Bark to the Future

Forge. (A Chet & Bernie Mystery, Bk. 13). Aug. 2022. 320p. ISBN 9781250843272. $26.99. M
This 13th outing for detectives Bernie the human and Chet the canine (after It’s a Wonderful Woof) begins with them testing out Bernie’s latest classic Porsche. At a freeway off ramp, Bernie is recognized by a homeless man who turns out to be a former teammate from their high school baseball days. Returning later to check in, they find the man has disappeared. The priest who oversees the homeless camp where he stayed disappears as well, and Bernie and Chet have a case. The discovery of a body in a pool of water in a slot canyon outside of town complicates things and makes finding the missing classmate even more urgent. Bernie travels back through his past, connecting with friends and teachers from his high school days to piece together the life of his disappeared friend. A handmade switchblade knife with a skull on it provides a vital clue, and perhaps all of it is connected to the disappearance of yet another fellow graduate.
VERDICT Fans of the series will enjoy this new entry in the case files. Chet’s narration provides humor and insight, and Bernie’s search into his own past provides meditations on growing up and growing apart.
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