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Book Reviews
Milt Gross Book Review: "Dog on It" by Spencer Quinn
By Milton M. Gross
Aug 23, 2015 - 7:05:50 AM

Dog on It is a hilarious murder mystery with the dog doing much of the action as well as the doggie thought. Milt Gross photo.
Does a writer become better as he writes through several books? Does he hone his skills for a better tale?

I've wondered that and still do. But in Dog on It, Spencer Quinn did a better job on his first, this one, than in the one of his I had read earlier, the seventh one of his dog-and-mystery series.

They were both good, but in the seventh book Paw and Order, Quinn's writing tended to separate the mystery from the doggone good doggie humor. I found it to be either doggie humor with mystery thrown in or the other way around.

But in Dog on It, Quinn did a much better job of combining doggie humor with the actual story. In fact, some of the story featured Chet, the dog in question, with his being the only action and Bernie, the doggie master, not being present for those parts.

Chet finds himself dognapped, loose in the wild country, and biting off a great deal in solving the Dog on It plot, which is basically about a teen-age girl who had been kidnapped. To skip to the end, I thought the final paragraph, which was about Chet, was great. "I lay by the fire, watching it slowly die. I could watch fires forever. The night grew quiet, quiet as it ever gets in the Valley I was falling asleep when all at once I heard the she-bark. And not just the she-bark but the she-bark sounding closer than before, much closer. Was that wishful thinking -- an expression I'd heard Bernie use from time to time -- on my part? Couldn't tell you. It was just the way I think, that's all. I rose, ran to the back fence, and leaped over, soaring into the night."

What a great ending for a tale featuring a dog a good part of the time!

Dog on It was copyrighted in 2009 and was published by Atria Books, a division of Simon and Schuster, Inc., New York.

If you can stand dogs who are heroes and like an exciting mystery in the same reading, grab your own copy at $25 according to the hardcover's leaf. only lists the paperback at $8.64 and the Kindle Edition at $13.99.

You can't borrow my copy, because I borrowed it from the Carver Memorial Library in Searsport. They want it back.

But your copy will be just as exciting, so dog on it, go for it.

Milt Gross can be reached for corrections, harassment, or other purposes at

Milton M. Gross Copyright 2015

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