02/11/2010

Thereby Hangs a Tail (by Spencer Quinn)

I'd never heard of Spencer Quinn. Perhaps not surprisingly, because - apparently - it's a pseudonym for Peter Abrahams, a writer of psychological suspense thrillers (which do not appeal to me at all).

Indeed, I'm not, in general, a great fan of crime fiction at all. The occasional Agatha Christie is fine, but anything more gory, or with suspense that might keep me awake at night, is a no-go area as far as I'm concerned. But the pun in the title of this book, and the fact that it's narrated by a dog made me sufficiently curious to request it from the Bookbag shelves.

I've been reading 'Thereby Hangs a Tail' at bedtime for the last ten days or so, and am happy to report no bad dreams or sleepless nights. Chet, the dog who tells the story, meanders through the plot in a dog-like way. He pauses to sniff, and listen; the world revolves around Bernie, his human, and he makes some amusing mistakes about some words or phrases that he hears.

Chet and Bernie are a team of private investigators, hired (then fired, then hired again) to track down a missing valuable dog. There are also two missing women, one of whom is rather important to both Chet and Bernie.

It's cleverly written, particularly during a few chapters when Chet and Bernie are separated. That means that the reader learns more than Bernie knows about what has taken place ... so while the solving of the crime itself is reasonably easy, it was interesting to see how Bernie managed to solve the puzzle and find the true perpetrators.

Definitely recommended.

My longer review of 'Thereby Hangs a Tail' can be found on the Bookbag site.

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