Posts Tagged ‘beginnings’

Beginnings

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September 20th, 2020 Posted 7:52 am

On Sunday we do beginnings, taking a look at the start of a Peter Abrahams novel, including those written under the Spencer Quinn moniker. Today – not quite a beginning. Yesterday we had a sneak peek at the beginning of the upcoming Queenie and Arthur middle-grade mystery, Bark vs. Snark (Oct. 6). But since the story is told in alternating chapters from the viewpoints of Arthur (seen below in the middle) and Queenie (on one side of him or the other – you’ll have to read it to find out which) and chapter one is Arthur’s, we didn’t hear Queen’s voice. So here’s the start of chapter two.

“ARTHUR!”

What now? Do I ask for much? No, not me. Who could be more undemanding or easier to live with? All I want from life is a little peace and quiet. But now, somewhere outside but not nearly far enough away, we had Bro shouting a name that gets shouted fairly often in these parts.

By these parts, I mean the Blackberry Hill Inn and surrounding property. It’s a beautiful inn – which you probably guessed, since it’s mine, and I’m all about beauty. The inn is not mine alone, of course – I’m happy to share it with the rest of the family, meaning Mom, Bro, and Harmony. Bertha the cook is also on board – she’s in charge of pouring my fresh cream into my special China saucer, known as Queenie’s saucer, after which she whips up breakfast for the guests. It’s possible we haven’t had enough guests recently – I’ve caught a worried look on Mom’s face a few times – but what would be the point of me worrying about it? My job is to concentrate on, well, me. Me and me alone, and only me. But it can be hard to concentrate when –

“ARTHUR! STOP! WHAT GETS INTO YOU?”

What gets into Arthur: an interesting question.

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Beginnings

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September 13th, 2020 Posted 7:53 am

On Sunday we do beginnings, taking a look at the start of a Peter Abrahams novel, including those written under the Spencer Quinn moniker. How about Their Wildest Dreams, my first stab at writing about Arizona?

(“Peter Abrahams… is once again at the top of his game in this wildly inventive, captivating caper. – Publishers Weekly)

Mackie dreaded the mail. That was new, one of the many new things in her life, none good.

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Beginnings

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September 6th, 2020 Posted 8:48 am

On Sundays, we look at the beginnings of a Peter Abrahams novel, including those written under the Spencer Quinn moniker. (Moniker! What a word!) Here’s the start of Down the Rabbit Hole, my first children’s book and the first in the Echo Falls trilogy. It came out the same year as my adult book Oblivion, and won the Agatha award for best children’s mystery.

[“A standout novel… The no-nonsense tone of the well-written prose, the multifacted characters, the hint of romance, and the subtly structured mystery open the potential fan base to include just about everyone.”
– Starred Review, Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books]

Ingrid Levin-Hill, three weeks past her thirteenth birthday, sat thinking in her orthodontist’s waiting room. You’re born cute. Babies are cute. Not hard to guess why – it’s so everyone will forgive them for being such a pain. You grow a little older, and people say, “What beautiful hair,” or “Get a load of those baby blues,” or something nice that keeps you thinking you’re still on the cuteness track. Then you hit twelve or thirteen and boom, they tell you everything needs fixing.

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Beginnings

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August 30th, 2020 Posted 7:45 am

On Sunday we take a look at the start of a Peter Abrahams novel, including those written under the Spencer Quinn moniker. How about To Fetch A Thief? An elephant named Peanut plays an important role. (On the book tour a zookeeper told me I’d gotten her right. Whew.) Note: the Chet and Bernie novels can be read in any order. You could start with Of Mutts and Men, the most recent, and not hear a peep out of me.

“I smell trouble,” Bernie said.

Better stop right there. Not that I doubt Bernie. The truth is I believe everything he says. And he has a nice big nose for a human. But what’s that saying? Not much.

It’s a fact that trouble has a smell – human trouble especially, sour and penetrating – but Bernie had never smelled trouble before, or if so he hadn’t mentioned it, and Bernie mentioned all kinds of things to me. We’re partners in the Little Detective Agency, me and Bernie, Bernie’s last name being Little. I’m Chet, pure and simple.

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