Scents and Sensibility
by Spencer Quinn
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Atria Books
Released: July 14, 2015
Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.
Book Description, Modified from Back Cover:
Private Investigator Bernie Little and his canine companion Chet decide to help their next door, old Mr. Parsons, who is under investigation for being in possession of a saguaro cactus illegally transplanted from the desert. Chet and Bernie discover bad things going on in the wilderness, far worse that cactus smuggling, all connected to the Parsons's son. They unearth leads that take them back to a long-ago kidnapping that may not have been a kidnapping and threaten a ruthless criminal who sees what Chet and Bernie mean to each other and knows how to exploit it.
Scents and Sensibility is a humorous mystery for adults who like dogs. It's told from the dog's viewpoint. We're told the human words and actions even though the dog doesn't understand everything they're saying or doing. He's dog-smart, not human-smart. This book is the eighth in a series, and it spoils the whodunits of previous cases.
Chet's internal dialogue kept me laughing, and this is really his story. It just happens to include a mystery because his human is a private detective. I had more sympathy for Chet's relationship troubles (with a newly discovered puppy son) than with his human's relationship troubles. Bernie kept at it until the case was solved, but he seemed a bit hopeless when it came to relationships with women. He even treated his cop contact in a rude way. I think I would have appreciated Bernie's relationship troubles a bit more if I'd started with the beginning of the series.
While I suppose justice was served regarding the murderer, I didn't feel very satisfied at the end because he let some criminals go free. I was also left wondering about several aspects of the mystery. All we can do is speculate based on the information Bernie and Chet collected. Basically, I prefer my mysteries a bit more neat and tidy at the end.
There was no sex. I've only previously read this author's young adult book, so I was surprised that there was a fair amount, full range, a great variety of bad language. All of the human characters seemed to feel the need to cuss or swear at some point--occasionally in every other sentence.
If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.
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