Page 123: Tag, I’m It

I’ve never been meme-tag-blogged before! But J. Kingston Pierce over at The Rap Sheet got me now. It’s a pretty fun one, too. Here’s the deal.

1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people, and acknowledge who tagged you.

So, as it turned out, two books were kinda equi-distant: half an arm length to my left was Kate Summerscale’s The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher. Half an arm length to my right was a facsimile of the 1931 edition of Irma S. Rombauer’s The Joy of Cooking. (Clearly, I keep research material to my right.)

I actually picked up the Rombauer and flipped to page 123: since that whole page deals entirely with the preparation of mushrooms (“If the stems are tough, use them for stock…”) I made a judgment call and the Summerscale it shall be.

The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher (Walker and Company) deals with “A shocking murder and the undoing of a great Victorian detective.” It’s about the 1860 murder of three-year-old Saville Kent, whose body was found at the bottom of an outhouse, his throat cut. Because it’s the murder of a child from a well-to-do family and suspicion was cast both inside and outside the house, comparisons with the JonBenet Ramsey case are inevitable, because of the nature of the killing itself, as well as the rabid way the public followed the case.

But page 123. It’s kinda yucky stuff. But you asked.
If newspaper readers had been horrified to find a clergyman convicted of sexually molesting a child in 1859, they must have been even more disturbed, a year later, to find the situation had been turned upside-down to reveal the child as the agent of evil, a creature who had undone a man’s life with her lewd imaginings. But even this was not certain. As Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine pointed out in 1861, the only unassailable fact was that “one jury or the other convicted an innocent person.”
So I tag authors Clea Simon and John McFetridge, the Campaign for the American Reader’s Marshal Zeringue, CrimeSpace’s Daniel Hatadi and Seattle writer and gorgeous geek girl Karen Anderson, just because I want to know what books are lurking next to their desk.

As we say in the cold, blue north, give ’er!


Clea Simon said…
Oh I'm lucky! The new Elizabeth George just arrived! Otherwise you might have had me quoting from (she looks around...) "Every Contact Leaves a Trace" or (gulp) my 25th Reunion update. Yikes!

Popular Posts