Spencer Quinn has done it again – amused and entertained me – with THEREBY HANGS A TAIL…
After a day of catching a perp and a night of Bernie’s drinking and investing in a scheme, Chet wakes up Bernie to receive a visitor at the front door. Adelina Borghese, a New York show dog owner, needs Bernie and Chet to investigate threats against her little pampered pet, Princess, before the local dog show begins. Because of her size and fluffiness, Chet is not sure Princess is a dog. Bernie is not sure he wants to take on this simple task, but after Adelina and Princess are abducted, he takes the case seriously.
Bernie’s part-time girlfriend and reporter, Susie Sanchez, is writing an article on the upcoming dog show and goes missing after an abruptly ended phone message. Chet is worried about this, for Susie has really yummy dog treats that she is very generous with. Bernie and Chet track down clues, which take them to an old ghost town, where Susie’s car is found. Almost as soon as they get out of Bernie’s old Porsche, they are both knocked out.
Chet wakes up to find Bernie missing. He sniffs around the town and over a hill to a cabin, which holds a dead Adelina and a filthy, weak Princess. Chet carries Princess away across the desert after they are shot at by what seems to be a sheriff’s deputy. Chet manages to get Princess to a couple of hippies at the base of Red Butte, where they are fed and watered and breathe in marijuana smoke. When Chet wakes up this time, he is sold by the hippies to a rough guy, who is about to take him to Alaska and turn him into a fighting dog.
After Chet escapes from the choke-collar-using guy, he is reunited with Bernie but cannot tell his human all that has transpired. Nevertheless, eventually, Princess is rescued, Susie is found, Bernie gets paid (which is always a worry of Chet’s), and the bad guys, one of whom is a woman, are brought to justice. Case closed.