And Sir Walter Scott Lived Here: And Now For A Small Digression: The Genesis Of Murder Mysteries

Like the famous old joke says:

What is the oldest profession?


To quote that great son of the Mississippi, Mark Twain,

no, not lady of the horizontal  persuasion,

but those of the “Madam, I’m Adam” persuasion:



The one who,

in German murder mysteries,


as opposed to the English Christie type,

where James,

or Jeeves,

those loyal family retainers

who know all,

and dish and stab and hemlock the soup with the best of ’em,

always the murderer.

Or, to put it in a nutshell,  in Germany it’s:

“Are the strawberries a bit small this year, Johann?”

“Try this water hemlock salad, your ladyship. You will surely find it to your liking. Bwa ha ha.”

So what brought me to this little digression,

right when the mechanical chicken of Pitlochry

is about to rise out of the lake,

sword in hand,

well, at least the ponds near the fish ladder,

and devour the entire….

sorry, tune in tomorrow.

Same time, same channel,

where all will be discovered

and uncovered,

and recovered,

here in….

But wait.

When we last left our heroine,


the one in the soggy southwester,

with the heather hanging over one ear,

she was marching through the peat.

And singing.

For that is exactly the point here…

The simple fact is,

that, like every other moment in my life,

that intervenes in the battle between me and my typewriter,

there was music.

The hills are alive with…

No. Not this time.

And once each hundred years,

when the town of Brigadoon…


More like,

a marvelous page I just found.

On the most famous murder mysteries of all time,

which got my Scots water-logged brain spinning like a wash machine,

and me thinking about:

the Genesis of Murder mysteries.

Starring Cain and Abel,

And Hamlet,

(Christie’s the Mouse Trap)

Crime and Punishment

(or Les Miserable, depending on whether you feel it is the same story)


(since we are talking all things Scottish-

and mysterious,

including the Scottish play)

(see James Thurber)

(Wow, that Will Shakespeare was surely a great mystery writer)

And now,


here we were,

marching through the heather on the hill,

thinking magical mysterious towns,

that appear at least once per hundred years,

(usually when the whiskey distilleries are all in full-function)

and discussing Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde,

and singing music from that magical musical murder mystery Brigadoon

(what, again?)


get ready,

the most perfect murder mystery song ever,

in my opinion:

I am the Walrus,

and searching,

and waiting, with true devotee emotion,

for the appearance,

out of the mist,

not of the wonderous white- stone Acarsaid hotel,

nor the magical fish ladder,

no, not the wonderfully green and paleolithic Nessie,

nor even the town of Brigadoon,


hoping against hope we would hear its ecstatic cry,

we waited.

For that which calls all children from their parents,

and sets them running:


The magical mechanical chicken of Pitlochry.

More tomorrow.

copyright 2017

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