The Manual of Detection

By Jedediah Berry

“The four second hands on the four faces of the clock trembled between numbers. The insides of Unwin’s ever-wound wrist-watch seized.”

“…the clocks remembered themselves…”

The Manual of Detection by Jedediah BerryWho writes like that?
Someone I should learn from!

In a few sentences, I knew this wasn’t your typical gumshoe, Dick Tracy, Guy Noir style detective story.

The main character, by the book, I’m not a detective, Charles Unwin, was a clerk given a promotion he didn’t want. And in pursuit of his old job, he broke many rules, solved many cases at once, rekindled old feud, and ran away with the circus and still got to be a clerk.

Why is this a good story? It wasn’t just the way Jedediah titled each chapter like it is an actual chapter in The Manual of Detection; it wasn’t the way he embedded the clues so I couldn’t skip a word (not that I ever had the urge to do so), it was the way he made me worry about Unwin when I wasn’t reading the book.

As I had to go along in tasks that provide me shelter and provisions, my heart was wandering in the rainy city, hoping Unwin’s umbrella would keep him safe and dry while I raced through my work so I could rejoin him on his journey.

Being a writer in progress, I must remember, perhaps file a report as a clerk, to never become arrogant when I write, to always be considerate of the readers, and no matter how complicated the story is, leave no details unanswered.


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