Heart of Barkness By Spencer Quinn: Review/Giveaway

Aug 3, 2019 | 2019 Articles, Mysteryrat's Maze, Pets, Sandra Murphy

by Sandra Murphy

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Heart of Barkness, and a link to purchase it from Amazon, and an indie bookstore where a portion of the sale goes to help support KRL.

Bernie’s been in the hospital for a long time, especially in dog time. Chet had to stay with their buddy Rick. At least Rick took him to visit Bernie, almost every day. Now Bernie is standing outside the hospital, ready to go home! Is this a great day or what?!

Bernie was in such bad shape even his friends were betting he wouldn’t make it. Really, cash on the line betting. Who could blame them? Not Bernie! There were days he’d have bet the same way. Now to get back to their real lives, him and Chet.

Lotty Pilgrim was a well-known country singer/songwriter. Now she’s reduced to playing one-night stands at dive bars. She used to sing about the down and out, dirt poor, broken souls. Now she is one. It’s by chance Chet and Bernie get to see her. One drunk consistently calls for her to sing “How You Hung the Moon.” Bernie slips a sizable tip into the jar and tells her to sing whatever she wants. From there, it goes full-tilt downhill. Chet sees a guy steal the tip – oh boy, a perp! A chase through the parking lot, a pair of pants left behind and Chet’s having a great day. mystery

Chet’s not sure who’s the client, but Bernie wants to help Lotty, so Chet’s ready, willing and able. There’s a visit to Lotty, not so productive as she claims she doesn’t need any help. Then Lotty calls in a panic. No wonder! There’s a dead body, but no sign of Lotty. The more Bernie and Chet dig for clues, the more certain they are that the answers lie in the past.

Of course, Bernie has a personal life too. Suzie is now in London but back in town because Bernie was hurt. Things are not looking good on that front. There’s possible romance coming from another direction although both Bernie and Chet are unsure what to do about that.

As regular readers know, Chet’s always had some…difficulties with cats. Now he has to add horses to the list, Mingo in particular. Mingo has no idea that Chet is supposed to lead the way and Mingo should follow. It’s up to Chet to put him in his proper place!

This is the ninth book in the entertaining series. The mystery is complex, weaving together both Lotty and country music’s past, present and hopefully, future. Bernie is at his dogged best, digging up clues, chasing perps and trying to keep Chet out of trouble.

Chet has got to be the best detective dog ever! He has deep thoughts, often best accomplished while lying down, grabs perps by the pants leg, finds clues but has no way to tell Bernie and is making more connections now on his own than ever before. Is this a great day or what?!

For twists and turns readers won’t see coming, laugh out loud moments, a bit of sadness creeping in and romances going wrong or with potential, readers will not be disappointed. Read one, get hooked, find you have to own all of them.

Another sure choice for my Best of 2019 list.

To enter to win a copy of Heart of Barkness, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “barkness,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen August 10, 2019. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address (so if you win we can get the book sent right out to you), and if via comment please include your email address. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Be sure to check out our new mystery podcast too with mystery short stories, and first chapters read by local actors. A new episode went up this week!

Use this link to purchase the book & a portion goes to help support KRL & indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy:

You can also use this link to purchase the book on Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:

Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the Arch in St. Louis Missouri. She writes about eco-friendly topics, pets and wildlife for magazines and reviews mysteries and thrillers for KRL. A collection of her short stories, published by Untreed Reads, From Hay to Eternity: Ten Tales of Crime and Deception can be found at all the usual outlets. Each one is a little weird and all have a twist you won’t see coming.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases using those links. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. Thanks for the contest. I love Chet. ckmbeg (at) gmail (dot) com

  2. Reminds me of the song “Would You Catch a Falling Star by John Anderson. Count me in!

  3. This sounds good! I haven’t read this series yet. Thank you for the chance to read it!

  4. A wonderful series featuring a very special duo whom I love.

  5. Seems I’ve been waiting for a new Chet and Bernie for a long time. Can’t wait to get my hands on this one!

  6. That dog on the cover bears a strong resemblance to our Jasmine, right down to the bright brown eyes. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of Heart of Barkness. crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com

  7. Sounds like a book I would enjoy reading. Thanks for the chance.

  8. This is one of the few series I keep up with. Very entertaining.

    It does seem a long time since the last one.

    karen94066 at aol dot com

  9. Sounds interesting.

  10. I love Chet’s baseline attitude of happiness. If you haven’t had a chance to read these, try the short story where Bernie and Chet meet, “A Cat Was Involved”. You will be hooked!

  11. I love the Chet and Bernie mystery series. Been waiting for Heart of Barkness for several years now, and it was well worth the wait. The characters have depth, Bernie is such an ethical, kind, yet gruff hero, and Chet is the best friend a man could ever have!

  12. Sounds like a lot of threads
    in the storyline. this would
    be the start of a new series
    for me.
    thanks for the chance to
    try it out.

  13. This is a new to me series and author. Hope to learn more and that this will be a start.

  14. We have a winner!


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