Posts Tagged ‘Great Western Private Eye Association’

Beginnings

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July 29th, 2018 Posted 9:03 am

On Sundays we’ve been doing beginnings – all the Peter Abrahams books in chronological order, including those written under the Spencer Quinn pen name. Here from 2011 – #27, THE DOG WHO KNEW TOO MUCH, 4th in the Chet and Bernie series. (Note – the picture of Chet on the cover represents the publisher taking a rather experimental approach.)

[“Outstanding….Quinn (suspense novelist Peter Abrahams) manages to sell the conceit of a literate canine narrator by dint of intelligent writing and on-the-mark pacing and tone.”

–“Publishers Weekly” (starred review)]

Was I proud of Bernie or what?

True, he’d been pretty nervous going into this gig. I can always tell when Bernie’s nervous – which hardly ever happens, and never when we’re in action – because his smell sharpens a bit, although it’s still the best human smell there is, apples, bourbon, salt and pepper; but now, up on the stage, he was doing great.

“Which, um,” he was saying, “reminds me of a joke. “Sort of. Maybe not a joke,” he went on, turning a page, “more like a – “ and at that moment the whole wad of papers somehow jumped out of his hands, all the pages gliding down in different directions. He bent and started gathering them up. That gave me a chance, sitting a few rows back, to recoy or recon – or something like that – the joint, always important in our line of work, as Bernie often said.

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Chetspeak on Sunday

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October 6th, 2013 Posted 8:50 am

Bernie said nothing. Silence is a tool. He’s told me that, and more than once. I love it every time he tells me, no matter what it means.

Silence, silence, and then the dude filled it in. Filled it in with talk, which is what usually happens. Once or twice a special silence of Bernie’s has gotten filled in with gunfire, but this dude’s hands were still empty. “My name’s Rugh,” he said. “Cale Rugh. I’m with Donnegan’s, Houston office.”

“Uh-huh,” said Bernie, Donnegan’s being a sort of competitor, but way bigger. We’d met some of their agents at the Great Western Private Eye convention a while back. Bernie gave the keynote speech, and it couldn’t have gone better – the Mirabelli brothers and all those other guys at the back and down the sides plus a few in front must have been real tired to have zonked out the way they did – but I didn’t remember this dude.

“Somewhere we could go for a quick talk?” Rugh said.

“Here is good,” Bernie said.

“It’s confidential.”

“We’ll talk in low voices.”

Rugh smiled, showing a lot of white teeth, not small for a human. His eyes showed nothing. “They warned me about you.”

“Who’s they?”

“Colleagues. They said you’re a difficult son of a bitch. But you know what I told them?”

“That anyone who’s any good in this business is a difficult son of a bitch,” Bernie said.

– from The Sound and the Furry.

Welcome Shane & Carmen Miranda, Milo at the pumpkin patchsilkence, 2 beachfront dudes, 2 dudes from MI, Daisy.

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P.G. Wodehouse and Us

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May 3rd, 2012 Posted 8:57 am

“Remember the scene at the beginnning of The Dog Who Knew Too Much?” Admin says. “Where Bernie addresses the Great Western Private Eye Association?”

“I do, as it happens,” says Spence.

“When you wrote that, did you have in mind Gussie Fink-Nottle’s speech at the Market Snodsbury Grammar School awards day ceremony from Right Ho, Jeeves?”

“Depends what you mean by have in mind. I don’t think you can write that sort of scene without being aware of the Wodehouse version. But there are many differences, starting with the point of view, of course.”

“How about a bit of Bernie, from the opening of The Dog Who Knew Too Much? Maybe as he’s wrapping up:”

Bernie shuffled through the papers. “And I guess that more or less … brings us to the end of the prepared remarks.” What was the word for when humans talk but you can’t understand a thing? Muttering? Yeah. Bernie was muttering now. “Happy to take any questions,” he went on, or something like that.

There were no questions.

“Well, then, it’s time to, uh … thanks. Yeah. Thanks. You’ve been a great, um.” Bernie raised his hand in a funny sort of wave, a page or two flying free, and started walking off the stage. Then came the applause. I heard it for sure, but my sense of hearing’s probably better than yours, no offense.

 

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The Books



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