A detective story narrated by a dog. What could be better? Apart from his impressive understanding of the English language and his ability to narrate books, Chet is very much a dog: loyal, forgetful, easily distracted, always hungry, fascinated by odors and averse to loud noises, often puzzled by humans but usually willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. Chet prefers a clear head to deep thought. He's a literal thinker: when he hears that someone is wearing ratty clothing, Chet looks for the rats; when he hears he's in a one-horse town, Chet looks for the horse; when someone comments that a character's behavior stinks, Chet wonders why he can't smell it.
Chet's partner in the Little Detective Agency is Bernie Little. Bernie is hired to protect a woman from her ex-husband. The mission changes when the woman's son disappears on a camping trip. With Chet's help, Bernie searches for the missing boy (searching for things, particularly hot dogs, is a task at which Chet excels). When the search leads to the discovery of a murder victim in a gold mine, Bernie begins to suspect that the woman hasn't been wholly truthful about the reason he was hired. A conspiracy is soon unveiled that threatens to separate Chet from Bernie. As the story progresses, Chet has some solo adventures while maintaining a stream of consciousness commentary on items of interest to the canine nation.
This isn't the kind of book you want to overanalyze. Spencer Quinn has a dry sense of humor that matches my own. He's a keen observer of dogs; his take on how dogs think kept me laughing from the first page to the last. The Dog Who Knew Too Much is meant as an entertaining romp and that's the spirit in which I enjoyed it. The mystery tends to get lost in the midst of Chet's descriptions of the world as interpreted by a dog, but it's Chet, not the thin plot, that carries the book.
This is apparently the fourth in a series of Chet and Bernie books. I'm so fond of Chet it made me want to read them all.