by Ben Small
For mystery writers, these are tough times. Not only is the economy in the tank, the outlook for traditional publishing bleak, confusion as to new technologies and how to market oneself, but we see real life examples of torture-creativity we never would have thought of occurring every day.
It's hard to keep up.
Folks, there are some real sickos out there. If you wrote a novel featuring a bad guy who kept a young girl prisoner in his backyard for eighteen years, fathered a child by her, all while being on parole for federal kidnapping and assault charges, you'd have a hard time selling that improbable tale to your parents. You'd get a roll of the eyes, a mumbled "Right," and then a long lecture about the use of your time.
Bank on it. Even your dog wouldn't eat that book.
So who would have come up with the idea of playing on an estranged wife's musophobia - an unreasonable and disproportionate fear of rats and mice - by creeping to her house early one Sunday and playing nineteen white mice from a paper bag through her mail-slot?
Man, that's evil. And it happened in a Stockholm suburb. Where's Mickey?
Sure, the guy was arrested, charged by mice-huggers no doubt, and let out on bail. The mice are being held at the local police station, awaiting word on handling from the county vet. Meanwhile, the bad guy has demanded his mice be returned, and the authorities are considering his request.
I mean, who could make this stuff up?