Thursday, April 26, 2018

Mother Goose Bumps

Despite literary fiction genre bias, elements of crime fiction make it into literary fiction all the time. Write a mystery/crime-style synopsis of a novel that was crime fiction in all but name. (Bonus points for cheekiness.)

From Jim

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Violent passions, perversion, and murder in one spine-tingling collection. Mother Goose offers a tour de force of psychological suspense, domestic tragedy, and good old-fashion mystery in her latest collection of nursery rhymes. Alternately tugging at the heartstrings and terrifying readers with dark motives and twisty endings, Ms. Goose shows again why her rhymes regularly top the bestseller scrolls.

Highlights of the collection include:

(Photo removed) The doleful story of a forsaken orphan boy, left by his cruel overlords to eat his meager repast of Christmas pie alone, without even a spoon or fork to extract the dried-out fruit filling.

(Photo removed) The hard-boiled tale of Humpty Dumpty, innocent victim of perfidious betrayal, who finds himself on the wrong end of a shove from atop a high wall. This is a complex conspiracy, originating in the highest echelons of the Palace, where Humpty’s powerful enemies scramble to cover their tracks. Even the king’s horses are part of the plot.

(Photo removed) A local deviant, Georgie Porgie, terrorizes the females of the town until a civic-minded mob sets out to rout this menace from the land. Time’s up, Georgie.

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Two thirsting lovers climb a hill, only to find danger and menace awaiting at the summit. But who sent the two youngsters tumbling to their doom below? Is it murder-suicide or a love triangle gone wrong?

(Photo removed) Dastardly plots abound within the royal walls, where the king is served a pie of live, squirming blackbirds. Who dared lay such a dainty dish before the king?

(Photo removed) More palace intrigue in a high-concept take on the heist genre. The queen’s baked goods go missing. This baffling case looks uncrackable at first. But when a kingdom-wide dragnet nabs the culprit, it turns out to be an inside job.

(Photo removed) An urgent call to action for social change. The shocking saga of an old crone who lives in a giant shoe on the tenth hole of a miniature golf course, next to the windmill, where she starves and maltreats her many children. Mother Goose shines a light on the tragic plight of those too small and weak to defend themselves. The feel-bad story of the year.

(Photo removed) Something for science-fiction fans. The futuristic epic of a fiddling feline, a bovine space traveler, and a pair of amorous anthropomorphic tableware give this collection a fantastic twist.

(Photo removed) Finally, there’s a cautionary tale in which a bucolic setting turns into a hellish, post-apocalyptic landscape when a lazy shepherd boy neglects his duties, and the livestock rampage through the cornfields, destroying the crops.


RJ Harlick said...

Jim, is see 'great' minds think alike. What is it about these ageless children's stories that turns them so easily into crime thrillers? Parents would be horrified if they knew the evil that lurks behind them. :) Great post.

Dietrich Kalteis said...

Well done, Jim. I'll never look at those nursery rhymes and children's stories the same way again.

James W. Ziskin said...

Thanks, RJ! I enjoyed your trip behind the looking glass too!

James W. Ziskin said...

Thanks, Dietrich. I just wanted to have a little fun with this topic.