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VINE VOICEon September 24, 2010
Bernie Little of the Little Detective Agency and his proud K9 partner Chet stumble into the missing elephant case when Bernie takes his son to the Drummond Family Traveling Circus. Bernie's friend Sgt. Rick Torres first enjoys their help, but starts to get annoyed when Bernie gets too involved. Bernie is pressured by his son to find the poor elephant Peanut, then gets hired by the circus clown Popo to find Uri DeLeath who is Peanut's trainer and also missing.

Usually series gets tired by third book, but not this Chet and Bernie Mystery! To Fetch a Thief is as enjoyable as the first book Dog on It: A Chet and Bernie Mystery (Chet and Bernie Mysteries). And, the plot is even better than before. The best part is, of course, Chet's doggy narrative. I especially loved reading Chet herding Peanut. That would make a great movie scene! I don't know how Quinn does it, but I'm convinced that Chet actually exists.

It's such an addictive series that I'm already starving to read the next book.
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on September 22, 2010
So how well can a dog author a detective story? In To Fetch a Thief, the story begins with Pooch Chet and Detective Bernie photographing evidence that a woman has been unfaithful. Her suspicious husband wants hard evidence for a divorce settlement. Chet is Bernie Little's canine sidekick who loves to ride shotgun in his well used Saab.

As they sit patiently in front of a motel that has but two guests, suddenly Chet's ears perk up. With a low growl, Chet spots the unfaithful wife leaving one end of the motel and Bernie takes photos.

A few minutes later, a man leaves and he too is caught on film.
Because Bernie is recently divorced, now Chet and he are, in a sense, alone in the world. As luck would have it, Bernie's divorced wife asks him to babysit their son Charlie because she has planned a weekend sensual fling with her new "ideal" man she hopes to soon marry. She gives Bernie two tickets for the Big Top to help him entertain their son while she becomes more amorously involved in a sensual tryst.

As his wife leaves, Chet and Bernie catch a glimpse of the man who is soon-to-be his wife's new husband. Interestingly enough, this is the same man Chet and Bernie had just photographed leaving the motel with yet another woman.

But this small intimacy is just the beginning of a deeper fascinating story. Arriving at the Big Top, they find the circus closed because Peanut the elephant and his trainer are missing. The police have cordoned off the entire circus grounds leaving Chet, Bernie and his son, Charlie, extremely disappointed. Charlie insists that his dad get involved in finding Peanut; after all, the man and his dog are a respected team called the Little Detection Agency.

Chet immediately picks up strange scents around the Big Top. The scent of Elephant Peanut is overwhelming and at first, easy to follow. It ends at the gate leading out of the circus area. Persuaded by his tearful son, Bernie begins his quest for Peanut and her beloved trainer. What is interesting in To Catch a Thief is this fact. Everything in the story is relayed to the reader through Chet's canine brain--the dog's feelings, his insight, his dog traits such as marking his scent whenever necessary, his unquenchable love for his master Bernie.

It is nothing for Chet's unspoken wishful thinking to want his master to take the money when some kind of payment or deal is forthcoming. Chet knows money is needed for dog food at home. Yet, the dog will warn the reader that he doesn't really know the value of money. After all, he can count to one and two, but can't quite get beyond that.

This is not a simple story children's story. It is not a make believe childish romp of some kind. The tale involves real feelings, canine and human, real danger, and extremely dangerous situations. From its first pages, To Fetch a Thief has a catchy plot loaded with suspense, attempted murder, and killing, particularly when Peanut's owner is found dead. As long as Bernie and Chet remain together as a team,

Chet's welfare seems guided by thoughtful Bernie.
But in a life and death situation after the two become separated, the safety of this detective duo becomes critically uncertain. Bernie is badly beaten and taken prisoner, he tells Chet to "Run, run, run," to keep the dog from being mowed down in a hail of bullets. On his own, Chet does a masterful job of finding and retrieving Peanut. Because of her remarkable size, when freed and put in gear, her bulk becomes a formidable demolition machine.

To Fetch a Thief is a masterful combination of Chet's canine mind intermixed with Bernie's adult thinking in a human world. Although the two friends are inseparable at first, when life threatening events force them to go-it-alone, each survives in the most startling manner that indicates one is pure brutal dog instinct and the other pure human ingenuity. This enjoyable book is a lesson in canine common sense for all readers.

For sheer enjoyment, I cannot recommend To Catch a Thief more highly. For a who-done-it detective mystery, I would have to give it an A+ rating; for an author to combine the animal world so realistically with what we think animals know of our mental shenanigans, I would give it an A+ rating. For high school teachers looking for a way to get reluctant readers to want to read, I would give it an A+ rating.

To Fetch a Thief can make your world a more enjoyable space; read it!

Review written by Regis Schilken
Author of:
Tears of Deceit

Other good reads:
Vermilion Drift: A NovelThe Time of Eddie Noel
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on October 18, 2010
"To Fetch a Thief" is another great addition to the Chet and Bernie mystery series. The mystery at the center of the book is excellent and well developed, with interesting characters and a plot that draws the reader in immediately. As is the case with the other books, Chet and Bernie, their relationship and personalities, are the true "heart and soul" of the book, and they do not disappoint in this installment. The author brings refreshing new insights into Chet's character, which allows the series to continue to delight rather than become formulaic.
For readers who have not read the preceding books, have no fear, you can delve right in. While it is not necessary to have read the earlier books before reading To Fetch a Thief, you can be sure that you will want to read them after.
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on March 23, 2012
What would Bernie Little do, being only some simple Private Investigator, without his best friend and associate in affairs, with the nice nickname Chet?
"Who is that Chet?"
Chet is a member of "the Nation within the Nation", how he likes to call it...
"And will that Chet-guy deliver some further explanation on this Nation-in-nation-thing?" You may ask.
Oh yes, he's able to do it, but You will have some difficulty to understand him.
Why that??? That's very simple - because...Chet is a DOG.
And it' s him the true reporter of all the written-down adventures, 4 until today, having the Bernie Little Investigation Group as protagonists.

Chet was a soo well trained K-9 dog, best leaper of his class, certificate yet prepared, a more than safe job with the govn'ment, but then there was that curious "incident".
He doesn't like to take about it, we will only learn bit by bit that there was a cat involved and some blood, maybe, too...
That was the end of his K-9 career before it had begun.
But then he met Bernie, ex-special forces, divorced, one boy-child called Charlie, a Private Investigator with absolutly NO talent to take the very Best from his clients - their money.
And there along comes Suzie, the Rapid Reporter, yet by Chet The Jet identified as the the perfect "female" for his (until now) Lonesome Loner who is his Bernie-Boss.
So "Our Hero on Two Legs" needs urgently and almost always the help from his Best Friend, Chet.
And Chet is always more that eager to lend him a helping paw...

This time they have to look after some very awesome thing to lose: A Peanut...
Hey, Friends - calm down!
This "Peanut" is a female African Elephant, THE STAR of some out-of-every-category
Flea Circus, and she has vanished (almost) into the air overnight.
And with her - surprise, surprise - has gone her trainer, Uri DeLeath. too.

And, as always, our Hot Hound Chet "The Jet" and Bernie the Eager Beaver will find the solution to this more than wicked cage... ehhmmm case...
And You will learn a bit more about the "Traffic of Endangered Species", only second behind the Drug Traffic in amount of Billions of US $, English £, European Euro...
What a sad, sad thing...

But our "Dynamic Duo" will make all the wrong things right.

And that is the very good reason to read the books of Spencer Quinn:
How sad the actions may seem - there is always some light at the end of the tunnel:
The Light in Chet's Eyes...

Read and learn...
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on December 22, 2012
This is the 3rd installment in the Chet & Bernie mysteries. The reason I came back for more of Chet & Bernie was because I find a dog being the narrator or story teller fascinating. For me, the reader, to observe what is going on in detail from a dog's perspective is opening a new dimension in reading. It's also a good break from the usual mysteries.

"To Fetch A Thief" brings into account cruelty to animals and in the end results compassion and an answer for Peanut the elephant. I loved that and was so appreciative of the fact that this author wrote that into the story. Peanut the elephant has been stolen from a family type traveling circus. Chet & Bernie are hired to find the whereabouts of Peanut.

Bernie gets a little too close to the elephant nappers(?) and finds himself out of commission and separated from Chet. This is where the best part of the story happens for me. Chet reports in vivid detail every step of his heart wrenching journey. Chet especially expresses his unfailing love and concern for his companion as well as his need to be reunited with Bernie. That's the bottom line for me. Chet's unconditional love and devotion for Bernie. In this case Bernie proves his unyeilding bond with Chet.

I love the this series and recommend this book to all mystery and dog lovers.
*some profanity used.
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on May 12, 2016
this is one of several books that make for a very "cute" read. OK so that's not the right word, but it's funnier then all get out, and it connects to other books. The one telling the story is CHET, as seen through HIS eyes, which adds a different dimension to the book.
I must admit, that I have bought the entire series as USED BOOKS, I couldn't afford to pay full price to find out what Chet and Bernie where up to next.
I should tell you that CHET is a dog, one that flunked out of the police academy because of a cat, you'll have to read that book yourself,

It is an enjoyable book and an enjoyable series, one that puts me into a relaxed mood just before I go to sleep
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on June 28, 2016
Chet and his human, Bernie Little, are back for another adventure--this time under the Big Top. Once again Quinn treats us to an unfolding view of the mystery as seen entirely from the POV of the very definitely canine half of the Little Detective Agency. Chet's thoughts and enthusiasms ring true to anyone who's ever lived with a dog, and I continue to be amazed at how well Quinn lays out a coherent mystery plot with this limitation. Series readers who've read the books in order will definitely be grabbing for the next book, after the bombshell on the last page, too!
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on July 2, 2013
This is the third story in a delightful series by Spencer Quinn about the private investigator named Bernie Little and his faithful dog companion, Chet. All of the books I have read in this series so far are absolutely the greatest. This particular adventure, told from Chet's point of view, finds Bernie and Chet on the trail of a missing elephant named Peanut and her circus trainer. Hired by Popo the clown, the two detectives head out into the desert and over the border to Mexico, with Bernie driving and Chet riding shotgun in the passenger seat. If you want clean-cut escapism from the rat-race world, this book is perfect. I highly recommend it!
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on May 9, 2015
If you like dogs and mysteries, this series will entertain you. Chet is an engaging narrator with a believably canine sensibility. There are situations where he knows more than the humans, and others where he clearly can't figure out what's going on. Humor is often supplied by Chet's literal understanding of colloquialisms. When he hears someone say that something "saved my bacon"', he looks excitedly around for actual bacon. He is also distracted by interesting but irrelevant smells and sounds.

I will definitely be reading or listening to others in this series.
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on December 27, 2012
These stories about Chet and Bernie are among my favorite series. I've purchased every one of them including the e-book that was posted for Kindle. Quinn talks human and dog equally well, love the plots, love Bernie (although not as much as Chet loves him--that would be impossible.) And I'm over the moon about Chet. His take on humans, the mystery confronting them, his past, etc. are absolutely the best.
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