May 28th, 2023 Posted 7:08 am

Sunday is when we do beginnings, taking a look at the start of a Peter Abrahams novel, including those written under the Spencer Quinn moniker™. Since Chet refers to this scene more than once in the Chet and Bernie series, including in Up On The Woof Top, coming in October, preorderable) how about today we turn to The Dog Who Knew Too Much, an in media res beginning where Bernie is giving the keynote speech to the Great Western Private Eye Association? It would be dishonest to say Gussie Fink-Nottle’s speech at Market Snodsbury Grammar School in P.G. Wodehouse’s Right, Ho Jeeves, wasn’t in the back of my mind:
Was I proud of Bernie or what?
True, he’d been pretty nervous going into this gig. I can always tell when Bernie’s nervous – which hardly ever happens, and never when we’re in action – because his smell sharpens a bit, although it’s still the best human smell there is, apples, bourbon, salt and pepper; but now, up on the stage, he was doing great.
“Which, um,” he was saying, “reminds me of a joke. “Sort of. Maybe not a joke,” he went on, turning a page, “more like a – “ and at that moment the whole wad of papers somehow jumped out of his hands, all the pages gliding down in different directions.

Jamey Johnson


May 27th, 2023 Posted 7:53 am


Happy Memorial Day Weekend


May 26th, 2023 Posted 12:45 pm

He came around from behind the cash register and rolled toward us in his wheelchair real fast, long hair lifting off his shoulders in the breeze. Vin was another old Army pal of Bernie’s, had a massive upper body and below that a lower body easily covered by a small blanket. They shook hands, Bernie’s hand, which normally looked so big, lost in Vin’s. “What’s doin’?” Vin said, reaching into his pocket and tossing a biscuit my way. I was ready, caught it in midair.

(from A Fistful of Collars)


What’s In A Name?


May 25th, 2023 Posted 11:32 am

Ms. Publicist: Hi, Pete! We haven’t done What’s In A Name in way too long. You’ve often mentioned you can’t write a character until you have the name. True?
Pete: Mostly!
Ms. P: I’m interested in Dragomir, the powerful and dangerous Romanian fellow in Mrs. Plansky’s Revenge – which I urge readers to preorder. Go on. I’ll wait.
Pete: Ha ha. I wish I had that particular faculty of yours. As for Dragomir, I’d heard the name, suggestive of both dragons and Dracula, so I was on board from the start. Then I looked it up and it means something like a guy to whom peace is precious. So the name itself is like a mini mini ironic short story, and off I went.
Ms. P: Thanks, Pete. See you next month for more of What’s In A Name!
(and thanks mlaiuppa for the funny dad comment yesterday)

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