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Can you find my iPod, Mr. Holmes?

Yeah, I have no idea.   And surely not interesting enough a case for Sherlock Holmes.

I have two iHomes, one in the kitchen and on in the craft room and the dang thing isn’t near either one.  I even cleaned off the kitchen table to check if it got buried there.  Nope.  (There exists the possibility that I am looking right at it, I suppose.  Wouldn’t be the first time.)  I went through my nightstand twice in case I put it in one of the drawers by the earbuds and charging cords, but no.  I keep trying to bring up a memory of the last time I saw it and I can’t think of anything.  I’m pretty sure I had it when I went to Chicago in June and I feel like I remember seeing it when I unpacked at home… and wouldn’t I have used it at least once since then?  I don’t really bring it anywhere.

To make a lot more whining short, it’s driving me kind of nuts.  I don’t even really want to USE it, but it’s driving me utterly mad that I can’t find it.

Anyway, I’ve had a better couple of weeks in some ways around here.  I managed to write and post a couple of chapters of Lazarus Machine, which pleases me.  I feel like I have a lot to do before the ending yet, but it isn’t insurmountable.  I am a little frustrated with the next chapter right now because I keep writing random sentences but can’t quite figure out exactly how detailed I want to make the chapter.  I don’t want some endless babble that really has no point in the story, but I don’t want all my research to go to waste, either.

Oh, speaking of, I got stuck in research hell the other day with this chapter.  So, the chapter takes place at a warehouse in the London Docks in Wapping.  I found a map of the area, and consulted my period map to get there from St. Bart’s, then was trying to find some clue as to what the warehouses and their interior would look like, as well as what cargo would be inside.  All stuff that would take a few sentences, really, and I could totally bullshit it all and who would know or care, really?

But that wasn’t where I got sucked in.  No.  There’s a major road above the dockyards that forms a sort of border and is also a major highway out of London to the east: Ratcliff Highway.  And in December of 1811, there were two sets of fairly horrific, violent murders along this highway.  A Bow Street Magistrate was appointed to run the inquiry and Runners were assigned to figure out the culprit(s).

So, you can see, with Lazarus Machine on my mind, I can totally see Regency Sherlock investigating this piece of work, one of his early cases, or perhaps something that inspired him to work with Bow Street.  For, of course, the mystery had a rather unsatisfying ending.  A suspect was detained, with the possibility of evidence against him, but he hung himself before reaching trial.

And again, there goes my Sherlock-detector, because what happened to the suicide?  He was carted through the streets and taken to a crossroads where he was buried with a stake through his heart.  (Oh, wait, here comes the good stuff.)  In 1886, a gas company was excavating in the vicinity and unearthed a skeleton with a stake through its torso.  To quote from Wikipedia:  “The landlord of The Crown and Dolphin, a public house at the corner of Cannon Street Road, is said to have retained the skull as a souvenir. The pub has since been renovated and the whereabouts of the skull are currently unknown.”

OMG, it’s Sherlock’s skull!  The full wiki article is quite interesting and detailed.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ratcliff_Highway_murders  But of course really had nothing at all to do with what I was originally researching. Even should I use any of this idea, it would be a line or two, or perhaps I’d dedicate an entire short to Sherlock relating the tale to John.  That might be nice.  But not what I’m doing now.

Speaking of unsatisfying murder mysteries, I recently finished The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale.  I got it as an audiobook from Overdrive through the library.  The book is excellent, but the mystery it relates is rather frustrating.  Even when there is a confession to the murder, you are left dying to know if the confessor was protecting someone else, why they would confess in the first place since after five years, they’d clearly gotten away with it (more or less, as the entire family was under suspicion).  The murder is gruesome and horrifyingly sad and the detective Mr. Whicher is very nearly thwarted.

I had been interested in this book for a while and had not put it on my priority list.  However, the information about detectives (in literature and real life) in the 1860s was fascinating and exactly what I was looking for in a book at the time (much like the book about Mary Shelley and Galvani I was reading when starting Lazarus Machine… just freaking kismet).  When I saw it on the library list, I snapped it right up.

Now if only I could get a detective to come here and find my iPod.  🙂

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2014 in Writings

 

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