Seize the Fish! “Koi Carpe Diem” Out Now

2015-08-29 18.05.36

Victoria sponge (l) with toast rack (r)

“There are advantages to being known locally as an eccentric.” – from “Sherlock Jones & the Hound of the Basingstokes”

I am writing this whilst eating racked toast. “Racked toast”, as many connoisseurs of breakfast foods know, is toast which has sat in a toast rack. What can I say, except I’ve probably seen too many episodes of “Sherlock Holmes” (1), “Campion”, the Lord Peter Wimsey series, and the like.

You should see my teaspoon collection. Then again, perhaps we’ve not yet reached that stage in our relationship.

Fish Spoon

“Fish Spoon”: doesn’t everyone have a favourite teaspoon?

Recently, as well as washing up our new-to-us toast rack, I also made a cake, and got angry about some badgers. Specifically, I made a Victoria sponge (see photo at top), and learned that the UK government, in their non-wisdom, are apparently considering yet another cull.

According to some, badgers are responsible for TB in cows. Others, such as the wonderfully named “Team Badger“, say that vaccinating cows and badgers makes more sense than shooting the badgers.

I have not yet been sufficiently organised, or motivated, to hang out in badger-friendly areas late at night, with specialist goggles, and lashings of meal worm beer. (2) I do however support their right to bumble about their setts, safe from being  dug out, let alone shot.

Unlike some foxes, badgers haven’t gone in for urban living much, save for some more rural back gardens, and, of course, in the imagination.

Take, for example, Boswell Badger-Jones, friend and fellow sleuth to Sherlock Jones. Both are characters in “Sherlock Jones & the Hound of the Basingstokes”, one of the stories in my new collection, “Koi Carpe Diem: Five Tales of Paws, Claws, and Mystery“.

221B: London, 2014

221B: London, 2014

“Hound” takes place in an alternative London, where badgers read the “Times” for the book reviews, as well as news of any potential culls. The other four stories are set in my version of Yorkshire, where a cat is a sergeant in the police force, a goldfish trains to be a PI, the trees like to discuss cinema, and there’s a genie in the mirror of the local care home.

Cover art by the fabulous Tom Brown

Cover art by the fabulous Tom Brown

Fancy some carp to go with your chips this Bank Holiday Monday? Or, indeed, anytime you fancy some laughs served with a twist of mystery?

Five stories: over 32,000 words. Eccentricity guaranteed. Available now from Amazon. Suitable for reading whilst munching all good toast: racked, and otherwise.

Seize that fish, rack that toast.

Tote that barge, rack that toast.

(1) I’m thinking of the Granada series with Jeremy Brett, though I quite like “Sherlock”, too.
(2) My fictional badger is a temperate beast, and does not drink. He is however fond of meal worm flavoured snack foods.

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