MYSTERY

Of Mutts and Men

Forge. (Chet & Bernie, Bk. 10). Jul. 2020. 304p. ISBN 9781250297693. $26.99. M
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Chet the dog and his partner, Bernie Little, of Little Detective Agency, take on a case that involves Bernie’s greatest worry, water in the desert. After retrieving a stolen painting, they meet hydrologist Dr. Wendell Nero, who specializes in the study of water and its practical uses. He wants to know if they’re interested in a case and invites them to his trailer in Dollhouse Canyon. By the time they get there, Wendell has been murdered, his throat slit. Chet finds a clue that leads them to a man with a knife and Wendell’s wallet. While the not-so-bright deputy sheriff and the DA are satisfied they have their killer, Bernie follows his hunches, leading to Chet’s kidnapping and escape, another death, and a double-dealing by a high-powered firm with international connections.
VERDICT Fans of this character-driven series return because of Chet’s narration and his adoration of Bernie. Despite the murders, this is a leisurely paced, feel-good book about a dog and his beloved owner, portrayed with all their flaws and insecurities. Chet’s narration adds humor to a long-running series with a strong sense of place. [See Prepub Alert, 1/7/20.]

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