Posts Tagged ‘Fritzie Bortz’

Fritzie Bortz (More)


January 10th, 2022 Posted 7:38 am

I believe last week we promised more of Fritzie Bortz, a recurring character in the Chet and Bernie series (who may surprise you in the next novel, Bark to the Future, coming in August). Here’s Fritzie meeting old Mr. Parsons in the hospital in the e-short story The Iggy Chronicles, Volume 1:

“Our friend Daniel Parsons,” Bernie said. “Fritzie Bortz, highway patrol, motorcycle division.”

Mr. Parsons and Fritzie shook hands. “Hurt in the line of duty?” Mr. Parsons said, nodding in the direction of Fritzie’s walking boot.

Fritzie nodded. “Gotta keep the nation’s highways safe,” he said. “Lifeblood of the economy.”

“What happened?” Bernie said.

“Skidded on a greasy fast-food wrapper,” Fritzie said. “Lost control momentarily.” Easy to believe: Fritzie was a terrible biker, had caused many accidents.

“In the parking lot at Burger Heaven?” Bernie said.

“Just exiting,” said Fritzie. “How did you know?”

“Lucky guess,” said Bernie.

“Still managed to bust the asshole.”

“What asshole?”

“Who dropped the wrapper,” Fritzie said. “Got him on a 74-31C.”

“What’s that?”

“Littering. But a real suspicious character, Bernie, dressed all in black – plus he had his collar on backwards, probably some new gangbanger thing, like with the ball caps.”

“Good job,” Bernie said.




January 9th, 2022 Posted 8:26 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 today we do The Iggy Chronicles, Volume 1 (one of the Chet and Bernie e-short stories), since Fritzie Bortz, subject of a post this week, makes an early appearance here.

Old Mr. Parsons knocked on our door. I was lying in the front hall, eyes closed and not really in the mood to open them even though Mr. Parsons was a good buddy. Mr. Parsons had a knock all his own, quiet yet bony, but I’d already known it was him just from the slow bumpitty bump of his steps – he used a walker, couldn’t make it much easier for me than that – and of course how could you miss his old man smell, kind of like stacks of yellowed crumbing newspapers we’d once toppled over, me and Bernie, revealing a perp whose name escapes me – although no perp ever escapes me and Bernie, not in the end – and … and where were we going with this? Easy to lose the thread sometimes: once I had one caught way up inside my mouth. It dangled down and tickled my tongue in a bothersome way. But not now: no thread worries, no worries of any kind. A lovely dream featuring snacks and treats was getting ready to take me in.


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.


What’s In A Name?


December 15th, 2021 Posted 11:37 am

Mrs. Publicist: Fifteenth of the month, and therefore time for What’s In A Name, where Pete discusses a character name from the Chet and Bernie series. Some very interesting suggestions came up yesterday and we’ll get to them in future, but right now, since I’ve just seen the manuscript of Bark To The Future, coming in August, how about we do Fritzie Bortz, the motorcycle cop and later – in Heart of Barkness – Border Patrol officer, who has a recurring role?

Pete: Sure! Fritzie is one of those characters I love to write. He has an unsure grip on reality, as though the signal comes and goes. Also he’s not very good on a bike, which led to the little contretemps in Heart of Barkness, resulting in his new Border Patrol gig.

Mrs. P: With a big surprise coming in Bark To The Future. But meanwhile I notice there are Z’s in both his first and last names.

Pete: Exactly! Love those Z’s! Only three syllables, but it’s like a tiny sound poem – or some quick lick a drummer might play.

Mrs. P: How did you think it up?

Pete: It just popped into my head. Names often come to me like that, even when I’m not writing anything.

Mrs. P: How about right this second?

Pete: Irwin Kirbaugh.

Mrs. P: Thanks, Pete! See you next month for more of What’s In A Name! And meanwhile, since I am the publicist, may I remind everyone that It’s A Wonderful Woof makes a very nice holiday gift. And you needn’t have read any of the previous C&Bs to enjoy it! The series can be read in any order.



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