March 24th, 2023 Posted 8:30 am

Yesterday was National Puppy Day and we missed it? Good grief. So here’s Chet and the puppy Shooter making one of his first appearances in the Chet and Bernie series (from Scents and Sensibility).

We came back much more slowly, Shooter and I side by side, our tongues possibly hanging out the slightest bit. It’s also possible we had thorns of some sort in our coats – I was pretty sure I did – and Shooter had learned a hard lesson or two involving javelinas and those pesky tusks of theirs. But most of all we were filled with the feeling you get from a job well done, although what the actual job had been wasn’t super clear to me. Something about a Slim Jim? That seemed right. As we climbed over the crest of the last rise and came to our back gate – mine and Bernie’s – I wondered about the chances of another Slim Jim real soon. Pretty good, right? I could think of no reason why not.


Mrs. P in Motion


March 23rd, 2023 Posted 8:43 am

Do motorcycles play a role? They do. Does Mrs. Plansky have motorcycle riding experience? She does. Will the fact that her experience was long ago – long long ago – keep her from mounting a bike now in a desperate time? You’ll have to read the book to find out. (pub date July 25, preorders welcome)


Tennis (More)


March 22nd, 2023 Posted 7:05 am

Continuing with our little unplanned series re tennis in my work. This is from Mrs. Plansky’s Revenge, coming July 25 but pre-orders welcome now:

Mrs. Plansky walked quickly, partly on account of the cold, but also because speed seemed to be making her new hip feel better, perhaps warming up all that titanium. How lucky she was! She knew other tennis players, men and women, who had replaced hips, knees, shoulders, even an ankle or two in the hope of getting back on the court. But often it didn’t work out that way and yet there she was, playing the way she’d played ten or fifteen years ago! Naturally she’d need to check video to confirm that judgment, video that luckily did not exist. Mrs. Plansky was occupying herself along those lines when she got the feeling that maybe she should have reached the square by now. She checked her surroundings and recognized nothing.


Tennis Lesson: From Thereby Hangs a Tail


March 21st, 2023 Posted 7:50 am

Tennis has been the topic a few times lately – it comes up in my work from time to time, can’t help it. Here’s the tennis lesson from Thereby Hangs A Tail, a Chet and Bernie novel (for newcomers, Bernie is the detective and Chet is his partner and the narrator. A dog, yes, but not a talking one).

The tall blond guy took a ball from the bucket and hit it to Ganz. Ganz wore white shorts, had skinny legs like sticks. He swung his racquet and hit the ball back. The tall guy let it go by, took out another ball. “Brush up, Shermie, brush up. Spin on the ball, always spin on the ball.” He hit the ball over the net. Ganz swung, this time missing the ball completely. “Brush up but through, up but  through, up but through,” said the tall guy, sending over another ball. Brush? I knew brushes, saw none around. Maybe tennis was tougher than it looked, but I didn’t worry about that because a ball came bouncing over in our direction – we were now beside the court – and I snatched it out of the air, and who wouldn’t have, the ball being right there practically saying, “Catch me.” And then – this part was a bit harder to understand – I was on the court, racing toward the net. Up and over: not much of a challenge, tennis nets turning out not to be very high, but still it felt so great, being airborne and all, that I kind of twisted around still up there, if you see what I mean, and landed facing back at the net, and the next thing I knew I was jumping over it again, from the other direction, and, yes! doing the spin move once more, and when I landed this time, somehow with two balls in my mouth now – how had that happened? – I –



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