I've got my coffee and I'm ready for more!
Oooh another piece to the puzzle! So the blood was created simply to be a part of the set-up (by magical means), and Talbot was killed by means of the Killing Curse. I'm staggeringly curious as to why someone was setting up the stage like this -- it's quite intricate and still yet simple enough to pull off. Furthermore, I'm still dying to know (haha?) to what purpose Talbot's death was and to whom. Hopefully they'll turn up some more information at Talbot's cottage to help them along.
Ahh so Remus Lupin is going to enter the picture. I get the sinking feeling that, with the prejudices surrounding werewolves are going to come into play since he's been found randomly hanging around. <.< I mean, I'm sure Jack will be able to sort things out but I also fear Umbridge. There is so much left to answer! Eeeeeeeeee!
Always glad to see a new chapter!
I know I haven't responded to your other wonderful reviews which I have enjoyed reading immensely. I was always intending that the blood and beheading was a set up and the resolution of how Jack and the others cracked it was fun to create.
The purpose of Talbot's murder....can't tell you that!
Another clue will come from the Talbot cottage. Remus' appearance was always in the pipe-line, he will allow us to get a sense of both Jack's and Snape's backstories, yes sadly his werewolf status is one of the reasons he's around.
thanks for reading
YES GET HER, JACK! She absolutely got in the way of the investigation by refusing him those documents -- there's a murderer out there and he must be caught. Here's hoping that Lucius Malfoy can't change that, anyway. That man is far too powerful for his own good (let alone anyone elses).
OH so Talbot would have known about Sirius. I still desperately need to know how Talbot and Snape are connected, and why Talbot was murdererd. Not to mention what happened with Rosier. There are so many mysteries to be unraveled!
Jack takes nobody's crap, you love to see it. Nothing is going to stand between Jack and his case and I absolutely love that!
I was super excited to see these two chapters -- they totally made my night!
Oh my gosh, I can't believe Fudge interjected here. AHHHH. I mean, it's probably safer for everyone involved to just leave Umbridge alone, but uggh it's so frustrating that she can just get away with whatever she wants. *dramatic eyeroll* Of course he's asked Lucius Malfoy to intervene on her behalf -- my gosh. If there was ever evidence that the Ministry was corrupt, this hold several significant factors. :P
Also, I'm happy to see an update! I'm going to run around on the next chapter!
OH YES PLEASE -- A TRANSCRIPT WITH UMBRIDGE, I'M SO HERE FOR IT.
That does raise some rather valid concerns surrounding the Statute of Secrecy, doesn't it? At to raise that point a bit he is a half-blooded Muggle Liason working Muggle x Magical cases, I mean at some point in time I would suspect that collegues (especially those he works close with) would kinda, sorta figure out that something was different about Jack, eh? And it's totally not an excuse for Umbridge to be witholding records from him about Snape.
Though I do low-key want him to just turn up on Snape's doorstep. I'm in the mood for freaking firecrackers tonight. (You'll have to excuse me, I seem to be in for an all out Battle Royale -- and am totally blaming my medication.) On the other hand, I would love to see Snape dance the conga. Either is fine.
I, for one, would LOVE to know the whereabouts of Rosier's corpse, so maybe Dumbledore would too. SHE DIDN'T EVEN READ IT SHE JUST DENIED IT BECAUSE IT WAS FROM JACK -- MY HEART. YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME. JUST PUT HER AWAY, SHE'S REDICULOUS -- SOMEBODY ARREST THIS WITCH. ANd oof what a low blow @'ing his kids like that . Like, if my dad were anywhere near as cool as Jack I'd be #SuperFreakingProud. BUT HOT DAMN JUSTICE IS SERVED! I'm so happy she was charged. Even if they don't hold up, at least she was charged.
Let me know when this is updated so I can come back and scream some more. I'm dying to know things and I'm very sad to have run out of chapters. ;_;
Ready, ready, ready, ready player one.
Oh my gosh, Umbridge continuously blocked his requests for information on Snape?! I'm furious! We need that information to continue the investigation, and YES absolutely arrest her PLEASE. I absolutely one-hundred-percent enjoy that this letter from Amelia Bones continues to support the fact that Umbridge is (in fact) a toad, and everyone hates her. I do also very much enjoy the little tidbits thrown in here and there, like how Frank and Jack managed to dupe her about Professor Bin's death :P (and oh my gosh, can we please just imagine what sorts of malarky Jack and Frank could've been up to while they were in Hogwarts -- I'm daydreaming head-canon, excuse me).
Ahhh I can't believe I'm almost out of chapters to read -- I may ugly sob openly. ONTO THE NEXT CHAPTER.
Coffeee time (with a bit of a break because my grandmother called to chat :) ).
Oooh so Snape was involved in a break-in as a teenager. Interesting. I wonder what that was about. I mean, he did become a Death Eater and all that so I suppose getting involved in more petty crimes isn't something of a surprise, but I'm super curious as to what it was all about. Was he after something? Just trying to impress those dudes he was with? BUT OH BOY THAT'S NOT EVEN THE CRAZY PART. Gah now I'm dying to know what happened to Rosier. Okay, so, yeah i'ts SUPER suspicious for the dude you'd been fighting earlier that day to wind up dead -- yikes. It certainly lands him in the spotlight during the current investigation, doesn't it?
*facepalm* BIG OOF. I wonder how Jack is going to take any information the Ministry is going to give him on Snape, what with everything going on. I'm super curious to see what Snape knows about what went on with Talbot's murder eeeeee. I'm also dying to see a Jack - Snape interaction because something about their two characters, especially if Jack will be interrogating Snape, makes me believe that things are about to get SPICY. LET'S FREAKING GO.
Oh heck, the coffee is started! Just in time for a transcript and I'm ready for it!
I'm almost completely convinced that Magwood had nothing to do with this based solely on the fact that he didn't want any sort of legal representation during the interview -- it just makes me feel as if he doesn't have anything to hide (unless that's just what he wants me to think o.o). Ugh, I love how distinct all the voices are in this, especially Jack's, but even the rest of them have their own specific quality to them that makes it easy to tell them apart.
Oh! So the break in and the murder were staged in order to set up Magwood?! Clever. I mean, obviously whoever did this didn't to the BEST of jobs, at least not while in comparison to Jack's detective skills. But, of course, now the real questions are why and who? Of course, then there's the matter of how Talbot really died and why he was targeted specifically. Was he just convenient in setting up Magwood or something more? I MUST KNOW.
Snape, Snape, Severus Snape!
Ohh, the plot thickens. But why would Snape kill someone he'd been getting visits from for eight years and at such a frequency. And why were the Reverend and Snape meeting to begin with. I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS TO BE ANSWERED.
Coffee's ready. Grabbing a cup and meeting you in the next chapter because I simply cannot wait.
*cracks knuckles* Let's go!
I do deeply enjoy the fact that the person Umbridge used in order to attempt to mess with is in agreeance that she's actually a toad. Oggy seems pretty cool (though I may be biased due to mutual feelings for Umbridge). Ahh a murder investigation on an anniversary of the Potters' murders. DID Talbot have anything to do with them -- that IS the question, isn't it. I'm sevretly hoping so, and can't wait to untangle the web.
Oh snap, his heart had stopped prior to being decapitated, which means that the blood at the scene wasn't his. I wonder why the murderer was attempting to cover up Talbot's cause of death by decapitating him -- and WHOSE BLOOD IS THAT? I'm willing to venture that maybe it was the Killing Curse...or maybe it could have been some sort of poison. I love mysteries, but I'm also very bad at reading them because I'm incredibly impatient (which sort of makes it more fun). WAS THAT THE SWORD FOUND AT THE SCENE?
I must know. I must know everything.
Making coffee and heading to the next chapter.
Hello! I have no idea where to start so I landed here.
Oh no I'm dying. I was immediately intrigued by the concept of writing to Dolres Umbridge, and I absolutely adore that Jack completely rips into her. What's more is I love that he referred to her as an over pomoted quill pusher. So, for having the moxy to volley insult and idignation back at Umbridge in response to (what I can only assume to be a rediculously condesending letter she sent under the guise of it being on someone else's behalf), I already am invested in Jack. He's got my vote.
So, you definitely deserve a huge kudos for being able to establish this huge personality of his in (first and foremost) such a small wordcount, but also for doing so by using a letter as a medium. Not only that, but you've also managed to slip in several facts about Jack here (like his job, how long he's been doing his job, and just what he thinks about people like Umbridge trying to tell him how to do his job).
Also, a beheading! I'm so here for this -- I'll meet you in the next chapter in a couple minutes!
Excellent start, I'm already invested.
The final chapter (for now)!
We are back to some memos, but these are unquestionably more substantive in terms of actuallly moving the case forward. They've got a person of interest in the investigation into the Reverend's murder now and they're doing the requisite background on him before considering moving him to suspect status. While I'm not sure if there's any significance to the incident where Snape is fifteen, I will say the disposition is unique. While restitution is obviously a significant concern, I usually don't see restitution-only pre-charge dispositions for B&Es because of the underlying emotional and/or business security (and indirect costs) issues. So that's unique, but probably just my prosecutorial perspective. Of more interest I think is the clash between Snape and Rosier - and of course the fact that Rosier turns up dead. The time-frame is quite unique and likely draws on the Potter murders connection described in the first inter-agency chatter. The non-charge and mortuary theft is interesting in that case too. Was this an early double-agent move by Snape? Probably not because it's relatively obvious, but who knows.
I just want to comment in closing that I think you're doing a really good job building this story and immersing readers in the mystery even while keeping this is the investigative format and ditching reports for direct communications only. I hope that more will come of this story!
Thanks for sharing!
We meet once more!
Ahh! An interrogation transcript. I love a good interrogation transcript and this one was well-utilized in my opinion. First, we get the reveal that Teague is also magical or has magic in his line anyway. I'm getting the sense that he's a squib, which explains him being in muggle work and would add more reason for Umbridge's disdain for him given her belief in superiority of magic wielders specifically. Or maybe he's gone Cho Chang for some reason and renounced the magical world other than being a begruding as-needed connection between the Ministry and local law enforcement.
In any event, it's interesting that Drinkwater sort of hijacks the interrogation. I don't know if she's just inexperienced (thought not terribly likely given that she's a sergeant), tends toward the aggressive style, or something else, but Teague seems to have had a certain layout that she thwarts when she gets nothing out of the basic alibi questioning. That said, Teague's portion of the conversation with Magwood is interesting itself for several reasons. One, Magwood knows that Teague is of magical heritage. If Drinkwater doesn't know already that seems like it poses some Statute of Secrecy issues both on her level and raises an open question as to how and why Magwood knows about Teague.
Then we get the Snape reveal. I'm very much interested to see that connection between he and the Reverend explored.
See you in Chapter Four!
The plot is thickening quickly, but I love that it starts with that inter-agency dynamic I was talking about - Umbridge getting salty right back and going over Teague's head. So typical in inter-agency squabbles in law enforcement and even more typical of Umbridge as we've seen through canon with her Ministry versus Hogwarts/Ministry versus Harry Potter, Albus Dumbledore, et al. conduct.
The interaction between the other memos is what really intrigues me! The Potter murders are obviously referenced which seems to establish a potential link between them and the Reverend's murder - a connection which seems reinforced by the later remark about cause of death and the blood not being the Reverend's. Sounds like the Killing Curse if I've ever heard of it. And then somebody trying to cover it up by making the murder look muggle-style. This is obviously going to draw some serious need for liaising between the muggle investigators and the Ministry given the indicators and I'm interested to see how well that works going forward. Hopefully they'll get past the squabbling for the greater good, but we all know how that turns out sometimes.
See you in Chapter Three!
I wasn't the hugest fan of epistolaries before this (and another) challenge and I am enjoying the start to yours here. Yours is set apart from the others I've read by the length of the communications which I think is more realistic in a situation like this. You obviously resisted the urge to have this one be a formal inter-agency communique via a police report or some-such thing. I think this especially works here because while it's obviously tied to a specific investigation, this is much more personal - kind of like an e-mail - which allows to Teague to express in no uncertain terms his disdain for Umbridge.
I am interested to see how the inter-agency dynamic continues to play out as the story progresses, especially since it's not only inter-agency, but inter-cultural in terms of magic versus muggle. We get the idea from this letter than Teague is something of a firebrand who's not necessarily a fan of working too directly under authority and is potentially territorial, though that's not one hundred percent clear yet.
See you in the next chapter!
I really like how this is developing, and the different forms of records and correspondence you're using to flesh it out. It's nice to watch the mystery unfold from the perspective of the investigator and his colleagues and professional contacts. I'm more than a little amused at the thought of teen Snape being involved in a break-in at an off-license. The whole thing with Rosier's death is very interesting, considering it happened less than a month before the attack on the Potters, and I'm interested to see what Snape's involvement has been in the current murder case.
Hi David, I was checking out your AP and was intrigued to see the last name Teague reappear in basically all of your story summaries but different first names. I decided to start with this one since it is recent and I'm a little short on time, but I hope to check out your other works as well and find out about this Teague family that seems to be central to your work.
I am really into this idea of telling the story about a murder through letters and reports, and after this first chapter, which packs a punch in so few words, I am really looking forward to reading on! I have a definite impression of DI Teague's character and voice after just this short letter, and I love how he puts Umbridge in her place! I am definitely getting the impression of him as a seasoned cop who doesn't have time for this shit, and I dig it. Also adore how he refers to Arthur and Octavius as "damn fine wizards." I feel I would get along with Teague.
Ooh! The plot thickens! I wasn't expecting to get all that much information from this transcript, especially when we got to the halfway point. The set-up of the major not knowing how one of his swords was missing, and why it took him a while to realise, plus being conveniently out of town was so classic. I always expect the first couple of persons of interest to be red herrings. But I was surprised! The major had some juicy stuff to offer, after all!
I am surprised that people in this village seem to know that John is a wizard. It's kind of nice to see wizarding folks and Muggles living in harmony. I imagine it happens in quite a lot of places across the world, despite the International Statute of Secrecy. But it was great to see a British example of this. I am interested to learn how this affects the village, and John's relationships (and the murder investigation, of course).
But Severus Snape! What is he doing here? And visiting the reverend for eight years?! Despite hating Muggles?! The plot thickens!
I'm glad you're enjoying the story so far. I'm a big fan of detective drama and novels so naturally I thought I'd give it a go.
The fact John is known as a wizard in his community is a more believable depiction of wizards than canon gives us. John lives in a very rural part of Gloucestershire and practically knows everyone in his community and as a result everyone knows he's from a wizarding family.
Thanks for reading
This is story is definitely working for me, so far! I love that we're already getting into the thick of it, and it's only chapter two. Murder mysteries that move at a bit of a clip are more my jam. I think the pacing is helped by the shortness of each letter and memo (so far). The snippets keep things moving really well.
Oggy. What a terrible nickname. And the poor man uses it himself! :P Hmm, a second mention of Umbridge? I wonder if she's going to make trouble for John and this investigation later on? I can't imagine that she'd care all that much about a Muggle vicar in Gloucestershire, but she is the vindictive type. She'd go out of her way to scheme an elaborate revenge plot.
So does John rely solely on Muggle forensics? Or will he be doing a few clandestine magical forensic tests? I'd be keen to see that side of forensics, and how he combines the two - and how that evidence can be presented in court!
Hey, hey, hey! I'm here to leave a gift review on behalf of Noelle Zingarella, over on the forums!
The summary for this story immediately caught my eye. I love a good story told through letters and other documents. And a murder mystery to boot! It's almost as if I'm solving the murder along with the characters. (This is patently false because I'm terrible at figuring out "whodunnit" and am always shocked by the reveal.)
I think this is such a fantastic start. I love that John has written this letter to Umbridge and yelled at her, without even pretending to be polite. That's the kind of harsh reality she needs more of in her life, for all the good it will do her. This was just such an enjoyable letter. I found myself cheering on John, and saying "yeah! You tell her, John!".
This first letter also works to set up a little bit about John and the story. We sort of get an idea of John's role in both the Muggle and Wizarding world, and why he might be doing this job. It also gives us a good idea of his character - he's the kind of person to get stuff done! And it sets up the murder! Amazing! For such a short letter, it achieves a lot!
This is a great start. Onto the next chapter!
HI! I’m here judging entries for my challenge! <3
You mentioned in the author’s note that it’s your first time trying this kind of storytelling, which makes me really happy to hear! I think that epistolary stories are really fun to both write and read, and so I’m grateful that you were willing to try out this new style for my challenge! I think you’ve managed to set up a really intriguing premise, and I really want to know where the rest of this murder mystery goes! I hope that you’ll continue writing this story! Murder mysteries in the form of epistolary letters are unfortunately not as common as they should be (I don’t think I’ve ever seen one, in fact), so I would love for you to continue!
The first chapter was highly entertaining because—completely outside of what I was expecting—our main character has addressed a letter to our dearly beloved Dolores Umbridge! I didn’t look at the tags at all before clicking on the story, so I had no idea what time period this was taking place in, and which characters would potentially be featured, so I was so surprised to see Umbridge’s name gracing my screen so early on. :P In no way is this a bad thing, though, because I got to read a delightfully snarky letter directed towards her and basically calling her out for all her nonsense, which I think is entirely well-deserved. I hope that Inspector Teague didn’t get in trouble in any way, though—it seems that since he’s stationed primarily in a Muggle area, though, he’s generally going to be safe from higher-up wizarding authorities.
I also think it’s so intriguing that someone who’s grown up with a wizarding education then returned to the Muggle world to become a policeman! I think that’s very admirable, though Umbridge surely must think the opposite given her snooty views on everything Muggle, and I think that Inspector Teague had every right to lose his temper at her. I’m really liking the blend between magical and non-magical in this story! Like it has the vibe of an Agatha Christie novel, if you know what I mean, but with a few dashes of the wizarding world thrown in to really clarify the setting and nature of this story. I love it!
The friendship between Inspector Teague and the two Weasleys is amusing to me I can’t actually remember if this Inspector Teague is a real person—I’m assuming you made him up, but either way, you write him with a very interesting character and occupation. The timing of this story is very intriguing, as well, taking place right before Harry goes to Hogwarts, and it makes me wonder whether or not this murder of the vicar is in any way related to the return of Voldemort? After all, it’s revealed that he died in very mysterious circumstances, and he was surely murdered with the Killing Curse before the beheading, right? So a wizard must’ve been out to get this fellow, trying to disguise it like a Muggle murder… I wonder how Dr. K. Grimble realizes that the death wasn’t due to the beheading!
My main comment for this story is that I wish there was more! It’s a really good start, and I’m looking forward to reading the rest.
Thank you so much for entering my challenge! <3