Posts Tagged ‘Thereby Hangs A Tail’

Beginnings

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June 7th, 2020 Posted 9:02 am

Without a doubt the most original mystery series currently available. – Stephen King

On Sundays we do beginnings, taking a look at the first few lines of all the Peter Abrahams books including those written under the Spencer Quinn moniker – mostly so we can use that word! Moniker! How about Thereby Hangs A Tail today? It’s second in the Chet and Bernie series, but the series can be read in any order. For example, let’s say you wanted to start with Of Mutts and Men, coming 7/7? Who’s going to stop you? That’s the spirit!

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.

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Tennis!

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May 29th, 2020 Posted 12:17 pm

Played tennis this morning! First time back on the court since all this. Felt normal! I’ve written quite a bit about tennis – for example, in The Tutor and A Perfect Crime – and in Chet and Bernie, too. Here’s the tennis lesson from Thereby Hangs A Tail:

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 –

“Chet!”

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October and Baseball

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October 5th, 2019 Posted 8:38 am

This is the best month for baseball lovers! Football, basketball, hockey – they’d all be basically understandable right away to a newcomer seeing a game for the first time, but baseball: never! Baseball comes up quite a bit in our work – in the YA thriller Bullet Point, for example, the kids’ picture book Quacky Baseball, and of course The Fan was all about baseball. (Cal Ripken, Jr., paying me a very nice compliment on its accuracy, asked how far I’d gone in baseball.  That was a funny conversation.) Baseball also comes up in the Chet and Bernie series. Here’s a little something from Thereby Hangs A Tail:

We drove toward the sun, through a few neighborhoods a lot like our own, then past a baseball field with a kids’ game going on. I didn’t understand baseball but it always looked like fun, and the ball itself I loved. Who’d have guessed what the insides were like? At that very moment a kid swung his bat and the ball went soaring into the sky. We weren’t going very fast. Would it be totally impossible to –

 

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Baseball

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April 11th, 2019 Posted 9:07 am

Since baseball came up yesterday, here’s Chet on the subject (from THEREBY HANGS A TAIL).

We drove toward the sun, through a few neighborhoods a lot like our own, then past a baseball field with a kids’ game going on. I didn’t understand baseball but it always looked like fun, and the ball itself I loved. Who’d have guessed what the insides were like? At that very moment a kid swung his bat and the ball went soaring into the sky. We weren’t going very fast. Would it be totally impossible to –

“Che – et?” Bernie had this way of sometimes saying my name real slow. The ball hit the grass and bounced toward the outfield fence in lovely long hops that made me want to – “Che – et?” We drove on.

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The Books



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