Friday, July 3, 2020

Santa 365 (A Chet and Bernie Mystery #3.1), by Spencer Quinn (author), Jim Frangione (narrator)

Recorded Books, ISBN 9781501909795, November 2015

Chet and Bernie, in a Christmas mystery only Chet and Bernie could unwrap. Or get wrapped up in, or something.

It's "every second Christmas" this year, Bernie's son Charlie is with them for the holiday. Bernie has really fallen down on the "getting ready for Christmas" thing, and they happen to run into an old perp Bernie helped lock up, now done with his short stint in jail. And Plumpy Napoleon has a new business, Santa 365. For just a small fee (which oddly keeps growing), he'll supply elves, gifts, a tree, everything! It'll be a blowout Christmas. 
Of course Bernie invites Susie, and also Charlie's friend Esmé. Then Bernie's mother, Minerva, who has dumped her latest love interest, calls from the airport for him to pick her up.

It really is a grand party, but when it's time to clean up, Chet and Bernie discover that the elves were a little light-fingered. Leaving Charlie with Minerva, they hop into the Porsche to track down Plumpy, and along the way meet some other victims of his fraud and theft, including two elderly sisters who come armed.

Chet the dog's naration remains as plausibly dog-like as ever in this short story, understanding what humans don't (the information carried by the scents humans can't decode nearly as well, and not understanding what humans do--the nuances of human language and social interactions.

It's a lot of fun, as usual. Recommended.

I bought this audiobook.

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