I’ve always been a huge fan of detective fiction, particularly the sorts of puzzles Agatha Christie wove about her heroes, Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. Her style of mystery with its last-minute revelation is now seen as hopelessly old-fashioned and has largely been superseded by more forensic and more procedural style of fiction. However, I still harbour a fondness for the whodunit.
Even at school, around the age of 12, I wrote a mystery ‘novel’ in my exercise book along the lines of my then passion, Enid Blyton’s Famous Five and Secret Seven, and was given permission to read a chapter at a time to my school class each afternoon.
As an adult I got waylaid from such frivolous activity into making a living in various mind numbing jobs such as psych nurse, quilt packer, trainee primary school teacher, and journalist before embarking on a career writing plays and a film script, before coming the full circle to write stories again.
I wasn’t sure if I could write a novel length work, having only managed short stories in the past, but Claudia at loveyoudivine, the publisher which has unleashed my works on the eBook world, encouraged me to write a serial over five parts, one released each month. In the end it wound up as six parts because I couldn’t solve the problem in five.
Unlike Ms. Christie whom I’ve read knew the identity of her murderer and not much else before she began work on a novel, I had a hero, egotistical, charismatic Kaden ‘Buddy’ Reznor. Not a detective but a television chef, plus the idea that he’s on board an Orient Express-type train which is chugging around Europe with a bevy of TV chefs entertaining their fans as someone is murdering passengers.
Kaden, the chef, seems to be the target of the murders so, in the grand tradition of these stories, sets out to find the killer himself. Some readers are so repelled by Kaden’s characters they actually root for the killer! The initial murder occurs in the first-class toilet on the Eurostar as it enters the Channel Tunnel, and I had no idea who was next or whodunit. But I’d locked myself in and I had to write my way out of it. Not something I think I’d attempt a second time.
The murderer didn’t reveal their (not grammatically correct, I know, but I don’t want to reveal the killer’s gender) identity until part four and from then on it was a breeze to the end as the train visits some of the major capitals of Europe.
It was Claudia’s idea that I include recipes at the end of each part so I created a five course meal of local cuisine from the countries visited, as well as a vegan alternative. Alas, I didn’t have the skill to implant clues in the recipes themselves - maybe next time. I did, however, manage to mix in enough red herrings and blind alleys to fool most readers.
Okay, I’m not Agatha Christie and never will be. Is anyone? But I had a ball creating my own jigsaw puzzle of a whodunit and feedback suggests readers are enjoying unravelling it.
|THE GRAVY TRAIN - First Course: In the Soup|
Publisher: loveyoudivine Alterotica
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-60054-554-2
Length: 65 pdf Pages / 11345 words
Heat Level: 4 out of 5
Formats Available: pdf, prc, lit, zipped html, lrf, epub, RocketBooks
Method: Mix a luxury train with a gaggle of foodies who have paid big money for the trip of a lifetime across Europe with the world’s best TV chefs, throw in Masala, the closeted bottom boy son of one of France’s two hysterical identical twin chefs, the Daiquiri Sisters, an unstable Dutch chef with an unrequited passion, top it all off with the stratospherically popular Six-Pack Chef Kaden ‘Buddy’ Reznor. Turn up the heat – then stand well back.
One of the best views in London was spread out before me. I was close to the top in one of the observation bubbles on the London Eye, that enormous wheel that overlooks the Thames near the Houses of Parliament and the phallic Big Ben, but I wasn’t looking at them. Nope, the best view in London at that precise moment was the arse that was spread invitingly before me. Coincidentally, it also belonged to a Ben.
We were alone in a cabin meant for twenty-five, even I baulked at twenty-four delicious arseholes spread before me, having bribed the attendant with a number of large denomination Sterling notes, a surreptitious grope, and a business card with my private phone number: sometimes it pays to be famous. Now, when I should have been admiring Ye Olde World charms of the English capital I was, in fact, admiring the new world charms of the English rump. And I was about to embed my cock in said beauty, to the delight of the few glass cabins around us that could see everything we were doing. There was absolutely no privacy, but I cared little for that. Ben, though, seemed much less eager to have his arse banged than I was to shag it.
And that, dear reader, is where this adventure began. The how and why are a different matter. For that I have to back up a little – not my usual style.
Maybe if I start this tale the way I was taught by the austere Mrs. Patterson at my state high school in Sydney, Australia. I’m not a writer, you see. It’s not my forte, but we’ll get to that. So, at the top of the page I write my name. Kaden ‘Buddy’ Reznor. I used to hate that name at school because it made me stand out. Joke, right? Now I do everything in my limited box of tricks to stand out. Some people would call that ironic but I guess those sort of folk aren’t likely to be reading this. See, my ‘minders’ told me to act all sort of folksy for the market this book is aimed at.
That’s all bullshit. My real name is Buddy. Bit common, right? But that’s why my program on YouTube was called The Taste Buddy. You ever watch it? Good, right? Until some rather more, shall we say, private home videos began to appear as well, dropping the definite article – the “The” for those of the more grammatically challenged amongst you – under the title Taste Buddy. Some trashy folk whom I’d invited back to my apartment to share a few moments of intimate pleasure thought they could jump on the celebrity bandwagon by making a video of themselves actually tasting me in the flesh, thought it would enhance their desirability while tarnishing mine. In actual fact, it had the reverse effect: my popularity increased in direct proportion to my cock size.
Okay, I’ll admit most of it was my fault. But, gimme a break, what do you expect, I’m gorgeous. Have you seen me? Right. Why be modest? That only comes across as crap. I’m an alpha male with alpha male appetites. Gotta spread my seed around. Distribute the wealth, so to speak. And there’s an awful lot of guys out there want to sub for me. Yep, I’m gay. Right at the very end of the Richter Scale of gayness. I’m not saying ‘no’ if the right woman came along, but there’s so many fuckin’ men to get through before that will ever happen.