To Fetch a Thief
A Chet and Bernie Mystery by Spencer Quinn
Review: Bernie Little of the Little Detective Agency and his canine partner and companion, Chet the Jet, are on the case of a missing elephant trainer — and a missing elephant — in To Fetch a Thief, the third mystery in this series by Spencer Quinn.
Bernie has custody of his son, Charlie, the same weekend the circus is in town. And not just any circus, but the Colonel Drummond Family Traveling Circus, the biggest, greatest, and oldest circus in the whole wide world. Bernie, Chet, and Charlie arrive only to read that there would be no show that day. They're told that Peanut, their prized African elephant, together with her trainer Uri DeLeath, vanished overnight. Various scenarios are floated as to what might have happened: Uri stole Peanut, why no one can be certain; Uri and Peanut were kidnapped, to be held for ransom; animal rights activists convinced Uri to "free" Peanut; and more. Pogo the Clown, relying on the known fact that Chet has the best nose in town, hires Bernie to track down Uri and the elephant. Chet quickly determines the elephant and her trainer left via the front gate — without being seen? — and on through the village, heading south for the Mexican border. What dangers await Bernie and Chet as they pursue the scent of a missing pachyderm?
Some may suspect the books in this series to be in the same cozy category with amateur sleuths solving crimes with their plucky cats. Not true! Chet and Bernie are professionals, each bringing their own set of skills to the task at hand. To Fetch a Thief is a clever and amusing mystery, filled with a lot of humor and quick wit, especially when Chet narrates his activities with Bernie. Separated, Chet "talking" alone or to himself — without Bernie as a foil — doesn't work quite as well, though, getting a bit tiresome after a while. They clearly work best as a team. The mystery itself takes a number of interesting turns, especially when mysterious creatures of the desert come into play. At its best, To Fetch a Thief is good, escapist entertainment.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of To Fetch a Thief.
Acknowledgment: Simon & Schuster provided a copy of To Fetch a Thief for this review.
Review Copyright © 2010 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
The Dog Who Knew Too Much
Atria Books (Hardcover), September 2011
ISBN-13: 9781439157091; ISBN-10: 143915709X
Location(s) referenced in To Fetch a Thief: None
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To Fetch a Thief by Spencer Quinn — A Chet and Bernie Mystery
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: September 2010
List Price: $25.00