Good News on the Investigation of Life in The God’s Cycle. The latest: there’s loads of tension in Maine’s 1998 ice storm — enough almost to float a novel without a murder mystery. As anticipation concerning the ice storm builds, I may be able to give the murder a low-profile.
Here’s a list of factors contributing to ice storm suspense:
1. Threat of carbon monoxide poisoning. (12 such deaths reported in Maine’s storm.)
2. Trees breaking by the thousands, blocking highways and lanes, crashing on houses, and downing live power lines.
3. Absolute darkness. Slowly mitigated by primitive means. (In complete darkness, one man in Maine woke thinking he’d gone blind. R and I have experienced this darkness.)
4. Extreme difficulty walking on solid ice as thick as your forefinger is long — accompanying injuries. I had one of these and it turned out chronic to this day. (ouch)
5. Mysteriously, one store open in an isolation of light provided by the power company. My reading so far has not discovered the cause of this. The state’s central office of the power company itself lost power.
There’s much more. But all the above will suffice for minimum and slow advance on the murder, for both officials, reader, and writer.
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I’ve been rereading Have His Carcase by Dorothy L. Sayers and finding it, this time around, a regular mishmash (if the paradoxical coupling with the adjective can be accepted, or even excepted). I recall being less than thrilled with my initial reading, without recalling why. Now I see. Sayers could have used an ice storm and cut the puzzle. Though some may enjoy the dance, for me it’s not engagingly presented. (I feel my eighth-grade teacher saying, pay attention!) With an ice storm her corpse could have gone under the sea, stayed out of sight awhile, bobbed to the surface, gone under, come up again, each time in a different part of the sea and (of course) the narrative. Oh yes! both reader and writer recall. –That murder again! (Or was a suicide?) But there it is again!!