Thereby Hangs a Tail
Atria, Jan 5 2010, $25.00
Chet’s human pet Bernie Little is a private investigator, whom the canine helps solve cases by using his nose and bark. Their current client is Countess Adelina di Borghese from Passaic, New Jersey, who lives on an expensive ranch with plenty of horses also residing there as she has come a long way from being an urban Jersey girl. Bernie has been hired because of threats to her and her pampered dog show-dog Princess. The case is an utter bore to Chet and tedious to Bernie as nothing happens and barking is disallowed.
However, the situation on the ground changes when the Countess and her royal canine princess are kidnapped and dog-napped respectively. The search and rescue mission goes badly as Chet is separated from Bernie only to be snatched and sold to a punk running away to Alaska. Escaping this miscreant Chet ends up having the military try to kill him when he accidentally wanders on to an exercise site to take a decent leak. However, Bernie becomes truly motivated when reporter Susie Sanchez disappears while covering the abduction of Princess story. Chet’s motive is doggie treat and a hero’s welcome, canine style from one of the snobbish victims.
The key to this canine noir told mostly by Chet in between bodily needs is that first and foremost he comes across as a dog and not a “human” inside a canine’s skin. Chet makes the tale of the tail as he relates stories or follows clues partially only to be sidetracked by a need like a good tree or a cat. The kidnapping story line is well written and entertaining as fans will enjoy Chet’s escapades Dog On It in a world in which humans make stupid rules of where to pee, mount, bark, bite, and eat as if canines are the ones not doing what comes natural.