Qwilleran and Arch Riker have an ongoing playful banter about Qwilleran wanting a bonus for his work writing for the Moose County Something and Arch's threats to fire Qwill if he doesn't send in some more material soon. (Qwilleran owns the Something through the K Fund.)
Qwilleran, in a weak moment, agrees to be the town Santa Claus for Pickaxe and is aghast when he learns that the job involves lap-sitting.
Qwilleran's tongue-in-cheek briefing missives to Celia Robinson, his "Secret Agent 007 1/2"
Qwilleran trying to avoid the overtures of his neighbors, the Boswells, in The Cat Who Talked to Ghosts. Vince Boswell has a loud grating voice and Verona has a sing-song voice that often seems to end with an inflection as if she were asking a... question? It's even more entertaining if you listen to the audiobook version with George Guidall.
Qwilleran is out exploring graves with a long-time resident of Moose County and they come across what the long-timer describes as the "ultimate his and hers" — a husband-and-wife pairing. One grave reads "Shot by her dear husband." The other reads "Hanged for killing his dear wife."
Lots are drawn at the Moose County Something for interviews of various political candidates for Pickaxe mayor, and Qwilleran has the bad luck of drawing George Breze. He's a local-yokel car dealer whose main platform seems to be "jobs and clean streets." In a later book, Breze is dubbed "Old Gallbladder" and it's revealed that he only got two votes.
"In your opinion, what is the most important issue facing the city council?" "That's hard to say. Myself, I'm gonna fight for clean streets." Qwilleran thanked Breze for his cogent opinions and delivered the tape to the paper. "Here's my interview with the Great Populist," he told Junior.
In the first book, The Cat Who Could Read Backwards, Qwill is sent out to interview a local multi-millionaire artist, Cal Halapay, who has blackballed The Daily Fluxion because the art critic gave him a bad review. He finds, to his chagrin, that Halapay simply won't answer personal questions and keeps trying to thrust expensive artwork on him as freebies. He reports back to Arch Riker in frustration...
Arch: Don't go fastidious on me. Just write a folksy piece about an interesting guy who wears old clothes around the house, takes his shoes off, keeps cats and dogs, eats weiners for lunch. You know how to do it.
Qwill: I don't like it.
Arch: I'm not asking you to lie. Just be selective, that's all. Skip the part about the glass icicles and the half-million dollar lake and the visits in South America, and bear down on the turkey farm and his lovely wife and the adorable kitties.
Qwill: I suppose that's called practical newspapering.
Arch: It helps pay the bills.
Qwill: I don't like it, but if you're in that bad of a bind, I'll see what I can do. Halapay or hell-to-pay!