The Inglenook Incident – a Case for Sheerluck Helmse

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On the 21st November, the Artwiculate Word of the Day was Inglenook. It seemed to call out for Sherlock Holmes. Since he wasn’t available, I invented a new Consulting Detective, Sheerluck Helmse, and his biographer Winston Caruthers. I was on a longish ramble in the countryside that day, and made up the story tweet by tweet as I walked. As is my wont, I also mispelled the WOTD in the very first tweet.

Helmse inspects the bodyWe found her frail body collapsed in the ingelnook, her face rolled in the cold ashes of the extinguished fire.

We found her frail body collapsed in the inglenook, her face rolled in the cold ashes of the extinguished fire.

“Don’t be downcast, Caruthers!” exclaimed the Great Detective. “Mispelling inglenook in your notes is hardly a crime!”

The Consulting Detective sat in the inglenook, his long legs outstretched as he cleaned his pipe. “This case has its points, Caruthers.”

With some concern I saw my friend’s pipe dottle mix with the ashes on the inglenook’s floor. “You are too much taken with CSI, Caruthers.

“Yes, some very suggestive elements. The ash, the posture of the body but, above all, the inglenook itself! Do you not agree?

“The inglenook, yes! I am composing a monograph on inglenooks, Caruthers. For the detective, a most interesting architectural feature.”

My friend conducted his interviews seated in the inglenook across from his subjects, regarding them the while from out his hooded eyes.

As the last interviewee left the room I replaced her in the inglenook. “Well, Caruthers. You know my methods. What conclusions do you draw?”

The Detective laughed at my theory. “@Mrs_Peacock in the inglenook with the spanner! My dear chap! It seems you do not have a Clue_do you?

“Consider how the victim’s face was so deliberately rolled in the ashes scattered on the floor of the inglenook. Therein lies the key.”

The Great Detective steepled his long fingers as he gazed into the fire the maid had lighted for us in the hearth of the inglenook.

“The ash is indicative,” said my friend gravely. “And the site confirms it. This was a ritual killing by an acolyte of the Inglenook Cult!

“The Inglenook Cult! Yes, Caruthers, that fiendish association, long concealed in the apparently bucolic shade of the English countryside.”

“Good God, Helmes,” I cried, unable to contain myself. “But d’you mean to say they deliberately, ritually defile the homely inglenook?”

Helmse shook his head at the thought. “The pure, true core of English country architecture, the inglenook, perverted. What are we come to?

“So, Caruthers, what shall you call this when you write it up, pray? The Inglenook Incident? Or the Curious Cult of the Inglenook, perchance?”

And so, with great bonhomie and absolutely no homoerotic undertone, Helmse and I, sitting in the inglenook, shared a claret before retiring.

Helmse and Caruthers in the inglenook

My fellow artwculati! I am sorry I’ve not been connected to the ‘net today, but hope you have enjoyed my inglenook detective spoof even so.
(5:30 pm, Nov 21st, 2009 via txt)

Glad so many people enjoyed the inglenook story. I enjoyed writing it (though had some funny looks when supposed to be doing something else).
(10:23 pm, Nov 21st, 2009 via Seesmic )

@SJHatzi @harrarp @Ysabeluna Sorry abt the double appearance/misspelling of the first tweet. Caruthers was covered in shame.
(10:25 pm, Nov 21st, 2009 via Seesmic in reply to SJHatzi)

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Edited for SEO, punctuation and polish 8 February 2017

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