Posts Tagged ‘The Dog Who Knew Too Much’

The Political Chet


August 14th, 2019 Posted 9:29 am

Several readers have raised the idea of Chet for president. Without getting into the pros and cons, at least I think we know the elevator pitch. Here, from The Dog Who Knew Too Much (although it comes up in just about every book in the series, although never exactly the same syntactically or contextually, I happened to notice):

“I like just about every human I’ve ever rubbed up against – even the perps and gangbangers – except for the nasty-sounding types.”



What’s In A Name?


March 15th, 2019 Posted 8:16 am

Mrs. Publicist: Fifteenth of the month, when we discuss names. You’ve mentioned, Pete (aka Spence), how important names are to you, and that you actually can’t write the character until you have the right name. How about this month we talk about Iggy, Chet’s best pal, especially since his name was suggested by readers yesterday?

Pete: I’m not the first artist (for want of a better word) to fall for the appeal of the name Iggy. In that I stand on the shoulders of Jim Osterberg, Jr. And may I recommend in passing Jim’s duet with Francoise Hardy of I’ll Be Seeing You.

Mrs. P: And what is the appeal of the name Iggy?

Pete: For me, the appeal was that the character came fully formed as soon as the name popped into my mind. Iggy’s all about id, lack of restraint, totally unselfconscious goofiness and yearning.

Mrs. P: And then to have him pretty much shut inside the Parsons’s house for the whole series so far, watching Chet through the window?

Pete: Makes the odd moment when they do get together –

Mrs. P: Like the bathroom scene in The Dog Who Knew Too Much?

Pete: – all the more explosive.

Mrs. P: Thanks, Pete. Iggy appears by the way in HEART OF BARKNESS, now available for preorder. In the meantime, there’s always the e-short story pictured here.




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.


What’s In A Name?


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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