I have been trying to persuade Geri that we should open a detective agency called Sullivan and Sullivan. Of course, that first Sullivan would stand for me, Pepe Sullivan. I adopted that last name when I was adopted by Geri at the start of the year. I was one of a batch of Chihuahuas flown up from California to be distributed, like wonderful Christmas gifts, to the people of Seattle. I did not get adopted during the Christmas season, a fact that made me miserable but Geri was worth the wait. To my surprise (and hers!) she can hear me talking. I’ve been talking all my life but no one has ever listened to me before. That is why we would make such perfect partners.
Instead Geri insists on working for this strange character named Jimmy G who always talks about himself in third person. Jimmy G owns the Gerrard Detective Agency and he called us in one morning to tell us about the sad case of a woman who left all her money to her dogs when she died. A noble human! Not every one appreciates us perros as much as Lucille Carpenter. Some fiend, perhaps one of her children or step-children, was threatening to kill the dogs. An obvious case for Sullivan and Sullivan! And they even found us because we had been written up in the paper for our skill at solving previous crimes involving dogs, cases which have been well-covered in books like Dial C for Chihuahua, Chihuahua Confidential and The Big Chihuahua.
Off we went to Port Townsend, where the lawyer lived who was handling Mrs. Carpenter’s estate To get to Port Townsend from Seattle where we live, it was necessary to take a ferry, one of the big Washington State ferries that have three levels for cars to park and glide across the waters of the Sound like big weddings cakes. Geri pretends that I am afraid of water (just because I was once thrown into a swimming pool in Beverly Hills) and so she stayed in the car with me. Besides they have some silly rule about dogs not being allowed on deck.
I could tell them a story about how I once piloted a yacht from Cabo San Lucas to San Diego. The boat was originally chartered by a playboy movie producer who was trying to impress a young actress who he wanted to star in his upcoming film. But when he was stricken down with Montezuma’s revenge (or perhaps it was just a serious hangover from the massive amount of tequila he was guzzling), I had to take control of the boat and steer us to safety through thunder and lightning, tidal waves and killer sharks. The young actress was so grateful, she adopted me and took me home with her to Beverly Hills where I lived quite happily (except for that swimming pool incident) in a mansion with servants at my beck and call. How I got from there to Seattle is another story (one told in Chihuahua Confidential).
So, the captains of the Washington State Ferries should invite me to the wheelhouse to give them advice on how to best navigate the waters of the Puget Sound. Instead, I was confined, like an animal, to an automobile on a lower deck. Where I pretended to be frightened since I could see that would soothe Geri’s own fears. She is like that. When she is worried about someone else, she becomes fearless as I am naturally. So when we finally arrived in Port Townsend and found a dead lawyer on the floor of his office, she was determined to find out who killed him and how. Our search took us to a lavender farm in Sequim during the lavender festival, a veterinary clinic in nearby Discovery Bay (I did not like that place so much) and a fancy bed and breakfast in Port Townsend. But to learn more you will need to read The Chihuahua Always Sniffs Twice. (And that title is not entirely true: I do always sniff twice, but sometimes I sniff 15 or 29 times.)
You can read more about Pepe and his adventures in The Chihuahua Always Sniffs Twice, the fourth book in the “Barking Detective” mystery series, published by Kensington. The first book in the series is Dial C for Chihuahua, which starts with the adoption of Pepe and Geri’s surprise when he begins talking. The second book, Chihuahua Confidential, takes the pair to Beverly Hills to compete in the reality TV show: Dancing with Dogs, and solves some mysteries about Pepe’s past. In the third book, The Big Chihuahua, Geri and Pepe search for a missing woman at a retreat center in the mountains owned by a cult who worship the ancient dog warrior spirit, Dogawanda. And do not forget our Christmas adventure (available only as an e-short): Pepe and Geri help find a missing Chihuahua named Chiquita in a snowy village in the mountains just in time to make a little girl believe in Santa again.
GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 6 p.m eastern time on December 30 for the chance to win a print copy of THE CHIHUAHUA ALWAYS SNIFFS TWICE. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.
About the authors
Waverly Curtis is the pseudonym of Waverly Fitzgerald and Curt Colbert. Our publisher asked us to choose a female pen name so we combined our first names.
Curt Colbert is the author of the Jake Rossiter and Miss Jenkins mysteries, a series of hardboiled, private detective novels set in 1940’s Seattle. The first book, Rat City, was nominated for a Shamus Award in 2001. A Seattle native, Curt is also a poet and an avid history buff. He is the editor of Seattle Noir, a collection of crime stories published in 2009. He was a judge for the Edgars in 2008 and is a member of the Mystery Writers of America. Curt and his wife live in a Seattle suburb under the thrall of their cat, Esmeralda.
Waverly Fitzgerald is the author of four historical romances set in Victorian London under the name of Nancy Fitzgerald. She has taught writing classes for adults at the UCLA Writers Program, the University of Washington Extension, and Richard Hugo House, a literary arts center in Seattle. Waverly is also the author of Slow Time: Recovering the Natural Rhythms of Life. She lives in an apartment in the heart of Seattle with her daughter, Shaw, and Shaw’s Chihuahua, Pepe.
Pepe is an eight-year old Chihuahua, adopted by Waverly’s daughter Shaw, when he was a puppy. He likes stuffed toys, especially if they squeak. He hates the rain, which is unfortunate since he lives in Seattle. Like his namesake character, he hates being dressed up and thinks he is much bigger than he is. Unlike his namesake, he has a sweet disposition and doesn’t talk much, but he does have his own Facebook page.