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By Spencer Quinn

Atria Books, September 6, 2011 ($25.00)
ISBN-10: 143915709X
ISBN-13: 978-1439157091

Reviewed by Cherie Jung

Chet and Bernie are back in the fourth escapade of this charming series. Although Bernie, the human companion and official detective of the duo probably would prefer not to be described as "charming." Chet is of course, the canine narrator of this series. Together they get into scrapes, solve crimes, and pretty much do what any P. I. partners would do, except that Chet's a dog, not a human partner.

Devin, a kid at a wilderness camp, has gone missing. He may have just wandered off or he may have been bullied into running away by the other campers, or he may have been kidnapped. The Little Detective Agency (that's Chet and Bernie, or Bernie and Chet, depending on your perspective) are on the case and the trail. Along the way, other complications crop up for the agency.

I particularly enjoy the author's blend of humor with suspense. It's an unbeatable combination. The characters (both human and non-human) are well drawn. The pacing is precise. The story will immediately capture the reader's attention and won't let go until the final page has been read. Detecting is hard work, sometimes, from a dog's point of view. Perhaps that's because there are so many distractions in a dog's world. Or perhaps it's because humans are very strange at times, at least they are to a dog's way of thinking.

Readers who are unfamiliar with this series can begin with this book, THE DOG WHO KNEW TOO MUCH. It is not necessary to have read the three previous books in the series in order to appreciate and enjoy THE DOG WHO KNEW TOO MUCH, but you will likely want to read the other books later.

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