Find enclosed part three of ‘The Pen is Mightier than the Sword’. I don’t have much to say about this bit, other than to point out that Alistair Guffin was originally named ‘Alistair McGuffin’ and was mentioned as such in the pre-publicity stuff I’d sent to my publishers.
He was named after Hitchcock’s ‘McGuffin’ as an homage to stories featuring heroes running around frantically and getting framed for murders willy nilly.
I changed it to ‘Guffin’ to make it less scottish as I decided that I would use another scots character (mentioned in the Mervyn Stone books) as a suspect.
Gah. Don’t feel any better this morning.
The drugs must still be in my system. I feel I’ve spent the night chewing on my own face.
I’m taking it easy today; in fact I almost managed to forget about the whole business by lunch.
Until I went for a walk and bought a paper.
The death of a nerd obviously wasn’t that important; the story was practically at the back, next to the crossword and the ads for holidays.
‘Cat burglar Clobbers Comic Shop Man’ was the headline, and there was a completely irrelevant photo of Halle Berry dressed as ‘Catwoman’.
‘Alistair Guffin, owner of the local ‘Buy the Gods!!’ comic book shop in Margaret Street, was found bludgeoned to death in his home early yesterday morning.
His attacker was believed to be a burglar who had broken into Guffin’s home and was surprised in the act by Guffin.
His wife Mary has appealed for any witnesses to come forward.
His friends and neighbours have reacted with horror at the news. ‘This is a quiet neighbourhood. Stuff like that doesn’t happen around here,’ said one resident.
Close friend, and proprietor of ‘The Starshop Enterprise’, Craig Jones said ‘this is an immeasurable loss to the world of memorabilia and cult collectables.
Without his tireless efforts, many priceless treasures, such as the monster from ‘The Quatermass Experiment’ ..
and the ‘Charles De Gaulle’ space station from ‘Star Cops’, would have been lost to the nation forever’.’
That’s a shock. His wife? Alistair had a wife?
I had visions of a woman you could roll up like lino, after many years of being flattened by Alistair’s vast bulk.
I knew Craig Jones, of course. I’d spend many an afternoon developing sore wrists in his shop, signing a gazillion DVD covers.
He seemed a nice chap, albeit with some unfortunate hygiene issues.
I’m toying with the idea of heading back into town and paying a visit to ‘Buy the Gods!!!’, offer my commiserations, and perhaps get a few ideas of who tried to frame me for his murder…
But it’s late. By the time I get to Uxbridge station and negotiate the several thousand stops into town it’ll probably be closed.
If they’d opened at all, anyway.
I’ve decided. I’m going to ring the shop. See who answers.
I’ll let you know how I get on.