Welcome Back to the Chet and Bernie Series! - Tor/Forge Blog

Welcome Back to the Chet and Bernie Series!

It’s been a long wait, but Chet and Bernie are back! Spencer Quinn talked with us about taking a break, ending on a cliffhanger, and coming back.

By Spencer Quinn

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. 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—Chet 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!”

To readers past and present: Thank you so much for your past support of Chet and Bernie, and I hope you enjoy Heart of Barkness. I can’t wait (a very Chet-like state of mind).

10 thoughts on “Welcome Back to the Chet and Bernie Series!

  1. I absolutely LOVE this series! I experience the gamut of emotions reading it. I am a huge dog lover, so having the story from Chet’s point of view is the best. I laugh out loud and sometimes uncontrollably while reading some of his thoughts. Please keep this series going for as long as possible….I am in love <3

  2. So happy to have Chet and Bernie back! I usually read the books with my own faithful furry partner on my lap. I am very proud to tell people she is as smart as Chet (maybe smarter) because she can count to three!

  3. Love this series, never stop, just create new ideas and situations for Chet and Bernie to explore and solve‼️❌❌❌❌🙋🏻‍♀️🙏🏼♥️👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼🐕

  4. I have been watching and waiting for how many years now for the return of Chet and Bernie. I’ll be so glad to pick up their adventures again. Chet knew Bernie would be okay, and of course I believed him.

  5. This is such a fantastic series. I so love sweet Chet and Bernie. Sharing these books is one of the ways I have bonded with my Mother in law. She adores them also. We both look so forward to reading this upcoming one. Pre ordered and ready!

  6. I love the series so much that I just might buy the book instead of waiting my turn at the library’s hold list (long). Chet and Bernie make me laugh and cry. My cat Milo is alot like Chet. Sorry Chet but it’s true. Love you both bunches.

  7. I first learned of Chet and Bernie listening to an audiobook while driving cross-country about 3 years ago. Took the pain right out of long-distance driving! When I got home, I read right through all the books, and was disappointed when I got to the end of the last book because, well, because I wanted more! So happy the new book will be out soon! Looking forward to reading it.

  8. I am so excited already told my three furry babies that Chet and Bernie will be back in no time at all. We can’t wait, I do read out loud so they hear me. Do hope you are working on another one.

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