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Thereby Hangs a Tail

Thereby Hangs a Tail

A Chet and Bernie Mystery

  • reading group guide
  • customer reviews
In the irresistible second installment of the New York Times bestselling Chet and Bernie mystery series, which has been hailed as “enchanting [and] one-of-a-kind” (Stephen King), Chet gets a glimpse of the show dog world turned deadly.

What first seems like a walk in the park to wise and lovable canine narrator Chet and his human companion Bernie—to investigate threats made against a pretty, pampered show dog—turns into a serious case when Princess and her owner are abducted. To make matters worse, Bernie’s on-again, off-again girlfriend, reporter Susie Sanchez, disappears too. When Chet is separated from Bernie, he’s on his own to put the pieces together, find his way home, and save the day. Spencer Quinn’s “brilliantly original” (Richmond Times-Dispatch) and “masterful” (Los Angeles Times) series combines genuine suspense and intrigue with humor and insight for a tail-wagging good time readers won’t soon forget.
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  • Atria Books | 
  • 320 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416585930 | 
  • January 2010
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List Price $10.93
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Q&A with Spencer Quinn

Watch Spencer Quinn discuss his Chet And Bernie mysteries and how they came to be!

Read an Excerpt

Thereby Hangs a Tail

The perp looked around—what nasty little eyes he had!—and saw there was nowhere to go. We were in some kind of warehouse, big and shadowy, with a few grimy high-up windows and tall stacks of machine parts. I couldn’t remember how the warehouse fit in, exactly, or even what the whole case was all about; only knew beyond a doubt, from those nasty eyes and that sour end-of-the-line smell, a bit like those kosher pickles Bernie had with his BLTs—I’d tried one; once was... see more

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Thereby Hangs a Tail includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Spencer Quinn. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


Following in the grand tradition of Holmes and Watson, Bernie Little and his canine partner, Chet, solve crime using their unique talents and special partnership. In Thereby Hangs a Tail, Bernie and Chet work on an unusual case: protecting a talented but spoiled show dog named Princess. Before Bernie has a chance to take the job seriously, Princess and her owner are kidnapped. Then Susie Sanchez, Bernie’s on-again off-again girlfriend, also vanishes, and the case turns personal. When Chet is separated from Bernie, he must rely on his own talents to find his way home through the desert, and help Bernie crack the case. Whether they are dodging bullets or outwitting shady deputies, Bernie and Chet always get their man.

Questions and Topics for Discussion

1. Bernie Little is a quirky guy. He likes to wear Hawaiian shirts and he has a fondness for pictures of waterfalls. What else do we learn about Bernie in the opening pages, and what does Chet’s unique perspective tell us see more

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