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