12 January 2018
Response to Literature
would you do if you had to hunt down a stolen cactus? In the novel “Scents and Sensibilities” by
Spencer Quinn, Private detective Bernie Little and his canine partner Chet are
employed to help find out who has stolen a saguaro cactus and transplanted it
to their neighbor’s yard. They meet an
agent of the Department of Agriculture who is also working on the case to move
the cactus back to its original spot. Bernie and Chet get information involving
their neighbor Mr. Parson son. Billy Parson who is a known felon is suspected
to be involved a past kidnapping and the cactus smuggling. After tracking down Billy’s
car to a bad part of town they find out it is his girlfriends and after
questioning her they follow her to a house where Bernie and Chet get into a
fight with twin gangsters and Billy and Dee escape. That’s how far I got before writing this. A
theme that this book follows is relationships and family.
Parsons, Bernie and Chet’s neighbor, wife is in the hospital and all Mr.
Parsons wants to do is to see her and bring her home but in his eyes the hospital
won’t let her out. “The docs have got
some new procedure they want to try, but she has to get stronger first…How’s
she going to get stronger in the hospital? Answer me that” (Quinn 11). This quote show Mr. Parsons dedication to his
wife and her well being and wants her to be healthy and herself.
Mr. Parson was being questioned by Special Agents Newberg, Bernie steps in to
help defend Mr. Parson against any allegation of stealing and transplanting a saguaro.
While talking Chet listens in on their conversation and when it come up Chet is
always on Bernie’s side. “We were commoners? I was just finding this out now?
But whatever commoners happened to be, for sure it was something good, if a
group included Bernie. So: just one reason to be in a fine mood, which I was
already” (Quinn 18). This shows that even if Chet doesn’t understand something,
but it included Bernie in it, it is good. Showing their connection and bond
between human and canine.
following a lead that lead them to a home in a not so great part of town, they
attempt o sneak in but are confronted by two large twins who immediately attack
Bernie. Chet takes on one twin while Bernie fights the other, after biting and
scaring away one twin Chet turns to see Bernie being beaten with brass knuckles
which makes Chet angry. “I felt rage-which hardly ever happens to me- and saw red…It
turned out bloody and noisy at the red end of the spectrum, and also pretty
exciting, and very soon Twin Two was also scrambling over the back fence…” (Quinn
120). This relates to the theme showing Chet’s dedication to Bernie and how
angry he got when Bernie was getting hurt, this shows a true relationship
between the two.
relationship of the two character is a family bond that can not be broken. Their
togetherness helps their detective skills work better as a team. A good relationship
with other is a helpful trait to have, this has the ability for people to want
to help you or provide things if a relationship like family is formed. Scents and Sensibility is a novel of a family
and relationships between people helping each other to further their lives.
Quinn, Spencer. Scents and Sensibility: a Chet and Bernie Mystery. Thorndike Press,
a Part of Gale, Cengage Learning, 2016.