Posts Tagged ‘The Dog Who Knew Too Much’

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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What’s In A Name?

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February 15th, 2018 Posted 8:29 am

Mrs. Publicist: Fifteenth of the month and time for What’s In A Name, where Peter Abrahams, aka Spencer Quinn, discusses a character name from the Chet and Bernie series. Here’s one I’ve been wondering about – Georgie Malhouf in THE DOG WHO KNEW TOO MUCH.

Pete: President of the Great Western Private Eye Association?

Mrs. P: Exactly. The one who offers Bernie five hundred bucks to give that memorable keynote speech at their convention.

Pete: Well, Georgie’s one of those characters we don’t know what to think of for a while, so I thought I’d give him a name to match. “Georgie” is a somewhat comic name for a grown man. Nothing to fear from a Georgie. But “Malhouf” has bad in it.

Mrs. P: Mal being bad in French?

Pete: Précisément! “Houf” reminds us of “hoof” – so bad foot, like – watch out, he kicks! That’s the side of Georgie we see more of as the story progresses. But the comic part never vanishes completely, and is still there at the end when Bernie makes him eat the –

Mrs. P: No spoilers! See you next month for another edition of What’s In A Name!

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Chetspeak on Sunday

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October 15th, 2017 Posted 8:24 am

We’re doing beginnings. Today: THE DOG WHO KNEW TOO MUCH:

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.

We were in a conference room at a hotel near the airport, and everyone in the audience – maybe not quite as big as it had been at the beginning, when Bernie had tapped the microphone, a painful sound for me, pounding like drums right next to my ears, although no one else seemed to mind, cleared his throat and said, “Can, uh, you hear me all right?” a terrific start, in my opinion – was a private eye, on account of this was the Great Western Private Eye Convention. We’re partners in the Little Detective Agency, me and Bernie, Bernie’s last name being Little. I’m Chet, pure and simple, and we’d been in business for almost as long as I could remember, although we’d never been to a convention before. “Not our thing,” Bernie said, so that was that, until Georgie Malhouf, president of the Great Western Private Eye Association, offered Bernie five hundred bucks to give a speech.

“A speech?” Bernie had said.

“Twenty minutes, tops,” Georgie Malhouf told him. “Plus questions.”

“I’ve never given a speech in my life.”

“So what?” said Georgie Malhouf. “There was also a time in your life when you hadn’t had sex. Did that stop you?”

 

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Chetspeak on Sunday

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April 23rd, 2017 Posted 7:43 am

We got off the elevator, found ourselves at the back of a court room. I’d been in court rooms before, even been exhibit A for my buddy Judge Jaramillo, down in the Valley, but never one this small. It had only two benches on either side of a narrow aisle, then two long desks, and in front of that and raised up on a dais another desk, at which Judge Stringer was sitting. He wore a black robe and looked real tired. At each of the two desks sat a group of two people, their backs to us. One of those people was Bernie. He was wearing an orange jumpsuit! This was the worst moment of my life.

– from THE DOG WHO KNEW TOO MUCH.

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