Posts Tagged ‘Bark To The Future’

High School, Bernie, Bark To The Future


January 12th, 2022 Posted 8:19 am

I wasn’t going to do this yet – although Bark To The Future, the next Chet and Bernie book is available for pre-order we don’t have the cover art yet – but here’s a very brief snippet that perhaps hints at how the reader-suggested title fits (in that off-center way I often find appealing):

Bernie opened the envelope, took out some papers, leafed through.

“What’s that?” Weatherly said.


“Of what?”

Bernie looked up. “Of me going through high school in a state of oblivion.”


Bark To The Future


January 11th, 2022 Posted 8:43 am

Last week we mentioned the title of the next Chet and Bernie novel, coming in August: Bark To The Future. Reader Ann Levenson Green suggested it and she’ll get a signed copy on pub date. It fits the story – which is kind of about revisiting the past – in a way I liked. Maybe this is a good time to let newcomers to the series know that the books can be read in any order. (See earlier post re the continuous present.) Meanwhile, re Bark To The Future, do you ever think about your high school days and wonder how particular people turned out?


Fritzie Bortz


January 7th, 2022 Posted 8:20 am

Fritzie Bortz – a recurring character in the Chet and Bernie series – may surprise you in the next C&B novel, Bark to the Future (August). Here he is in The Dog Who Knew Too Much, stepping onto the stage for the first time – and at a moment when Chet could use a little help. (Some names are tiny sound poems.)

A cop appeared at the window, face kind of obscured by his motorcycle helmet.

“License and registration,” he said.

Now was the moment for saying “couldn’t be over ninety,” but Butch did not. Instead he went with, “Seventy-one on this speedometer, officer – gonna write me up for bein’ six over?” Which I knew was a loser.

“License and registration,” the cop repeated. He took them, returned to his motorcycle, soon came back with a ticket. “Clocked you at eighty-five,” he said. “Have a nice day.”
A vein throbbed in the back of the Butch’s neckless neck. The sight made me bark, not loud, don’t know why. The cop crouched down a bit, peered into the car.

“Hey!” he said. “Is that Chet?”

I peered back. If it wasn’t Fritzie Bortz! A terrible motorcycle driver with lots of crashes on his record; we’d visited him in the hospital not that long ago, he and Bernie downing a bottle of bourbon, but not the real big size. It was great to see Fritzie. My tail started wagging.




September 12th, 2021 Posted 8:32 am

On Sundays we do beginnings, taking a look at the start of a Peter Abrahams novel, including those written under the Spencer Quinn moniker™. Today – since a character in the Chet and Bernie novel I’m writing now (Bark To The Future, coming next summer) has just referred to “the aquifer case” let’s do Of Mutts And Men, the case that character was referring to. Of Mutts and Men is now available in paperback for those who like to wait for the pb editions.

A rooftop chase? Who’s got it better than me?

Chasing down perps is what we do, me and Bernie. We’re partners in the Little Detective Agency, Little being Bernie’s last name. I’m Chet, pure and simple. When it comes to chasing down perps, rooftop chasing is what you might call a specialty within a specialty, if you see what I mean. And if you don’t then … then actually I’m right there with you. The point is that rooftop chases don’t happen often, so when they do you’ve got to enjoy them with all your heart. No problem. Enjoying with all my heart is one of my best things, right up there with leaping and grabbing perps by the pant leg.

There are two kinds of perps who get involved in rooftop chases. The first kind – and most perps are the first kind – realize pretty quick that it’s game over unless you’re up for doing something daring, and they’re all dared out by that time: you can see it in their eyes. The second kind of perp believes somewhere deep down that he can fly. What we had on this particular warehouse rooftop in the most rundown section of South Pedroia, which is the most rundown part of the whole Valley, was the second kind of perp.


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