Scents and Sensibility By Spencer Quinn

Jul 25, 2015 | 2015 Articles, Mysteryrat's Maze, Pets, Sandra Murphy

by Sandra Murphy

Details at the end of this post on how to win a copy of Scents and Sensibility and a link to purchase the book where a portion goes to help support KRL & an indie bookstore.

Chet is back, and he’s a busy guy! He has to be ready to grab the perp by the pants leg as soon as Bernie gives the signal, which could happen at any time. That’s what they do at the Little Detective Agency, Little being Bernie’s last name. Chet is the 100-pound dog/enforcer who always goes in first to protect Bernie.

They’re just back from a road trip where they visited Susie and had some adventures. Chet doesn’t remember all the details, but it was adventuresome!

Bernie always puts his gun in the safe as soon as they come home. This one is a .44 since the .38 is now at the bottom of the ocean, Chet can’t remember just why, but there was a perp involved. Bernie and Chet are both shocked to see a big hole in the wall where the safe used to be. Chet can’t figure out why the room smells like his neighbor dog, Iggy. It’s a puzzler, all right! book

Now there’s nowhere to put the .44, and besides that, the watch Bernie inherited and kept in the safe is gone. It’s an important part of their financial situation, as it lives part-time with Mr. Singh at the pawnshop. There’s no sign of forced entry, so who had a key? That would be Leda, Bernie’s ex and the mother of Charlie, who’s Chet’s favorite human after Bernie. She left it with Daniel Parsons, Bernie’s neighbor; but now it can’t be found.

Daniel’s a little befuddled. He’s got a lot going on, with his wife in the hospital and his son, Billy, home after “being away” (that is, in prison) for fifteen years for kidnapping. It was a particularly botched job and it doesn’t seem like he learned any lessons from the experience.

A saguaro cactus is now in Daniel’s front yard; a gift, he says. Illegal, says Ellie, the special investigator from the Department of Agriculture. It seems saguaros are now microchipped, so they can be traced if stolen. Since there was no permit issued to move this one, she’s sure it was stolen. It’s pretty obvious Billy is right in the middle of the whole thing—the saguaro and the theft of Bernie’s watch. Bernie will have to tread carefully, because Daniel’s too frail to endure much more. To top it off, Daniel “loaned” Billy twenty thousand dollars to go to forestry school. He also has papers to sign for a reverse mortgage so he can give Billy even more money.

Ellie travels everywhere with a pup she adopted and who looks suspiciously like Chet. His name is Shooter. When Ellie is killed, Shooter goes missing. Could Billy have done the deed? The police investigate… if you can call Mickles a police officer. Bernie’s had run-ins with him before and there’s no love lost there.

When Daniel collapses during questioning and is taken to the hospital, Iggy comes to stay with Chet and Bernie. Now, Chet loves Iggy, but from a distance, not in shared space! It’s time to get the perp, get Daniel and his wife home, and Iggy back where he belongs.

A stolen saguaro, a fifteen-year-old kidnapping, a couple of murders, a music studio, twin thugs, a Cactus Man gathering in the desert and a miniature horse—who but Quinn can make a mystery of all that? Who could tell the tale better than Chet? There are several hold-your-breath-and-read-fast sections, and a cliffhanger ending.

This is the eighth book in the series. Chet and Bernie only get better, the mysteries more mysterious and now there’s Shooter. The Chet and Bernie books are the “don’t want them to end/can’t put them down/re-read them often” variety, the highest compliment a writer can receive.

To enter to win a copy of Scents and Sensibility, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Scents,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen August 1, 2015. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & short stories in our mystery section.

You can use this link to purchase this book & a portion goes to help support KRL and Mysterious Galaxy:

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Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the arch, in the land of blues, booze and shoes—St Louis, Missouri. While writing magazine articles to support her mystery book habit, she secretly polishes two mystery books of her own, hoping, someday, they will see the light of Barnes and Noble. You can also find several of Sandra’s short stories on UnTreed Reads including her new one Bananas Foster. Sandy’s latest short story “The Tater Tot Caper” is one of eleven stories in The Killer Wore Cranberry: Fourths of Mayhem. The annual Thanksgiving anthology has eleven stories and this year, includes recipes. And it’s on sale! Available in all e-versions and in print.


  1. I just finished reading Scents and Sensibility. Loved it. A great addition to this series.

  2. Love Chet and Bernie!!!

  3. Chet and Bernie are like old pals. I look forward to their newest adventures.

  4. This book is setting on my bedside table!!! I just want to feast my eyes on it before I crack the cover. All of Quinn’s previous Chet and Bernie mysteries are on my bookshelf!

  5. This is one of the few series I keep current with. Glad to see another adventure has been published.
    karen 94066 at aol dot com

  6. Need to check this series out! Looks like a great read.
    Scouts579(at) aol (dot) com

  7. I have read all the books in this series and I’m looking forward to reading this one.


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