Posts Tagged ‘beginnings’

Beginnings

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May 31st, 2020 Posted 7:54 am

Without a doubt the most original mystery series currently available. – Stephen King

On Sundays we do beginnings, taking a look at the first few lines of all the Peter Abrahams books including those written under the Spencer Quinn moniker – mostly so we can use that word! Moniker!

Today – The Sound and the Furry:

“One thing’s for sure,” the lawyer said, handing Bernie our check, “you earned every cent.”

Bernie tucked the check in – oh, no – the chest pocket of his Hawaiian shirt, just about his nicest Hawaiian shirt, with the hula dancers and the trombones, but that wasn’t the point. The point was we’d had chest pocket problems in the past, more than once. And possibly more than twice, but I wouldn’t know, since I don’t count past two. What I do know is that checks have a way of falling out of chest pockets.

“What’s he barking about?” the lawyer said.

Bernie glanced at me. “Just wants to get rolling,” he said. That wasn’t it at all: what I wanted was for Bernie to put that check in his front pants pocket where it would be safe. But then I realized that I did kind of want to get rolling. Wow! That was Bernie, knowing my own mind better than I did. And I knew his exactly the same way!

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Beginnings

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May 24th, 2020 Posted 11:08 am

On Sundays, we look at the beginnings of a Peter Abrahams novel, including those written under the Spencer Quinn moniker (meaning we get to write that strange word “moniker” on a weekly basis!). 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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May 3rd, 2020 Posted 10:36 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 not a novel today, but a short story, namely The Iggy Papers, which will come free to all who preorder Of Mutts and Men, the next Chet and Bernie novel (pub date 7/7, which is when The Iggy Papers will be emailed to you)? It starts like so:

“Well lookie here,” said Nixon Panero, the best car repair dude in the whole Valley, reaching deep into the engine of the Porsche, not the old one that had gone off a cliff or the older one that got blown up, but the oldest – meaning our new one – with the cool martini glasses on the fenders, a beautiful touch added by Rui, Nixon’s paint guy who happened to be a real artist, trained by Andy Warhol, whoever he happened to be. Or possibly someone who’d met Andy in lock-up, if I had the story straight. Nixon was also our buddy, although he’d been a perp at one time, a perp we’d collared and sent up the river, collaring perps being what we do at the Little Detective Agency, me and Bernie. It’s called the Little Detective Agency because Bernie’s last name is Little. I myself get along very well without a last name. Call me Chet, pure and simple. The river, by the way, has no water in it. Water’s a problem out here, hard to understand since all our golf courses – and we’ve got them out the ying yang – are nice and green. It’s all about the aquifer, Bernie says, and once I’d seen the aquifer with my own eyes, nothing but a tiny puddle way down at the bottom of a deep construction site, which was when I knew he was right. The lesson? Bernie is always the smartest human in the room. Just remember that and you’ll be OK.

 

 

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Beginnings

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April 26th, 2020 Posted 11:21 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 Heart of Barkness, the most recent Chet and Bernie? The paperback publication has been moved from June to August on account of the current situation. But of course it’s available in hardcover, digital, and audio formats, in case waiting for the paperback is too bothersome.

“Red-letter day, Chet,” said Sergeant Rick Torres, our buddy at the Valley PD Missing Persons Department. “In the car.”

Red-letter day was a mystery to me, and maybe red is, too. Bernie says I can’t be trusted when it comes to red, something I’ve never understood. I knew fire hydrants were red, for example, knew that as well as I know my own name. Which is Chet, in case you missed it, right up there off the jump. I also know “in the car,” and never need to be asked twice. Or even once. Rick opened the passenger-side door of the black-and-white. I hopped in, sat up nice and tall, totally alert, ready for anything. Was my tongue hanging out? Possibly. I got most of it stuffed back in. We have standards, me and Bernie, just one of the reasons that the Little Detective Agency is so successful, except for the finances part. It’s called the Little Detective Agency on account of Bernie’s last name being Little, but we’re equal partners, Bernie handling the gunplay and the so-therefores and me bringing other things to the table. Maybe we’ll get to my teeth a little later.

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