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Daily Deals: Dog Detectives, Crazy Spec Ops, and Mistaken Marriages

Dog on It (Chet and Bernie Mysteries) by Spencer QuinnDog on It (Chet and Bernie Mysteries) by Spencer Quinn. $ 2.99

From the Jacket Copy:

Meet Chet, the wise and lovable canine narrator of Dog on It, who works alongside Bernie, a down-on-his-luck private investigator. Chet might have flunked out of police school (“I’d been the best leaper in K-9 class, which had led to all the trouble in a way I couldn’t remember exactly, although blood was involved”), but he’s a detective through and through.

In this, their first adventure, Chet and Bernie investigate the disappearance of Madison, a teenage girl who may or may not have been kidnapped, but who has definitely gotten mixed up with some very unsavory characters. A well-behaved, gifted student, she didn’t arrive home after school and her divorced mother is frantic. Bernie is quick to take the case — something about a cash flow problem that Chet’s not all that clear about — and he’s relieved, if vaguely suspicious, when Madison turns up unharmed with a story that doesn’t add up. But when she disappears for a second time in a week, Bernie and Chet aren’t taking any chances; they launch a full-blown investigation. Without a ransom demand, they’re not convinced it’s a kidnapping, but they are sure of one thing: something smells funny.

Their search for clues takes them into the desert to biker bars and other exotic locals, with Chet’s highly trained nose leading the way. Both Chet and Bernie bring their own special skills to the hunt, one that puts each of them in peril. But even as the bad guys try to turn the tables, this duo is nothing if not resourceful, and the result is an uncommonly satisfying adventure.

With his doggy ways and his endearingly hardboiled voice, Chet is full of heart and occasionally prone to mischief. He is intensely loyal to Bernie, who, though distracted by issues that Chet has difficulty understanding — like divorce, child custody, and other peculiar human concerns — is enormously likable himself, in his flawed, all-too-human way.

This book received a starred review from both PW and Booklist. I’m kind of curious how a dog narrated detective book comes off. An Amazon reviewer says “Chet, the dog, is not so much hard-boiled as simply being his animal self. Unsentimental. Non-judgmental. Ready to eat at every opportunity.”

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The Thirteen: A Novel by Susie MoloneyThe Thirteen by Susie Moloney. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

Haven Woods is suburban heaven, a great place to raise a family. It’s close to the city, quiet, with great schools and its own hospital right up the road. Property values are climbing, and the crime rate is practically nonexistent.

Paula Wittmore hasn’t been back to Haven Woods since she left as a disgraced teenager. Now she’s returning to care for her suddenly ailing mother, and she’s bringing her daughter and a pile of emotional baggage. She’s also bringing, unknowingly, the last chance for her mother’s closest frenemies . . . twelve women bound together by a powerful secret that requires the sacrifice of a thirteenth.

All I can think of when I look at this book is that the woman’s eyes look super creepy. Is she the villain in the story? From the reviews, it sounds like its a mashup of Desperate Housewives and the Witches of Eastwick with a male evil entity that supplies the magic to the women in exchange for horrible deeds performed by the women to prove their allegiance. Could be brilliant social commentary.

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Crazy Kisses (Steele Street) by Tara JanzenCrazy Kisses (Steele Street) by Tara Janzen. $ Free at Amazon

From the Jacket Copy:


Special Ops soldier Kid Chaos Chronopolous is at the top of a Colombian drug lord’s hit list – with good reason. Under orders and undercover, Kid has been on a mission of revenge, taking out his brother’s murderers and the drug lord’s top lieutenants. Now, broke down and patched up, he’s coming home to Panama City to get out of the line of fire and get some rest. Then he finds a bikini bottom in his bathroom, a familiar scrap of next-to-nothing that can only belong to one woman – his woman, the only woman he’s ever loved.


Together, they’re a train wreck, scorching, sultry nights of passion followed by Kid leaving and breaking Nikki McKinney’s heart every time. She’s only come to Panama to say her last goodbye. But Kid’s mission puts her squarely in the crosshairs of the drug lord’s assassins, and when Nikki is captured by Kid’s enemies, only his deadliest skills can save her…

The rights to these books must have reverted to the author because I don’t see a digital version of this book at Amazon. This is not the first in the series and I have to confess that right up to Crazy Love, I thought this was a fun, potato chip (can’t eat just one) book. However, Crazy Sweet (which is on sale at BN for $2.99 really disappointed me and I moved away from the series. I think it is interesting that Janzen has added new scenes to Crazy Sweet.

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The Trouble with Harry (Nobles Series #3) by Katie MacAlisterThe Trouble with Harry by Katie MacAlister. $ 1.99.

From the Jacket Copy:

What is the trouble with Harry?

1. He is Plum’s new husband. Not normally a problem, but when you consider that Harry advertised for a wife, and Plum was set to marry his secretary, there was cause for a bit of confusion.

2. He has a title. Plum has spent the last twenty years hiding from the ton, and now Harry wants her to shine in society? Horrors!

3. He doesn’t know about her shocking secret. How is she going to explain about the dead husband who isn’t a husband…and who now seems to be alive again?

The blurb for this book makes it sound like a contemporary. I kind of loved the first BN review which said “On a positive note, this book is well written with good grammar and excellent descriptions.” Having read so many books with poor grammar, I can kind of empathize. Nonetheless, the review points out some issues with precious kids in the book which can be maddening.

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Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. cecilia
    Oct 20, 2012 @ 13:20:49

    I think The Trouble with Harry was the first book by Katie MacAlister I ever read, and I remember thinking parts of it were hysterically funny. And then I went on a glom reading her books. There was always something frustrating or off-putting about them, though, and eventually I just gave up on her books. But for a cheap read, it would probably be satisfying enough.

    The dog one looks very intriguing, though. Too bad it’s 16.99 at all my store options. :(

  2. NCKat
    Oct 20, 2012 @ 15:25:02

  3. Michelle
    Oct 20, 2012 @ 15:25:57

    I love Katie MacAlister. This one is a historical. Pretty good. She has a more British type of humor, occasionally slapstick. It is worth the read.

  4. NCKat
    Oct 20, 2012 @ 15:31:03

    I am so sorry, I am clueless when it comes to href tags. :(

  5. Carolyne
    Oct 20, 2012 @ 19:25:03

    Dog On It looked just about interesting enough to give it a try–the 3-star Amazon reviews were encouraging, and there weren’t any reviews lower than that. And it was only 99 cents when I checked a few minutes ago, so that was definitely cheap enough to take a chance on it.

    Plus, I’m a sucker for a dog narrator.

  6. carmen webster buxton
    Oct 20, 2012 @ 19:46:37

    I love, love, LOVE Chet and Bernie! The author wrote mainstream novels under another name and took the name Spencer Quinn when he wrote Dog On It. Whoever he is, he knows dogs. Chet narrates everything he hears, but he doesn’t always understand what’s being said. He can be an unreliable narrator because he’s easily distracted from human conversation by important things like a Cheeto he finds under the kitchen table. Bernie is a divorced dad, and there is a sort of hint of romance with him and a reporter he meets, that runs through the background of the plot. More of it develops in the subsequent books in the series. There’s also a prequel short story explaining how Chet met Bernie. I believe it’s called “A Cat Was Involved.”

    Two thumbs up!

    Also just went to send the Kindle link to friends and it’s only 99 cents!

  7. Sunita
    Oct 20, 2012 @ 20:13:41

    @carmen webster buxton: I was going to say I don’t read mysteries with animals, but then I remembered I read and recommended (and loved) a romance with a cat narrator, so I haven’t a leg to stand on.

    Plus, I’m staring at my two dogs as I type this. So … Sold.

  8. MissMel
    Oct 20, 2012 @ 21:21:50

    Is the Trouble with Harry a regency remake of the Hitchcock comedy? I love that movie. The title and the reappearing husband sound familiar.

  9. eastofeden
    Oct 20, 2012 @ 21:40:27

    Chet & Bernie books are great fun. I usually don’t go for the detective/mystery genre…but I loved these! I also usually don’t like animal POV…. I usually find it twee. But Quinn makes it work.

    I remember reading The Trouble With Harry several years ago and remember it as quite funny and enjoyable.

  10. Susan
    Oct 20, 2012 @ 23:53:04

    I was totally sold on the Chet & Bernie book even before I saw the 99¢ price. I’m a bit dismayed by the high prices of the other ebooks in the series, tho. Hope those come down at a future date. . .

  11. Sandra Schwab
    Oct 21, 2012 @ 06:13:48

    The Kindle edition of “Dog on It” is $ 10.35 for European readers. Guess which book I won’t buy in either digital or print format! Don’t publishers realise that there is a potential international audience for their books and that it isn’t such a good idea to alienate said international audience? Hmph. *iz grumpy now*

  12. DS
    Oct 21, 2012 @ 11:07:25

    Spencer Quinn is Peter Abrahams. And I love Chet and Bernie but I have to agree that Simon & Schuster makes it hard to love them in eBook form– in fact I usually pick them up used.

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