Book Review: It’s a Wonderful Woof

It may just be starting to feel like fall, but the life of a book blogger means it’s time for Christmas reads!

This year, some of my favorite authors have given the world the gift of a bonus book; that is, a second release in the same year. As someone who waits not-so-patiently every year for my favorite author’s releases, having two books in one year feels like winning. So far, both Mary Kay Andrews and Spencer Quinn have given us Christmas books in addition to their annual release. You can read my review of MKA’s The Santa Suit here, and read on for my review of Spencer Quinn’s It’s a Wonderful Woof.

Tis the season in the valley where Chet lives with his private investigator partner, Bernie. Tis the season for crime and shenanigans, that is. Chet may have flunked out of K-9 school on the last day (was there a cat involved? Read the novella A Cat Was Involved to find out!), but he’s the best in the business. When a fellow PI and acquaintance goes missing, Chet and Bernie are on the case. This particular case may lead them to some interesting places, all tied in to the Christmas story and the saguaros that often dot their landscape. What do Mary and Joseph fleeing Herod have to do with the Sonoran desert? Chet and Bernie are sure to find out!

Like all of Quinn’s uproarious novels, It’s a Wonderful Woof is narrated by Chet. True to form, Chet’s storytelling is laugh out loud funny. Be careful reading in public; this novel is full of irresistibly funny moments. Chet’s canine narration provides many moments of comedic relief, balancing the weight of the story and setting the tone perfectly.

While this story is definitely holiday centric, and a great mystery as that, it also advances the character’s relationships with one another. These well-developed characters are always a joy to spend time with, and this novel is no different. I especially loved seeing more of Weatherly, Trixie, and Shooter. Chet’s interactions with Trixie and Shooter are always extra-funny, while Weatherly is smart and witty. It’s a Wonderful Woof advances the character-driven plots that are interwoven into each installment.

While this novel is full of fun moments and interesting characters, it’s a great mystery and a great holiday story. In fact, it’s the perfect Christmas mystery… as long as you don’t mind a body count.

It’s a Wonderful Woof will be available October 19, 2021. Thank you to Spencer Quinn, NetGalley, and Macmillian-Tor/Forge for an advanced copy such that I could write this review.

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