Chet the dog and his owner Bernie, are partners in solving crimes. Chet the Dog, and Bernie his owner a tired alcoholic run a private investigation agency. Chet has the ability to speak and narrates what is going on in their lives, a good thing, since Chet is often inebriated. He's a good investigator though, and with Chet by his side they get the job done. Chet has discovered that humans like to get high and his keen sense of smell not only scopes out Bernie's drinking, (he smells him when he comes in before he sees him), but the scents woman are fond of, and the tangy smell of marijuana. He's seen needles, pill-poppers and doesn't understand why humans appear to lack in the arena of coping skills.
It is clear early on that even though Bernie has a major drinking problem, he appreciates Chet and treats him well. A bit of an enabler, Chet will often hold his water waiting on Bernie to fall through the door. This to make his partner/owner happy, and to avoid doing his business inside of the house.
The only time Bernie gets upset with Chet is when they are looking for clues and Bernie forgets they are on the job. Easy to do when another canine passes by. Only when he barks during clue searching time is he scolded by his best friend.
On the job, Chet takes notes on Cynthia Chambliss, who has requested services from the private eye to in order to locate her missing teenage daughter Madison. In order to get a feel for the case the private eye and Chet stop by Cynthia's house. Visiting her home to get clues on her lifestyle from her personal possessions, Chet takes in things that Bernie might miss. Things, that can help them locate people who have gone missing. This case is all about finding Madison who leaves clues that she has a gambling problem which means she could be anywhere and and in all types of trouble. Her mother knows that something bad may have happened to her daughter and trusts the detective team of two to bring her answers. Cynthia wants her daugher back home and safe.
Madison told her mother she was headed to the mall to catch a movie. Turns out she was there, but never made it inside of the movie theater. Cynthia gives the names of possible boys that Madison may have been with and the search is on.
In the car, Chet always rides shotgun, never in the rear. He all but takes the wheel for Bernie when the alcohol takes over. This time they are both alert on the way to Tim's house, a high school senior with hopes of attending the University of Arizona. He's keeping a secret for Madison. She told her mother she was going to the movies with him, when in fact, she was using him as a cover to hang out with an older guy named Ruben. A guy with his own place. Tim hates selling Madison out, but hey, college is on his to-do list. Being uncooperative in a missing persons case can significantly reduce his chances of leaving home. One thing is certain, Madison was high when she called Tim to check in.
Reuben is a young thug with a houseful of weed and and an assortment of guns. He tries to play bad ass with Bernie and gets the upper hand until Chet takes a bite out of his leg. He swears he didn't touch Madison (much) and that she left his house upset. Reuben continues talking since his leg is bleeding and he knows Bernie means business. Madison left in a car that was in front of his house, the driver a blonde guy he couldn't really see too well.
Madison wasn't with a boy, and she didn't run away. Her father Damon Keefer had a contract for a business deal and balked on his payments to rig an irrigation system for high-end condominiums. His refusal to make his payments of twelve-thousand a week to keep the project on schedule upset his criminal business partners. They kidnapped Madison.
Bernie puts all the pieces together and he and Chet rescue Madison with the help of her mother who taped a the call when she finally heard from her daughter.
Ready to tackle another case Bernie, Chet, and a new client meet in a bar. Within an hour the only one not drunk and smelling of booze as Chet notes, is him. Chet is a smart police dog and his owner Bernie knows it.
Best part of story, including ending:
I liked that Chet was shared his thoughts, I have never read a book where an animal had as much, or more sense than humans.
Best scene in story:
My favorite scene was when Bernie and Chet found Madison
Opinion about the main character:
I liked that Bernie was so loving towards Chet and that he gave him props for being a helping partner.