This is great new voice in detective fiction.
And in detective fiction, voice is critical. At the end of the day, we come back to Kinsey Milhone or Stephanie Plum or Marcus Didius Falco because we want to spend more time with the character.
Chet is a great central voice. Quinn doesn't play cute and he doesn't gimmick up the story. There are many ways that the notion of a canine main character could go horribly wrong, and Quinn avoids them all.
Chet is out of the gumshoe tradition, looking out for his down-on-his-luck partner Bernie:
"She got out of the car, a tall woman with long fair hair and a smell of flowers and lemons, plus a trace of another smell that reminded me of hat happens only sometimes to the females in my world. What would that be like, having it turned on all the time? Probably drive you crazy. I glanced at Bernie, watching her, patting his hair into place. Oh, Bernie."
Chet has the hard-boiled nerve, the observational skills, the running internal commentary of a classic detective, but he has his appropriately dog-like qualities as well-- an occasional attention span issue, as well a tendency to act, now and then, literally before he realizes he has done it.
The set-up of the mystery is interesting, the solution interesting but not entirely surprising. And Quinn does fall back on one whopper of a coincidence to save the day at one point.
But Chet and Bernie are a fun and entertaining team, and Quinn is a prose master. If you read detective fiction for the main character or because you believe it's where much of the best writing is done, this one is for you. It probably adds a bit if you have a dog of your own, but that's not a requirement to enjoy this excellent first outing.