I suspect made even more so by the narrator for this audiobook.
The POV is the dog. He’s easily distracted, but he loves his human, PI Bernie. Chet is about a hundred-pound dog, not to be trifled with, and a strong part of the Little Detective Agency. He’s also a love bug and approves of Bernie’s girl, Susie, who is quickly becoming a serious part of the pack.
Bernie has been engaged to protect her son during parent’s weekend in the summer camp high in the mountains against her ex but quickly discovers he has wandered away from camp and is missing.
Since it’s the dog narrating the story, it sometimes splits between his activities and thoughts and the mystery or what is going on behind the scenes with Bernie. If you’ve ever watched your dog, you can almost see their thoughts when you produce their favorite ball or treat. “Ball, ball, yes! Throw the ball!” “Treat, treat, I don’t care which one, can I have it now?” The dog, however, does have quite the human vocabulary tucked into his brain which he often recognizes but not in context, causing confusion. I love it—and the dialogue makes a lot of sense, pushing anthropomorphism. “…His brain and my rose: plenty of perps now wearing orange jumpsuits can tell you about that combo.” Just be aware that with Bernie, the dialogue can turn blue.
The canine perspective when he grapples with weighty subjects like the cute collie or the smell of the squirrel that distracts him lightens the darker aspects of the mystery, murder, theft, drugs, and crooked law enforcement.
Nice balance between the lightheartedness provided by the dog and the serious business of the mystery. It’s well-paced and the characters are great, very entertaining story.
Everything is settled in the conclusion and life and Book 5 was forthcoming. The perps earn a well-deserved bite in the butt and Bernie and Susie got to work together, Chet gets his treats and a pat on the head. Personally, I’ll be looking for another, but closer to the newer one.
Genre: Private Investigator Mysteries, Suspense
Publisher: Recorded Books
Listening Length: 10 hrs 18 mins
Narrator: Jim Frangione
Publication Date: September 6, 2011
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: The Dog Who Knew Too Much [Amazon]
Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five Stars
©2022 V Williams