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A Fistful of Collars: A Chet and Bernie Mystery (The Chet and Bernie Mystery Series) Hardcover – September 11, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 462 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Praise for A Fistful of Collars

“Between Chet’s insightful and humorous takes on human events, the fast-paced plot, and the wealth of fascinating secondary characters, this is a fine entry in a not-to-be-missed series." (Booklist)

"Amusing, intelligent and exciting... A fun romp through a genre that's been around for decades but in the right hands (or paws) still has the power to entertain us." (Cesar's Way)

"Once again, Quinn…effectively uses a dog narrator while avoiding the sentimentality that marks many animal-centered cozies."
--Publishers Weekly

“You would think that by the fifth series title, Quinn might have run out of ideas and quips—he hasn't. Fans of Janet Evanovich or Donna Andrews will enjoy Quinn's humorous and entertaining mysteries.”
--Library Journal

Chet, who continues as narrator in this exciting fifth installment of the series…always gets it right in the end.”
--Kirkus Reviews

"This delightful buddy tale... will have no problem engaging and entertaining readers just discovering this series." --Shelf Awareness

Praise for the New York Times Bestselling Chet and Bernie Mystery Series

"Nothing short of masterful."
--Los Angeles Times

"Even cat lovers will howl with delight."
--USA Today

"Spencer Quinn speaks two languages--suspense and dog--fluently."
--Stephen King

"Pulls the reader along as if on a leash."

“Quinn radiates pure comic genius…You don't have to be a dog lover to enjoy this deliciously addictive series.”
Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

“These books… are as skillfully rendered as they are clever and fully worthy of the attention of any reader." (The Denver Post)

About the Author

Spencer Quinn is the author of seven previous bestselling Chet and Bernie mystery novels as well as the middle grade novel Woof. He lives on Cape Cod with his dogs Audrey and Pearl. Keep up with him—and with Chet and Bernie—by visiting SpenceQuinn.com.

Product Details

  • Series: The Chet and Bernie Mystery Series (Book 5)
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; First Edition edition (September 11, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451665164
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451665161
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (462 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #490,473 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Spencer Quinn lives on Cape Cod with his dog, Audrey. He is currently working on the next Chet and Bernie novel.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
If you're looking for a light, amusing detective story, it's hard to beat Chester Quinn's novels about the two partners in the Little Detective Agency: Bernie Little and his loyal dog Chet. Even when the plot is weak, Chet is always good for a laugh. Fortunately for fans of the series, this is one of Quinn's better books.

A movie is shooting on location in the Valley. The mayor (prompted by the city's insurance company) hires Bernie to keep an eye on the star. Thad Perry has a taste for drugs and a knack for getting into trouble. If the three weeks of filming pass without incident, the town will attract more filmmakers -- or so the mayor believes -- and the city's insurer won't have to pay any claims. Yet once filming begins, trouble of an unexpected nature ensues: murder. In the end, three murders come to light (albeit considerably separated in time) and it's up to Bernie and Chet to determine how they are related. Bernie is in charge of deduction; Chet (as he frequently reminds the reader) brings other things to the table.

The mystery is a good one, much better than the plot that drove the previous novel in the series. Still, the story exists largely as an excuse to give Chet something to talk about. Chet is the narrator and, as you might expect of a dog, he has trouble staying focused. Chet's thoughts tend to meander (often in the direction of his next meal) but they always end up in a happy place. Chet might ponder a profound question for a few moments -- If Bernie has a word on the tip his tongue, why can't Chet see it? How can Bernie's bark be worse than his bite when Bernie doesn't bark? -- but Chet doesn't sweat the small stuff.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an entertaining story involving a popular detective team. Canine narrator, Chet, and his human companion, Bernie, have an adventure involving Hollywood film making and babysitting bad boy stars.

The mayor of the Valley wants to generate income for his community. He and a group of backers persuade Hollywood primadonna Thad Perry, to film Wild Horseman in the Valley.

With Perry's record of extra curricular activity, one prerequisite is that private eye Bernie Little and his dog, Chet, keep Perry out of trouble.

As Chet is the narrator, it's entertaining to be aware of his thoughts and senses as he tries to interpret a person's body language or when he observes actions that people aren't afraid to display in front of a dog.

One enjoyable scene is when Thad challenges Bernie to a boxing match. At the conclusion, when Thad's assistant offers to help him get off the ground, Thad is embarrassed by being beaten and snarls "...don't look at me as if I'm some kind of candy ass." Chet hears this and thinks it would be an interesting idea.

This is a well written mystery. The plot is tricky with a few surprises. Chet's dog insights about human behavior are well communicated as is the relationship between Bernie and Chet.

Definitely recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
I adore this series. The stories are well plotted, there's enough action to keep things going, the western settings have real atmosphere, etc. but the main reason I read these books is to hear Chet's voice again. I am totally in love with this dog, who is goofy and wise and oh, so funny. He is more "humane" than a lot of humans and his devotion to Bernie makes me like the struggling gumshoe almost as much as Chet does. I don't know how Spencer Quinn does it - Chet's "voice" is so true that I almost believe a wonderful canine writes these books. They are a pleasure to read - each and every one of them. And they keep getting better and better.
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Format: Hardcover
Spencer Quinn returns with our favorite team Chet and Bernie in A FISTFUL OF COLLARS. It takes our pair into a place where things aren't always as they seem---and that makes for a fascinating story.

Chet is once again navigating us through the adventures, even though like so many of us he sometimes doesn't seem to get exactly what he is seeing and hearing at times. What he does know is that Bernie and he are on a new job where not only are the stakes high but the cost of failing could be their lives.

Working on a movie set our two heroes are not only watching over the film's star Thad Perry but seeing something unfold that they weren't expected. It would seem that Thad is not as new to the area as they might have thought, and this brings up a cold case that has Chet and Bernie chasing down leads while at the same time watching out for their own lives.

You see something is going on in the Valley that results in the death of a reporter which leads Chet and Bernie to the realization that there's an unsolved murder that took place in the area years ago---and that is when things really get interesting for the duo.

What happens next is not only the investigation but the realization that something is not as picture-perfect as some might assume, and someone is willing to kill to keep the past in the past.

This book like the other two in the series that I've read keeps you interested not just because of the fun aspect of a dog being your narrator but because the story is so enjoyable and makes for a fun read.

"There are big forces at work in this world", one of the characters says to Bernie (and by extension Chet as well). It can easily be said that those big forces have united to create a storyline that will keep you engaged right until the end. Whether you are new to the mystery series or have been a fan from book to book, A FISTFUL OF COLLARS is definitely a dog-gone great read.
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