Chet, the dog, and Bernie, the PI, are a team made in mystery series heaven. Would that we all were as infallible in our dogs' eyes as Bernie is in Chet's.
-Susan Wilson, New York Times bestselling author of Two Good Dogs on Heart of Barkness
Not long after Scents and Sensibility, the most recent Chet and Bernie novel, came out – actually that very day! – I began getting emails written in all caps, like this: “YOU HAVE BERNIE DYING? THAT’S CRUEL. WE ALL WANT CHET & BERNIE TO GO ON FOREVER.”
Uh-oh. I’d had no intention of ending the series or offing Bernie. I’d had an idea for a different kind of book I wanted to write – the book that became The Right Side – and I can’t write two books at once. So, I thought, how about leaving Chet and Bernie in a cliffhanger situation for now, just a bit of a tease?
Oh, boy. In the intervening time lots of new readers seem to have found the series, so the emails – and messages on social media – just keep coming. Therefore I’m very very happy to say that the new C&B, Heart of Barkness arrives July 2, 2019. There’s no need, by the way, to have read any of the earlier books first. Chet’s the narrator and that kind of rigid sequentiality is just not him.
The Chet and Bernie stories – for those of you new to them - are not cozies. There’s darkness, and the pain of life is felt not just by Bernie but by Chet, too. But – and I think this is part of the appeal of the series, if I may say so – he quickly springs back to his reset position, and that position in one of a lover of life. Is that why I often hear from readers who say Chet and Bernie have helped them through hard times? That’s been a huge and humbling surprise to me.
Heart of Barkness is all about loving life. It’s also about the ruthless, the dangerous, the scorned, country music, and … and mathematics:
“What’s so interesting?” Bernie said. Then came something that had never happened before, kind of a shock. He set his glass on the desk, walked over, and … could it really be? Bernie got down on all fours and … whoa, stop right there! From out of nowhere I suddenly understood four, having never gone past two in my whole life. One, two, four! I’d cracked the code at last!
Welcome – or welcome back – to the world of Chet and Bernie.
- Peter Abrahams aka Spencer Quinn
Heart of Barkness
Spencer Quinn’s Heart of Barkness is the latest in the New York Times bestselling series that the Los Angeles Times called “nothing short of masterful.” Chet the dog, “the most lovable narrator in all of crime fiction” (Boston Globe) and P.I. Bernie encounter heartache and much worse in the world of country music. They’re both music lovers, so when Lotty Pilgrim, a country singer from long ago, turns up at a local bar, they drive out to catch her act. Bernie’s surprised to see someone who was once so big performing in such a dive, and drops a C-note the Little Detective Agency can’t afford to part with into the tip jar. The C-note is stolen right from under their noses – even from under Chet’s, the nose that misses nothing – and before the night is over, it’s stolen again.
Soon they’re working the most puzzling case of their career, a case that takes them back in time in search of old border-town secrets, and into present-day danger where powerful people want those secrets to stay hidden. Chet and Bernie find themselves sucked into a real-life murder ballad where there is no one to trust but each other.