On this momentous day – eight hours and fifty-four minutes ago, to be exact – a very savvy and <i>very</i> kind woman named Lucy became the two hundredth person to follow my blog.
Thank you, thank you. You’re too kind. I’m kinda psyched about it myself. Let’s do a little numbers crunching here:
Donald Trump has 32 million followers on Twitter. All social media analysts acknowledge that, given the length of a tweet vs. the length of you average GAD blog post, one WordPress follower equals 163,234 Twitter groupies. Thus, if we do the math, it brings us to the realization that I have 32,646,800 virtual followers of the ah sweet mystery of my life. Even accounting for the bots – and what celebrity isn’t plagued with those animals – my stats send POTUS’ stats skulking off into a corner to lick their wounds!
As you can imagine, the mailbag of fan letters is bursting at its virtual seams, and so I thought I’d take this moment of celebration to answer just a few of the questions from some of my most rabid followers.
Here’s a thoughtful question from my special pal, GlobalCompliancePanel-Training:
Dear Brad, You hit the ball out of the park every time with your fabulous blog! However, I’m a big Agatha Christie fan. In case you haven’t heard of her, she wrote a bunch of books about a guy named Hercules Porridge. They’re very clever. My question is, if you’re such an expert on old time mysteries, why don’t you write more about her?
Dear Glob, Clearly you are a close follower of mine. I admit that I have given Dame Agatha short shrift and plan to rectify that in the near future. While you wait for this, here for your delectation is my list of:
TEN THINGS I LOVE THAT SHOULD ENTICE YOU TO READ AGATHA CHRISTIE
- The method of murdering Dr. Humbleby in Murder Is Easy.
- What Marina Gregg sees over Heather Badcock’s shoulder in The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side.
- The motive for murder (and just about everything else) in After the Funeral.
- Rhoda Dawes’ fanboy pash for Ariadne Oliver in Cards on the Table (and that esteemed lady’s response to it.)
- Christie’s extraordinary belief system around biological inheritance in Hercule Poirot’s Christmas.
- Poirot’s method of tricking the murderer in Death in the Clouds.
- Miss Marple’s method of entrapping the killer in 4:50 from Paddington.
- The comings and goings of village life in The Moving Finger.
- Dolly Bantry . . . in everything she does!
- The first time you pick up and read And Then There Were None.
Follower Extracting Value raises a controversial point:
Bradley, Far be it from me to tell you how to live, but you seem to spend an inordinate amount of time with fans of locked room mysteries. Seriously, who are these people, and why do they embrace such a phony, artificial idea like the impossible crime? I’ve even seen you discuss these lousy books yourself in all too positive terms, and I just don’t get it. It demeans you. I have yet to sample one of these lunatic plots, and I don’t intend to start. Why should I bother?
Okay, Value, I get your point, but I beg to disagree. Yes, the impossible crime tale cannot measure up to the stark realism found in a novel featuring Lord Peter Wimsey, Philo Vance or Dagobert Brown. Still, I find the mechanism behind this sub-genre fascinating to ponder, and the fans of such stories have all been delightful people in my opinion. Some of them can’t help the way they are – they’re math teachers.
I respectfully suggest that you reserve criticism for those things you have experienced and leave the rest to the experts. Better than that, you could give the impossible crime a try. Don’t jump into any of the more arcane, complex or utterly mad titles. Start with something mild and easy – like Hake Talbot’s Rim of the Pit.
Anticounterfeitblogblog likes to tease me:
Hey Bradbrad, Blogblog here! Can you get through a month without posting pics of your mangy felines? Those furry mutts make me sneeze!
In all seriousness, ACBB, I can’t stand those bloggers who give of themselves and try to fill their posts with personal info or feeble attempts at humor. I feel I have successfully separated my personal life from my analytical one on the blogosphere, so I don’t actually know how to address your claims. I’ve previewed some of my upcoming posts, and all I can say is you won’t see anything less than the work of a consummate, unsentimental professional in the future.
By the way, I hope you will look forward to these future topics:
- My thoughtful analysis of Ellery Queen’s Cat of Many Tails, perhaps his most provocative look at the nightmare of modern urban living in the late 50’s. The Tom Adams cover (shown here) reflects the existential zeitgeist that Queen captures with his prose.
- A review of the new Netflix series Twisted, a frightening dissection into the mind of a serial killer whose own twisted body leads to the daily consummation of household insects. (The image below is not for the squeamish.)
- My upcoming article for MysteryScene on the forgotten crime fiction from Abyssinian and Balinese writers. These are classic crime stories that eschew the Knox-ian rules and focus almost exclusively on mysteries featuring identical twins. The picture below is the cover for the newly translated Ramble House edition of If You Please, If You Don’t Please, a study in madness and rudeness.
In other words, I don’t see myself having a problem at all, but I appreciate your concern.
All the best,
If anything, I tend to get too much mail from Tamperevidentsercuritylabelreview. She’s always after me for one thing or another. Here’s the latest:
- Reaching out to you, dear Brad,
- Over the way you deal with plots.
- Spoilers, friend, are very bad,
- Every time you spoil, I plotz!
- Bring the killer’s name up to me
- (Up till now it was unknown – )
- Disappointment runs right through me!
- In a way, this book you’ve blown!
- So you want to analyze
- The tricks and schemes a book contains?
- Hell, you’ve spoiled the big surprise
- Every time that you name names!
- So I issue you this warning for
- Lest more killers you reveal,
- Either cease this vice by morning, or
- Da greatest twist I will reveal!
Yes, it’s true that I derive great joy from analyzing the plot structure of whodunits, a habit that does require some spoilage. I am always careful to insert a SPOILER ALERT in order to warn off those who may want to get the full impact from reading the novel. I do appreciate your concern, and I’m pleased that you handled it with such creativity and kindness. A more disgruntled fan might have looked for payback.
Finally, I couldn’t let this go without including a sample letter from my dear friend, Belikewaterproduction, who writes me every day with the kindest thoughts. These are the sort of fan mail that I’m sure every one of my fellow bloggers wishes he would get every single day in bulk! Each letter looks something like this:
I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I don’t know who you are but certainly you’re going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already. I had some doubts in the starting of the submit though, but I kept on reading and I’m delighted I did. Good amusing submit, website owner! Keep publishing and I will definitely be back again soon.
I appreciated looking at your post. I should say that it was the very first article on your weblog I really loved and where I had a sense of agreement, know what exactly I mean? Regardless, continue the blogging and I’ll be back again. After study a few of the blog posts on your website now, and I truly like your way of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back soon. Pls check out my web site as well and let me know what you think. Way cool, some valid points! I appreciate you making this article available, the rest of the site is also high quality. Have a fun.
It takes a lot to impress me, and your kind letter really spoke to me. Thank you for taking the time to draft something so original and personal. I had no idea that my words could affect an individual so much. You make me want to keep on writing. I also appreciate your link to easy sites from which I may cheaply purchase Viagra. This is not at present something I require, but I will bookmark the information in case the need should, ahem, arise.
With kindest regards,
Well, there you have it: a mere sampling of what I go through each day handling the multitude of fan mail I encounter. I hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse into my extraordinary yet modest private life. If you have any questions you would like to ask, simply drop them in the comments section below, or send a private e-mail to me care of tamperevidentsecurityreview, with whom I will be travelling during Spring Break.
And for real – thank you, Lucy, for making this day a milestone for me. Every reader is a blessing!