Posts Tagged ‘Bernie’s mom’

Salesmanship: From Of Mutts And Men


June 5th, 2023 Posted 8:17 am

“Can’t you sell that a little better?” Gudrun said.

Uh-oh. Bernie’s selling ability. That had come up once before, actually last Christmas, when Bernie’s mom paid us a visit, accompanied by her boyfriend, fiance, or husband, something we never got quite clear, named Tommy Trauble, owner of Tommy Trauble’s Auto Mile Dealerships in Flamingo Beach, Florida, which was where Bernie’s mom lived. Tommy Trauble had the deepest tan I’d ever seen on a human face, tiny bleached-out eyes, and shoulder-length white hair that gleamed. But, according to Bernie’s mom, he was also the greatest salesman in the whole state, and – well, it went something like this: “Bernie? I’ll have another one of those lovely old-fashioneds you mix. He really does have all sorts of talents, Tommy, but his problem is he just doesn’t sell himself. Can you explain to him, honey, how important that is?”

And things went downhill from there. Was there a point when Tommy Trauble challenged Bernie to an armwrestling contest? Something Bernie would never consider, not with an older gentleman. But one thing led to another, until finally the ER doc said the break was nice and clean and Tommy would have that cast off his arm in no time.

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A Piece of Work


April 30th, 2021 Posted 8:18 am

With Mother’s Day coming up, here’s a little mother-snippet from Tender Is The Bite, the next Chet and Bernie novel (July 6):

“What’s this?”

“For the croissant.”

“It’s too much.”

“Plus a tip.”

“You don’t tip the owner, Mr. Bernie.”

“That’s what my mother always said.”

“Is she still alive?”

“Oh, yes.”

“She must be proud of you.”

Bernie’s mom – a piece of work – was suddenly in the conversation? She lived in Florida but had visited us last Christmas, bringing her new husband. He wore a white leather belt and said that bad times were the best times for making money. Bernie’s mom had told Bernie to give that some thought. The subject of being proud of him hadn’t come up.


What’s In A Name?


December 15th, 2015 Posted 8:19 am

Mrs. Publicist: Fifteenth of the month and therefore time for What’s In A Name, where we discuss a character name from the Chet and Bernie series. I’m curious about Bernie’s mom, about whom we hear from time to time, but she only makes an actual appearance in the new e-short, Santa 365, where we finally learn her name.

Spencer Quinn: Which is Minerva. Did I ever mention that to get a name in any of my writing, a character has to have at least one speaking line?

Mrs. P: You did not. Do you have lots of rules like that?

Spence: Probably too many. Back to Minerva, Roman goddess of wisdom who sprang fully armed from the cloven head of Jupiter. I thought that sort of mom suited Bernie perfectly.

Mrs. P: And didn’t we discuss how Bernie’s ex-wife Leda’s name comes from  Greek mythology? What’s up with all this myth surrounding Bernie?

Spence: Isn’t the private eye a kind of figure from modern myth?

Mrs. P: Ah ha! Always up to something, aren’t you? See you all next month for another episode of What’s In A Name!



Chetspeak on Sunday


November 22nd, 2015 Posted 8:02 am

A voice came over the speaker, powerful and somewhat harsh. “Hi, kiddo.” Only one person in the world calls Bernie kiddo.


“You sound surprised.”

“Didn’t expect to hear from you, that’s all. Aren’t you and Hax on a cruise to Jamaica?”

“Antigua. And you can call the mainland from a cruise ship. This is the twenty-first century. But as for Hax, don’t mention him ever again.”

“Uh, why not?”

The back door opened and out came Bernie. He shot me a look you hardly ever see from him, a look that says Save me. I went over and sat on his feet.

“I caught him red-handed,” Ma said.

“Doing what?”

“Packing his Viagra on a business trip. A business trip that didn’t include me, if I have to spell it out.”

“Oh,” said Bernie. And then, “Ah.” Followed by, “I thought he was retired.”

“He still consults,” Ma said, “but is that the point?”

“Maybe there’s some explanation that doesn’t involve … you know.”

“Hell’s bells! What kind of detective are you? There’s no goddamn explanation that doesn’t involve you know. Probably not ever about anything, but I digress. Just come get me.”

– from SANTA 365 (coming in 2 days).



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