Scents and Sensibility: A Chet and Bernie Mystery (#8), by Peter Abrahams, alias/aka/nom de plume/pen name Spencer Quinn (Simon and Schuster, 2015, 307 pages, $25)
Spencer Quinn Does it Again!
This time with Scents and Sensibility.
What is so appealing about Quinn’s series of ‘who-dun-it’s’ that many Chet and Bernie fans are fans for life?
Is it the settings that, with nearly each book, center in more and more on Phoenix, Arizona, except the ones set in Washington, DC, or Louisiana or elsewhere? Is it the locales – be it a movie set or a circus or something simply mundane? Is it private eye Bernie, who has absolutely no flair for finances but always gets his man? Is it the complex plots that the reader reads with accelerating speed but then has to slow down so as not to miss all the loose ends that tie up so nicely in the end? Is it the striking, lemony-limey-raspberry-orangey cover shots that feature Chet, of course, and silhouettes against a wide expanse of sky?
No, No, and No. But They Help
It’s the narrator, Chet, Bernie’s delightfully daffy canine sidekick who sits in the shotgun seat of whatever Porsche Bernie happens to have at the moment. And even the perps (bad guys) are fairly likable.
Scents and Sensibility takes us into the Arizona desert where endangered saguaro cacti are uprooted and sold on the black market one by one, where teens gather for a musical celebration in the desert (“Desert Man”), where Bernie discovers his missing wall safe with its missing grandfather watch, where we read about a kidnapping from long ago, plus a modern-day cult, and a prison murder (of course),
Your grandmother will remember Gracie Allen, that lovable ditzy blonde, who was so smart she was dumb, always taking things too literally, even running for President on the Surprise Party ticket. Chet-the-dog narrates in the same manner which may be his most endearing quality, along with his utter devotion to Bernie and his uncanny ability to count to two.
Once you read one Chet-and-Bernie book, you’ll be hooked! And that’s a good thing.
To read other great reviews of other great Spencer Quinn books, click on To Fetch a Thief,