Stay away. Leave me alone. Do not disturb. I'm spending the week with Spencer Quinn. You remember Spence, right? He writes the Chet and Bernie books - the washed up police officer with the smack talking, ankle biting doggy detective sidekick? Chet, the aforementioned sidekick narrated all the novels....OK, now you remember.
You might also recall that my number one novel reading rule is that if there is a dog on the cover I don't read it. Those books never end well. I still get teary when someone mentions A Dog's Purpose, and don't get me started on Old Yeller. No dogs ever die in Quinn's books. In fact, Chet matures and evolves as the series grows. He makes new friends, human and not; he develops new skills such as fishing, and he even finds love behind a circus wagon.
This week I discovered that I am two books behind in the series and that sets me up for a fine weekend of reading. In Paw and Order, my favorite sleuthing duo travel to Washington D.C. where they find themselves embroiled in some international drama. Pre-dusty orange Prez. They're back in the desert for Scents and Sensibility. The book jacket tells me they will get into a "prickly" situation at a music festival. Sounds like good fun.
My greatest discovery of the week is that Spencer Quinn is busting his business out to middle readers. New dog. New protagonists. Bowser and Birdie. "Two humans stood outside my cage, a white-haired woman and a gum chewing kid. gum chewing is one of the best sounds out there, and the smell's not bad, either." How can you resist a talking dog falling in love at first sight with a spunky kid? This book delivered as much fun as the adult series, but with less violence and no colorful cussing.
I struggle a lot with what I want to read, what I should read to keep up with trends, and what others expect me to be reading. That last one is the worst. I have also been struggling with the make-up of book group #2 - totally cerebral women who have lived in lands other than Manitowoc. Lands like Germany, Sweden, and Japan. They know stuff. I was feeling alone and awful amid those great brains until another member said to me in a totally jovial manner," You know, Bev, I don't want to brag but I think I'm the dumbest one in the group." Thank you. I no longer feel so alone!
Happy Valentine's Day...or as we say in these parts...Valentimes Day.