Posts Tagged ‘tennis’

Tennis Lesson: From Thereby Hangs a Tail


March 21st, 2023 Posted 7:50 am

Tennis has been the topic a few times lately – it comes up in my work from time to time, can’t help it. Here’s the tennis lesson from Thereby Hangs A Tail, a Chet and Bernie novel (for newcomers, Bernie is the detective and Chet is his partner and the narrator. A dog, yes, but not a talking one).

The tall blond guy took a ball from the bucket and hit it to Ganz. Ganz wore white shorts, had skinny legs like sticks. He swung his racquet and hit the ball back. The tall guy let it go by, took out another ball. “Brush up, Shermie, brush up. Spin on the ball, always spin on the ball.” He hit the ball over the net. Ganz swung, this time missing the ball completely. “Brush up but through, up but  through, up but through,” said the tall guy, sending over another ball. Brush? I knew brushes, saw none around. Maybe tennis was tougher than it looked, but I didn’t worry about that because a ball came bouncing over in our direction – we were now beside the court – and I snatched it out of the air, and who wouldn’t have, the ball being right there practically saying, “Catch me.” And then – this part was a bit harder to understand – I was on the court, racing toward the net. Up and over: not much of a challenge, tennis nets turning out not to be very high, but still it felt so great, being airborne and all, that I kind of twisted around still up there, if you see what I mean, and landed facing back at the net, and the next thing I knew I was jumping over it again, from the other direction, and, yes! doing the spin move once more, and when I landed this time, somehow with two balls in my mouth now – how had that happened? – I –



“I Enjoy.” (Learning from a 19 year old)


March 20th, 2023 Posted 8:21 am

Carlos Alcaraz, current #1 tennis player in the world, after winning the wonderful Indian Wells tournament last night:

“What I improve a lot is to don’t take the pressure, just to play relaxed. That’s why I show a great level, because I feel like I have no pressure. I enjoy. I’m playing relaxed.”




March 19th, 2023 Posted 7:58 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™. As a kind of a shout out to the very entertaining Indian Wells tennis tournament, which concludes today, let’s do a book where tennis plays a role. There are a few, including The Tutor, Lights Out, A Perfect Crime, and – coming next summer! Mrs. Plansky’s Revenge. And there’s this one, Thereby Hangs A Tail:

The perp looked around – what nasty little eyes he had! – and saw there was nowhere to go. We were in some kind of warehouse, big and shadowy, with a few grimy high-up windows and tall stacks of machine parts. I couldn’t remember how the warehouse fit in, exactly, or even what the whole case was all about; only knew beyond a doubt, from those nasty eyes and that sour end-of-the-line smell, a bit like those kosher pickles Bernie had with his BLT’s – I’d tried one; once was enough for the kosher pickles, although I always had time for a BLT – that this guy was the perp. I lunged forward and grabbed him by the pantleg. Case closed.



Biographical Detail


November 11th, 2022 Posted 8:10 am

Today – tennis! Still playing outdoors here on Cape Cod. The light’s so different at this time of year – a handy excuse for lousy play. Here, irrelevantly, a springtime pic.


Posted in Chet The Dog

The Books

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