Every once in a while I like to step outside my genre (SF/Fantasy) for a little walk on the less than bizarre side of fiction. I generally try to keep it light; crime fiction, comedy, mystery, maybe a good spy novel. My father picked up Dog On It, by Spencer Quinn, a dog’s-eye-view look at a private investigator mystery, read it, said it was “okay”, and gave it to me. My wife read it, and couldn’t stop chuckling. I decided I needed a laugh, and a break, so I dove in.
What a delightful, quick and hilarious read! The plot is twisty turny, the characters are utterly lovable, and the banter is flawless. There is nothing new with the animal’s eye view (I was honestly told by a “professional” once, that one should never write from an animal’s point of view… really… I guess they never read Watership Down, or any of the Redwall books…) but Quinn does it flawlessly. A dog’s happy go lucky mentality, preoccupation with food, scents, scratching and a slight forgetfulness for certain things, is portrayed perfectly and humorously without a break. When the human PI, Bernie, yells “Chet! Stop barking!” and Chet thinks, “Was I barking? Oops?” it just makes you smile, especially if you have ever owned a big, slightly goofy dog.
This is not a cerebral read. It is not high literature, and it is not likely to be make any huge waves in the publishing world. But it’s a cute and funny tale with a constantly wagging tail that you really shouldn’t miss!
But bring treats… Bacon ones… there my favorite!
Note: the sequel to this novel “Thereby Hangs A Tail” is available… Fetch it!