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…the blog home of


The First Ever Transatlantic Twitter Crime Novel

On the page titled  Authors, and the Rules of the Game, you will find everything you need to know to follow the ongoing creation of this murder mystery. (The story is available to read on Twitter as it’s being written, and is transcribed to this blog at regular intervals as well.)

Co-authored in Scotland and the U.S., the book progresses with no joint planning by the writers and, at any time, either author may intervene in the story lines of the other. We welcome your attention and comments!

Start below: Each page has a link to the next one, or you may pick pages from the sidebar.

BREAKING NEWS: Page 18 complete. Evie cuts her hair and embarks on a 1960s road movie. The forensic toxicologists come up with the goods (and a lot of jargon) but the result is disturbing. Bill decides to force the pace, but is brought up short. Wee Fergie resists arrest and  is in a cell.


a1 The man with the crushed skull lay face down on the weed-suppressant matting between two rows of young fruit trees.

a2 The late afternoon rain was soaking into his tweed jacket and diluting the pool of blood around his head. It was almost dark.

a3 This late in October, Broxburn Plants had few customers. It was the last Sunday before the nursery closed for the winter.

a4 There had been sunshine earlier in the day, and business, if not brisk, had been better than Robbie expected.

a5 But once the mist rolled in off the Forth and the rain started, the trickle of visitors from Edinburgh had dried up.

a6 By the time Robbie pulled the heavy wooden gate closed and snapped the padlock, he had sold nothing for almost hours.

a7 It didn’t worry him. Most of the nursery’s business these days was mail order. Casual buyers preferred garden centres…

a8 …where they could get coffee and buy hand-crafted garden ornaments. Robbie sold no ornaments and certainly no coffee.

a9 Ignoring the drizzle, he set off down the track to his cottage. Tea, and an hour’s work on the online catalogue were next.

a10 The rain grew heavier. Earth was now mixing with blood, running into the dead man’s collar and matting his hair.<


b1 A descendent of a gold-miner, Iris Oat shopped garage sales. She was old and careful, and she found what others overlooked.

b2 Sometimes it was the little celluloid dresser box, with a hatpin still in it. Or a leather-bound volume of Emerson.

b3 Once she scored a hand-made fishing creel from 1930. She put it on her bookcase where it held packets of garden seeds.

b4 And once, at a rather sleazy estate sale, she found three small paintings behind the ‘All Offers Considered’ sign.

b5 First she saw a corner of color on one canvas, and it interested her, so she extracted the dusty little paintings from hiding.

b6 The frames were old and chipped. There was dirt obscuring the details of the pictures, and there were cobwebs on the back.

b7 But Iris examined each canvas closely, and decided they would do in her dining-room.

b8 The fat man with ketchup on his shirt was happy to take her $30. “All this stuff has to go before Tuesday,” he said.

b9 Iris smiled as she drove home to her small gray house.(It was white once but coastal salt winds had taken most of the paint.)

b10 She parked in the unpaved drive and carried in her purchases.

b11 “I hope you didn’t pay much for them,” Wendell said.

b12 Wendell was Iris’s brother. He didn’t care about paintings. But Jill, the grand-niece, was entranced.

b13 Jill was a rather brilliant 14-year-old who lived with Iris while her parents were seeing the world. (Their return was TBA.)

b14 “Let me look at them,” Jill said. Iris was pleased, but Wendell laughed.

b15 Later it was Jill who deciphered the Flemish artists’ names, and it was Jill who found the information about their work.

b16 But it was Iris who sold the paintings to a faraway New York gallery for three million two hundred twenty thousand dollars.<