Sneak Peek

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March 18th, 2019 Posted 8:03 am

Queenie describes some pre-Christmas goings-on in RUFF VS. FLUFF (coming March 26 and now available for preorder – middle-grade but available to adults with fake ID):

“Arthur! No! Stop!”

That was Harmony. But too late. Anything the slightest bit unusual—like the sight of Elrod crawling out from under the tree—is enough to get Arthur going. It was all so, so predictable: Arthur’s sudden change of direction, ripping tufts of wool off Mom’s favorite rug with his clumsy claws; then his all-paws-off-the-ground-at-once sprint toward Elrod, the split log dangling out one side of his mouth; followed by a series of Arthur-type decisions, all customarily demented; and ending with the tree toppling down on Elrod, Harmony, Bro, and a pretty crystal flower vase, Mom’s favorite. But not on Arthur, who stood just outside the circle of destruction, his tail still wagging, although slower now, as though beginning to have doubts. I made a mental note concerning those tufts of rug wool, now readily available, then closed my eyes and settled into that nap, which was what I should have done from the start.

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The Tutor

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March 17th, 2019 Posted 7:54 am

One of the week’s big stories reminded us of this book, so since on Sundays we’ve been doing beginnings of all the Peter Abrahams novels including those under the Spence pen name, why not look in on Scott and Linda, the parents in THE TUTOR (2002), just before the hiring of the tutor:

“There’s always Amherst or someplace like that,” Scott said.

“Amherst? Are you dreaming? Forget Amherst. You can forget Trinity, for God’s sake.”

“Forget Trinity?”

“Forget NYU, forget BC, forget BU, even. Don’t you get it? The SAT ranks every kid in the nation. Seventy-fifth percentile means there are hundreds of thousands ahead of him, maybe millions. The good schools can fill their classes without going anywhere near Brandon. We screwed up.”

[“His prose is elegant by any literary standard.” – L.A. Times]

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Posted in Chet The Dog

The Short of It

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March 16th, 2019 Posted 7:54 am

In answer to some questions that have come up, there are 4 Chet and Bernie short stories, available from all the usual places. They are:

A CAT WAS INVOLVED – the C&B origin story.

THE IGGY CHRONICLES, VOLUME 1 – Iggy!

TAIL OF VENGEANCE – The story of the Teitelbaum Divorce, a nightmarish case Chet often refers to.

SANTA 365 – a Christmas mystery.

Anyone with change under a seat cushion can afford these! (Comment from Mrs. Publicist)

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What’s In A Name?

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March 15th, 2019 Posted 8:16 am

Mrs. Publicist: Fifteenth of the month, when we discuss names. You’ve mentioned, Pete (aka Spence), how important names are to you, and that you actually can’t write the character until you have the right name. How about this month we talk about Iggy, Chet’s best pal, especially since his name was suggested by readers yesterday?

Pete: I’m not the first artist (for want of a better word) to fall for the appeal of the name Iggy. In that I stand on the shoulders of Jim Osterberg, Jr. And may I recommend in passing Jim’s duet with Francoise Hardy of I’ll Be Seeing You.

Mrs. P: And what is the appeal of the name Iggy?

Pete: For me, the appeal was that the character came fully formed as soon as the name popped into my mind. Iggy’s all about id, lack of restraint, totally unselfconscious goofiness and yearning.

Mrs. P: And then to have him pretty much shut inside the Parsons’s house for the whole series so far, watching Chet through the window?

Pete: Makes the odd moment when they do get together –

Mrs. P: Like the bathroom scene in The Dog Who Knew Too Much?

Pete: – all the more explosive.

Mrs. P: Thanks, Pete. Iggy appears by the way in HEART OF BARKNESS, now available for preorder. In the meantime, there’s always the e-short story pictured here.

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