Fritzie Bortz

Sunday is for beginnings – where we take a look at the start of a Peter Abrahams novel including those written under the Spencer Quinn moniker™, but since today is already destabilized by the clock change, how about we look into Fritzie Bortz, a supporting character in the Chet and Bernie series who somehow keeps rising to the top? I believe his first appearance comes in A Fistful of Collars (now on digital sale at $1.99!!!) but correct me if I’m wrong. Here’s the scene (Chet and Bernie are in their new old Porsche, the one with the cool martini glasses art work).

“This baby can fly!” Bernie said.
Or something like that, his voice drowned out by a siren. Then a motorcycle came whizzing up beside us, blue lights flashing, and we pulled over. But no problem: it was Fritzie Bortz, an old pal. He got off the bike, not without some trouble – Fritzie was a terrible motorcycle driver with lots of crashes on his record – and came up to Bernie’s side.
“Hey!” he said. “Bernie!”
“Hi, Fritzie.”
“And Chet – lookin’ good, Chet.”
So nice to see Fritzie. My tail started wagging.
“How’re things?” Fritzie said.
“No complaints,” said Bernie.
“New wheels?”
“Cool. Love those martini glasses – wouldn’t have bothered pulling you over otherwise. I was actually on my way home – haven’t had a day off since last Tuesday.”
“No one’s ever said you’re not a hard worker.”
“Thanks, Bernie. I do what I can.” Then he took out his ticket book, flipped a page, reached behind his ear for a pen.
“Fritzie? What are you doing?”
“Writing you up,” Fritzie said. “Might even make my quota on this – I had you at one-oh-three.”