Too many mysteries to tie together?

Sigh, Book 4, and I have to tie together clearing Annie’s good name, solving the whole arson thing and dealing with a brand spankin’ new Arch Nemesis. I may have bitten off more than I can chew.

Why did I do this again? Oh yes, character development. Everyone who read books 1-3 tells me they want to know more about Portia, and that is why this book is so bloody complicated.

Ok, so the whole Pigeon thing.. how about if two chefs at the Palace were feuding and one accused the other of using pigeons in the chicken pot pie instead of, well, chicken? Ok, Annie reports this, the accused Chef is summarily dismissed, Annie’s story is retracted because the feud is discovered, and now this disgraced Chef is struggling in the market. Oh, but the crown prince misses his chicken pot pie (which was chicken after all that) so the kitchen staff try and fail to make it to the original Chef’s standard. They are forced to head down to the market and purchase a contract with the original Chef to create his masterpiece once a week for the Prince.

What if the bitter cuisinier decided to really stick it to his former employer and ACTUALLY serve pigeon in his much sought after pot pies? That would work, but wouldn’t he be arrested or at least run out of town for doing that to the Royals? Yeah, that’s where this goes off the rails. Who hires a vindictive Chef who’s been outed for switching pigeons for chickens? Um yes. Problem. Unless the next person who hires him values his culinary skills and has no love for the British Royals…. hmmm..

A streetchase

Book4, writing a street chase, and since 221B Baker Street doesn’t really exist in London (at least as a townhouse, not as a Museum), I’m working with the area instead.

So, running South down Siddon’s Lane and then West towards Chagford Street – that makes sense right?

I need someone from London to actually help me before I go ‘un-suspending’ people’s disbelief with erroneous directions.

Keeping track of it all

PortiaRereading an earlier draft of Book 1 I just realized that I contradicted myself in Book 2, so how about we use this space to keep track of some basic data on Portia Adams, eh?

FULL NAME: Portia Constance Adams, AKA P.C. Adams, Consulting Detective

PARENTS: Charles Eagle (deceased), Marie Adams (deceased)

AGE: in 1929 she is 19-years-old, therefore born in July 1910

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Blue eyes (from her grandfather and mother), tall, dark hair, slim build, right-handed.

LOCATION: Previously, San Francisco and then Toronto, now, 221B Baker St. London, in the Marylebone district of the City of Westminster in London

EDUCATION: Basic schooling in Toronto, along with private tutors, now in King’s College studying Law (started in 1930)

PREFERENCES: Doesn’t like the color pink, adores books and reading, is messy (in terms of living habits), doesn’t like red wine, likes champagne, doesn’t like pea soup, can’t really cook.

SOCIALLY: Has no close friends other than Brian Dawes, and her guardian Mrs. Jones. A new friend has developed in Annie Coleson as of CaseBook 4, and she now has a Bloodhound named Nerissa.

Nihil sapientiae odiosius acumine nimio

“Nihil sapientiae odiosius acumine nimio” – Petrarch

(Nothing is more hateful to wisdom than excessive cleverness)

I was trying to figure out where I got the idea for casebook 3 and the missing child, and googled ‘letter in plain sight’ because it is the key element I remembered.

Amazing machine that it is, Google’s first search result was for The Purloined Letter, an Edgar Allen Poe story I read as a child, and the story I had been thinking of when writing Book 3. I remember being fascinated by the idea that people could be fooled into not seeing the very thing they were looking for when it was purposefully left in plain sight. An interesting concept.

Unfound, image created by C-Dog on the Dark Tower forum
Unfound, image created by C-Dog on the Dark Tower forum

That is actually the second homage.

The first is for the working title: Unfound.

I’ll give you a hint if you’re not sure where that comes from;

Btw, that graphic to the left was created by C.Dog on the Dark Tower forum found here (and if that’s not the biggest hint ever, then, well, I can’t help you any more ; )

Arson is a hard subject to research

arson
Arson

Interestingly, there was a lot of arson going on in the early 1900s but the angle I wanted to pursue was the accelerant. Turns out that is the wrong term to use for what makes the fire burn..

From Wikipedia:
Some fire investigators mistakenly use the term “accelerant” to mean any substance that initiates and promotes a fire without differentiating between an accelerant and a fuel. The terms are not, in the truest sense of chemical science, interchangeable. To a chemical engineer, “gasoline” is not at all considered an “accelerant”, it is more accurately considered a “fuel”, but usage by laymen is considered popularized if incorrect.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accelerant

Ok, understood, changing that immediately!