by Robert K. Blechman
Review: Robert K. Blechman's 15-month journey tweeting the investigation of the (fictional) murder of an entrepreneur, athlete, scientist and podcast mime — they are all one and the same person — is collected into a single physical book, Executive Severance.
Willum Mortimus Granger was beside himself. In fact when his body was found the top half was right next to the bottom.
So opens this mystery composed of 140-character (or fewer) tweets.
The story is told from the perspective of an unnamed detective investigating Granger's murder. There seem to be no shortage of one-letter-named suspects who may have wanted Granger dead, but there may be a clue as to who the killer is …
Granger had been Tweeting when he died! [His] phone was the Holy Grail, the Rosetta Stone, the Jeopardy Daily Double of this case.
If Granger wrote "Hey, Larry from LBDD! What are you doing here?" or "Saw Vince from the lab" those would be definite leads.
LBDD is the Lavender Blue Dilly Dilly, Granger's company, a conglomerate of a perfume concern, a blue coal mine, and two pickle factories, where much of the action takes place.
The author seems to have spent far more time coming up with creative word play than developing a coherent murder mystery plot. To be sure, much of what's here is very clever and a lot of it is very funny. (Time to head home. I thought my car was missing but soon realized that it was still in the left Wright parking lot, right where I left it.) But certain elements go on far too long — the narrator's head cold is probably the most obvious example of one — and despite its brevity it is very easy to lose track of who has done what to whom and why.
In the end, Executive Severance is probably best enjoyed for what it is, a series of loosely connected comic tweets. The author states in a preface that is not possible "to maintain a narrative structure and attract a reading public 140 characters at a time", but someone who took the medium a bit more seriously may be able to prove him wrong.
Acknowledgment: the author provided a copy of Executive Severance for this review.
Review Copyright © 2012 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
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Executive Severance by Robert K. Blechman
Publisher: NeoPoiesis Press
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: December 2011
List Price: $16.95