Sunday, June 10, 2012
Robert K. Blechman conducted an experiment completely suited to the social media era. He wrote a mystery composed entirely of “Tweets,” with each entry no longer than Twitter’s 140-character limit. In the novel, Detective Arkaby is investigating the murder of Willum Granger, a cloning pioneer whose lab is named “Body Parts R Us.” At the opening of the novel, Granger “was beside himself.” Indeed, he was severed in two.
“Executive Severance” represents a new departure in the mystery novel while presenting a fast pace, madcap situations and equally mad characters. In addition, the novel is a feast for devotees of the pun. The following Tweet is from a scene in a morgue:
He opened the fourth drawer. Inside lay Snap, Crackle and Pop from the Rice Krispies box. “We think this is the work of a cereal killer.”
Tweets are integral to both the form and plot of the novel. Along with this device are more traditional elements: a romantic interest, an evil character and a suspenseful ending. Blechman has succeeded in giving the genre a uniquely contemporary twist in this innovative, humorous and entertaining “twistery.”