(Not) Beginnings

Normally on Sunday we do beginnings, taking a look at a Peter Abrahams novel, including those written under the Spencer Quinn moniker™. But tonight is the first night of Hanukkah, so why not this snippet from It’s A Wonderful Woof, the brand new Chet and Bernie holiday novel. No spoilers, but Mrs. Klovsky is very anxious and has reason to be.

We went into the house, followed Elise to the kitchen. She stood before the silver candle holder. “You’re supposed to wait for sunset,” she said, “but you’re here now.”

“And you want us to watch?” Bernie said.

Elise handed Bernie a book of matches. “I want you to light them.”

“Me?” said Bernie. “I don’t know how.”

“You don’t know how to light a candle?”

“It’s not that,” Bernie said. “It’s the ritual. Do you do them all? Is there some order? A special prayer?”

“This is the second night,” Elise said. She shook her head the way people do when they’re not happy with themselves. “Last night I didn’t light the first one. When Victor didn’t come and didn’t come I …” She went silent.

“So I should light two?” Bernie said.

Elise took a deep breath. “Just light ‘em all up, Bernie. And say whatever you want.”

Bernie struck a match and began lighting the candles one by one. You might have thought that with so many candles one single match couldn’t do the job, but you’d have been wrong. That match hardly burned down at all, and at the end it was still plenty long, maybe as long at it had been before Bernie lit it, or … or even longer, which was kind of crazy. He blew out the match flame – not so easy since it didn’t seem to want to go out – and looked a little surprised.

His gaze went to Elise, then to me, and finally to the burning candles. “We’ll do our very best to find Victor,” he said. “But if there’s such a thing as …” He paused for what seemed like a longish time, candle flames flickering in his eyes. “… such a thing as outside help, that would be nice, too.”



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This entry was posted on Sunday, November 28th, 2021 at 7:48 am and is filed under Chet The Dog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

3 Responses to “(Not) Beginnings”

  1. B. Stover
    11:01 am on November 28th, 2021

    Great snippet…and I’m wondering about that match.

    Good day to all.

  2. Wose-The Small and Meek
    1:24 pm on November 28th, 2021


    I like the snippet a lot!

    Loved seeing the photo of Franklin and Lorenzo getting ready for their nap on that cozy quilt!

    Good Sunday to all!

  3. mlaiuppa
    1:35 pm on November 28th, 2021

    Tomorrow is the first day or night of Hanukkah.

    Dreidl sov. Sov, sov sov. Hanukkah, hu hag tov.

    Hanukkah, hu hag tov, Dreidl, dreidl, sov, sov sov.

    (Please forgive the misspellings. I learned this orally.)

    I love that the cover of the audio book is a menorah, while the book is more Christmasy.

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