Posts Tagged ‘beginnings’

Beginnings: Christmas In July

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July 10th, 2022 Posted 7:54 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™. How about a little Christmas in July? Here’s the first paragraph of the most recent Chet and Bernie novel, It’s A Wonderful Woof. The next one, Bark To The Future (pre-orderable) comes out 8/9.

The Muertos throw the best Christmas party in the whole Valley. The Valley’s where we live, me and Bernie. It goes on forever in all directions, and is almost certainly in Arizona, based on things I hear from time to time. That’s not important. Is it important that the Muertos are the roughest, toughest biker gang around? Maybe to you, but not to us. The Little Detective Agency deals with the roughest and toughest every day. Little is Bernie’s last name, I’m Chet, pure and simple, and the agency’s just the two of us. Why would we need anyone else? That’s the important part.

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Beginnings: Bark To The Future

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July 3rd, 2022 Posted 8:12 am

Sunday is for beginnings, when we take a look at the start of a Peter Abrahams novel, including those written under the Spencer Quinn moniker™. Since we’re just 5 weeks or so from the release of Bark To The Future (the next Chet and Bernie novel, now pre-orderable – in a series that can be read in any order!), how about we got with it?

“Let’s see what this baby can do,” Bernie said.

And there you have it. Bernie’s brilliance, lighting up the whole oil-stained yard at Nixon’s Championship Autobody. Let’s see what this baby can do. Can you imagine anyone else saying that? I sure can’t. I wouldn’t even try, and who knows Bernie better than me? Sometimes humans talk to themselves, as you may or may not know. Humans have a lot going on in their heads. Too much? I couldn’t tell you. But I wouldn’t trade places. Let’s leave it at that. The point is that when they’re talking to themselves they’re trying to dig down through all the too-muchness and get to what’s at the bottom, digging, as it happens, being one of my very best things. Maybe we’ll get to that later. For now, the takeaway is that Bernie talks to himself in front of me. So I know what’s at the bottom of Bernie, way down deep, case closed. Closing cases is what we do, by the way, me and Bernie. We’re partners in the Little Detective Agency – Little on account of that’s Bernie’s last name. Call me Chet, pure and simple. Our cases usually get closed by me grabbing the perp by the pant leg. Although there were no perps around right now and we weren’t even working a case, my teeth got a funny feeling.

Nixon Panero, owner of the shop and our good buddy, patted the hood of our new Porsche. We’ve had others – maybe more than I can count, since things get iffy when I try to go past two – but never one this old. Could I even remember them all? Perhaps not, although I have a very clear picture of the last one in my mind, upside down and soaring through snowy treetops, the windows all blasted out and me and Bernie also in midair, although slightly closer to the ground. I’d miss that Porsche – especially the martini glass decals on the fenders – but this one, with an interesting black and white pattern, as though a normal PD squad car was rippling its muscles, if that makes any sense, looked none too shabby. In fact, and in a strange dreamlike way, a thing of beauty. And to top it off, my seat – the shotgun seat, goes without mentioning – couldn’t have been more comfortable, the leather soft and firm at the same time, and possibly quite tasty. A no no, and I forgot that whole idea at once.

“One last thing,” Nixon said.

 

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Beginnings

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June 26th, 2022 Posted 8:55 am

Sunday is for beginnings, when we take a look at the start of a Peter Abrahams novel, including those written under the Spencer Quinn moniker™. Since Short Tails, the new Chet and Bernie short story collection, comes out on Tuesday, how about we go with the start of one of those stories, The Iggy Papers?

“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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June 19th, 2022 Posted 8:27 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™. Since Short Tails, the new Chet and Bernie short story collection, will be published soon (preorderable now), how about the start of one of the stories in it, The Numbers After Two?

I smelled bubble gum. You’re probably familiar with the smell, an unusual combination of rubber, plastic, and sugar, with a smidge of something oily in the mix. Some humans like to chew bubble gum. They must have their reasons. And some of those chewers like to blow bubbles with it. That part looks like fun. What isn’t fun is getting gum stuck on your paws. That leads to a whole big production with scissors and olive oil, or mayonnaise if there’s no olive oil around. Mayonnaise tastes much better than olive oil, if you want my opinion, but we’ve gone way off course already so forget all this. The point is I wasn’t smelling bubble gum in the Valley, the huge city we live in, me and Bernie, where bubble gum smell is always in the air, together with all usual Valley smells, an amazing sort of invisible stew of which I’ll just mention two of the strongest ingredients – two being the number I have trouble getting past although I have done it, the next number not quite coming to me now. The two ingredients are grease and human pee.

But back to the point. We were deep in the desert, far from the Valley, where the smells were very different and never included bubble gum.

“Chet?” Bernie said. “Something up?”

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