Cue the theme of “24”!

One more day until The Language of Bees hits the shelves—wheee!

And, this is Week 13 of Fifteen Weeks of Bees, which means things are heating up in the online schedule as well. Russellscapes contest will close on Friday, May 1, so take a look at your competition and look at how to make an entry of your own.

Now, normally we permit Miss Russell to have 24 hours to herself over at MySpace, but we have something special planned for launch day tomorrow, so we’re sneaking her story in a day early over here at Mutterings. Don’t tell her, okay?

In the story, Russell and Holmes have been pursued by a pack of pushy American Sherlockians, from their Sussex home to Oxford. Fortunately, our heroes have given the Americans the slip again—or have they?

May-Day in Oxford is an ancient ritual, suspended occasionally over the centuries for excessive unruliness. It begins well before dawn, when from all directions, people begin to pour into the high street, making their way in the direction of the Magdalene College tower.

At dawn, choir-boys sing in the day, their sweet, high voices trailing down over the packed street of families and homeless men, passing tradesmen and beer-sodden undergraduates, antiquarians and tourists. Participants of the previous night’s balls weave their way up clutching half-empty bottles of cheap champagne, bedraggled, tieless, shoeless, and often sodden from the puzzling ritual of leaping out of punts or off of bridges in their rented evening suits. When the snatches of song finish drifting down from on high, the crowd shakes off its attentive silence, pulses noisily, and reverses its process of condensation. Morris dancers bounce and rattle on the paving stones surrounding the Radcliffe Camera, the manifold clergy of the town looks on fondly at the pagan frenzy, and the rites of spring are officially ushered in.

When the sky was still dark overhead, Holmes and I let ourselves out of the gate and joined the trickle, soon throng, of May Day celebrants.

However, before the Magdalene choir had finished, we had been spotted.


  1. Jessara on April 27, 2009 at 10:36 am

    Spotted as themselves, by friends? By the Sherlockians? By a tracking dog? Spotted as in paint speckled, as in lent money, as in – oh come ON!

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