Posts Tagged ‘The Right Side’

Veterans Day


November 11th, 2019 Posted 9:01 am

Thank you.

And here’s a little something from The Right Side:

“Hello,” the officer said. “Destination?”


“Somewhere specific?”

“We’re just driving around.”

He looked past her at Goody. “Vaccinations up to date?”

“As far as I know.”

“As far as you know?”



Passport. Hers was the red, military kind. She remembered seeing it somewhere. LeAnne opened the glove box. Stuff fell out. She fished around in the glove box, found the passport, handed it to him.

“Military,” he said.


“Meaning you’re traveling under orders. Orders to just drive around?”

LeAnne said nothing. Goody yawned one of her huge yawns. Did that mean she felt totally unthreatened? That was good to know.

Now the officer was examining her passport photo. “Turn to me, please.”

She turned her face to him. He saw what there was to see, hardly reacted at all. Then he looked past her again and pointed. “What’s that?”

The Bronze Star was hanging from the open glove box.

“A medal.”

“Can I see?”

LeAnne handed him the Bronze Star.

“What’s it for?”

LeAnne didn’t answer.

The agent turned the medal over and read aloud the inscription on the back. “’Heroic or Meritorious Achievement.’” He handed her the passport and medal, tapped the roof, and said, “Enjoy your visit.”





October 6th, 2019 Posted 7:54 am

On Sundays we do beginnings – taking a look at the first paragraph or two of a Peter Abrahams novel, including those written under the Spencer Quinn moniker. How about today we do The Right Side, the novel that came between Scents and Sensibility and Heart of Barkness? Those two are part of the Chet and Bernie series and The Right Side is not. It’s also not canine-narrated, and there are many other differences as well.

“Just want to make sure I’ve got your name right.” The man – Machado, read the tag hung around his neck – swiveled sideways to check his computer. The chair made a squeaky sound, intolerable to the woman sitting on the other side of the desk. It sparked a headache in the spot where her headaches got sparked these days, a headache that then blossomed like an explosion in slow motion, so slow you might have thought it would peter out, or be easily stopped. She knew better.

Machado – Dr. Ernest Machado, Psychiatric Services, according to the name tag – squinted at the screen. “Still getting used to these darn progressives,” he said, tapping his glasses.

“Poor you,” she said.

Dr. Machado shot her a speedy glance, returned to the screen, nudged his glasses a little higher up on his nose.

That glance? Furtive, she thought. Or had she said it aloud, called him furtive to his face?


A Note From the Writer


June 20th, 2019 Posted 7:30 am

Not long after Scents and Sensibility, the most recent Chet and Bernie novel, came out – actually that very day! – I began getting emails written in all caps, like this: “YOU HAVE BERNIE DYING? THAT’S CRUEL. WE ALL WANT CHET & BERNIE TO GO ON FOREVER.”

Uh-oh. I’d had no intention of ending the series or offing Bernie. I’d had an idea for a different kind of book I wanted to write – the book that became The Right Side – and I can’t write two books at once. So, I thought, how about leaving Chet and Bernie in a cliffhanger situation for now, just a bit of a tease?

Oh, boy. In the intervening time lots of new readers seem to have found the series, so the emails – and messages on social media – just keep coming. Therefore I’m very very happy to say that the new C&B, Heart of Barkness arrives July 2, 2019. There’s no need, by the way, to have read any of the earlier books first. Chet’s the narrator and that kind of rigid sequentiality is just not him.

The Chet and Bernie stories – for those of you new to them – are not cozies. There’s darkness, and the pain of life is felt not just by Bernie but by Chet, too. But – and I think this is part of the appeal of the series, if I may say so – he quickly springs back to his reset position, and that position in one of a lover of life. Is that why I often hear from readers who say Chet and Bernie have helped them through hard times? That’s been a huge and humbling surprise to me.

Heart of Barkness is all about loving life. It’s also about the ruthless, the dangerous, the scorned, country music, and … and mathematics:

“What’s so interesting?” Bernie said. Then came something that had never happened before, kind of a shock. He set his glass on the desk, walked over, and … could it really be? Bernie got down on all fours and … whoa, stop right there! From out of nowhere I suddenly understood four, having never gone past two in my whole life. One, two, four! I’d cracked the code at last!

Welcome – or welcome back – to the world of Chet and Bernie.



One of Those Interesting Things …


February 25th, 2019 Posted 4:14 am

… that can happen in what my grandmother always called “the writing game.”


Posted in Chet The Dog

The Books

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