I began writing about Bernie Rhodenbarr in 1977, in Burglars Can't Be Choosers. It wasn't until the third book (The Burglar Who Liked to Quote Kipling) that he acquired Barnegat Books as a place of business and Carolyn Kaiser as a best friend; then, in 1994's The Burglar Who Traded Ted Williams, the tailless cat Raffles came into his life—and has been a vital part of it ever since.
A couple of years ago, my friend Ellen Datlow was putting together an anthology of cat stories, and I extracted a 5000-word section from Ted Williams, which she put to good use. I've since realized that the material works on its own as an introduction to Bernie—and, duh, to Raffles. If you've read Ted Williams, you've already read this piece. (But why should that stop you from reading it again?)
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