Monday, April 8, 2013

A Fistful of Collars by Spencer Quinn

Just finished up the fifth book in the Chet and Bernie series by Spencer Quinn, A Fistful of Collars. Still a cute series about The Little Detective Agency, so named for Bernie Little. Chet is his dog and partner. The mystery is done pretty well, the characters are engaging, and Chet is...well, Chet.

While I like the idea of the story being told from a first-person perspective - namely Chet's POV - I found myself a bit annoyed at times this go-round. Yes, the author totally nails what it must be like to be in a dog's head: lots of jumping around from subject to subject, confusion over what certain sayings mean, how smells are so good and what they're like, lots of naps.

But this time I really noticed that often these quick jumps in POV were done so that we, the readers, weren't privileged to information that was obviously being related/revealed to the human characters. And that sort of had me a bit peeved. IMHO, one should never notice a literary "trick", regardless of what that trick is. Here, it's obviously what amounts to a jump-cut in Chet's POV so that we're kept in the dark. I get that Chet doesn't always pay attention (and who would when there's bacon around?) but this time it was often glaringly obvious what was happening.

Didn't make the book any less enjoyable, I suppose, as I raced through it. I do hope that the author doesn't use the construction quite so much in the next book, though, or at the very least, hides it to some extent. And I really hope we get to learn more about the pup who has been seen around the neighborhood, the one who looks suspiciously like Chet...

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