The opening of The Double Daily Double Murders goes like this —
Summon all the dust to rise,
Till it stirre, and rubbe the eyes;
While this member jogs the other,
Each one whispring, Live you brother?
— from Dooms-day by George Herbert (1593 – 1633)
Pre-Post 1 <insert your today’s date> If you want to understand
It is Trust-Me Time again, Stranger my friend.
Goose Grim here, with some timely tips and random disinformation.
In the course of presenting certain matters, known as the Mystery Man Murders, I posted daily for a year, and as it turns out, I withheld certain information from you … for reasons that I will continue to withhold.
Remember – the posts that you are about to read are a version of the truth and probably not all of the truth. Additionally, there may be some lies, damned lies, and stretchers along the way, partly in honor of Mark Twain (thanks for the phrase, Mark!) and partly out of habit.
This version of things, at any point, is meant to be fluid — abridged as necessary to maintain certain secrets, facts, and fictions that you have some sense of already. And once in a while, if you can believe it, for reasons of national security.
The posts that follow, labeled pre-posts in keeping with the Preamble idea, may or may not be alternates to what I posted for you in the thick of things vis-a-vis the Mystery Man Murders. I just do not remember, and I am far too lazy and contrary to check.
And just what would I be checking in my posts that could be true of the year past?
These pre-posts, however, will set you on the path of understanding the continuation of the story that I started with you in the first book — Grimoire: The Mystery Man Murders — in the series called The Bros Grim Breakfast Serial: Have some crime with your morning coffee I
f you have forgotten what Grimoire means, Google it, already.
And if you want to read ahead, I post daily on the Internet — at http://jonrg.livejournal.com. Just as long as you remember that I am likely to revise those posts at my whim and without warning, you should be fine.
On the up-side, you get to see the creative process in process.
Good luck. Stay in touch. Check back daily. And trust me. Honestly.
Pre-Post 2 <21December08> David stumbles upon a ticking blog
“Houston, we have a problem,” David said.
We were sitting around, after liberating David for a while from his forward picket post with Mr. Black, down at the Roll In and Crawl Out.
David was fiddling in his lap with one of those super cell phones with tiny keyboard and screen, and wireless Internet connection.
“I type in Caspar’s Books and That, in Google, on my swell new super cell and I get some hits that don’t sound right,” David said. “The only hit should be the bookshop kiosk that we created for cover.”
“We Google Caspar’s every day,” Jeanne said, “as a precaution. If we are famous, we want to know that.”
“Good, Dear,” Eve said. “No one wants unwanted publicity.”
“Particularly a quasi-criminal enterprise such as the Tribe,” I said.
“Well,” David said, “there are hits that mention Caspar’s. It looks like some local blogger.”
Jeanne was punching at a super cell in her lap, now.
“The blog is called Fried Buffalonya
– you can’t hide the salami on us,” Jeanne said. “Not exactly original, but they do get middling marks for raunch.”
“I know all about salami,” Jim said.
“Yeah,” OhJim said, “and I can’t find mine.”
“Here the earliest hit from Fried Buffalonya — headlined Fishy bookshop, spooky business,” Jeanne said. “There may be more coming, and judging from what I’m looking at, there will be.”
“The house blogger,” David said, “goes by the handle bolognistan. He sez that ‘insiders are wagging their tales about a little used bookshop that is being well-used and left alone by Three-Letter Agencies far and wide, according to sources too scared to show their colors or shadows. One wonders what this is all about, does one indeed. Stay tuned.’”
“And,” Jeanne said, “there is one comment, from minionman, which says — ‘tell us more, bolognistan, O oracle of Buffalonya. We wait with baited breadth and sharpened hooks.’”
“What’s this about?” I said. “And who is this baloney blogger?”
“No one knows, usually, who these local scandal bloggers are,” David said. “They live under rocks in every community. They raise questions that have no answers, because the questions are made up, to cause maximum capture of eyeballs. A good question, from their viewpoint, does not beg an answer. And the comment-posting hangers-on, like a Greek tragedy chorus, are anonymous, too. There is usually a lot of twaddle about avoiding libel, but that is just another part of the game that they play. Libel.’”
“FBI looking into the lives of local officials?” Jeanne said. “Not really, but it does not hurt to ask. Hungry bloggers want to know. These guys (or dogs, for all that we know, because on the Internet no one knows if you are a dog, or not) make a bit of cash from ads, so the more traffic that they can generate the more of those pennies they get.”
“Let’s hope that we can ride this one out,” Eve said. “And let’s get up a strategy to figure out who is saying things about us, and why. Let’s get Gentle Ben in on this, too.”
“I have some theories about who the source is”, David said.
“Me, too,” Jeanne said, “Me, too.”
Pre-post 3 <22December08> Email from Tommy – We’re fried
Email from Tommy to Goose re: Fried Buffalonya —
Dear Goose Man,
I notice, in the course of my normal rounds, that the bookshop that we know and love has been fingererd indirectly at this point, on a local blog.
My sources show a new Buffalonya blog called Fried Buffalonya is showing up on Google with a post roiling the waters concerning Caspar’s Books and That.
My sources additionally say that the blog owner’s profile does not give any information except for a free, web-based email address of the sort that spammers use. The web hosting is free if you accept some ads, so there is no help there. This person is anonymous.
We can only imagine where this will go, and we will need to quickly have a plan to minimize the damage.
Needless to say, Caspar’s Books and That (and the Tribe even more so) cannot exist in its present form given the wrong sort of attention in a high-profile medium such as the press.
Fried Buffalonya, in and of itself, is a tasteless dish (never understood the local taste for fried baloney) that won’t break the bank. But if this piece of garbage grabs media attention in print and television, we will indeed have a challenge. And part of the challenge, certainly, will be trying to figure out what the opportunity is … .
The initial post that has come to my attention is a teaser, and the post has so far attracted only one visitor’s comment. That means that a hundred persons or less, or a thousand persons or less, have read the post (the stats are not available, by default), which follows —
Fishy bookshop, spooky business
Insiders are wagging their tales about a little used bookshop that is being well-used and left alone by Three-Letter Agencies far and wide, according to sources too scared to show their colors or shadows. One wonders what this is all about, does one indeed. Stay tuned.
(signed) — bolognistan.
There is one comment (God knows how many lurkers are reading this but not commenting; like I said, from a hundred to a thousand, but that is just a guess; what we do know is that few persons bother to comment, generally). The Comment follows —
Tell us more, bolognistan, O oracle of Buffalonya. We wait with baited breadth and sharpened hooks (signed) — minionman.
Google this string — Fried Buffalonya fishy spooky — and you will see what I have seen. Google is usually very up to date concerning blogs, so check several times a day until we are clear.
The good news is that the Fried Buffalonya blog is designed to rake muck but that the blogger is not adept at muck-raking. He is to this point a wanna-be, and the one comment could very well be the same wanna-be using a dummy handle and email address. The archives on the blog show that this was the first post, so whoever is doing this has only recently been leaked on (and the leaker and the blogger might be the same person, which would be good news for your hackers, in my view).
The bad news is that the blogger may send self-promoting emails to media and that some media person might bite.
At that point, we would have much more problem than opportunity.
The opportune time is now.
I suggest the following —
— Get your youngsters going on hacker responses — kiddy scripts, blunt-force attacks to gain root user password, what have you. Once they have the root password, delete all the files on the blog’s server and cause any other misery that comes to mind. I didn’t tell you to do this, BTW.
— If anyone attempts the hiding in the tall grass sort of hack, make damn sure that they don’t act like elephants and leave huge hoof prints for anyone to follow. When elephants fight, the ground tells the tale. It is strictly softly, softly catchee monkey or nothing. I don’t know how slick your hackers are, so this is your and their call, and we didn’t have this conversation.
— Don’t start a fight that your hackers can’t win. How you figure that out, I don’t know. They will have opinions, though, and you should listen to them.
— Get ready to invite Jane Carlotto to come in for an interview, where you do a modified limited hangout (to use that jerk Nixon’s term … remember?).
— I suggest that you let me negotiate the terms of the media hangout with Jane so that she gets a good story, you get a patched-up cover, and no one knows more than they need to know, from the writer to her editors to the readers in general.
— I will hold off with Jane, but only until I hear from you. This will need to be in place, at least as a potential deal, ASAP. If we are premature, the deal can still be useful in the future, because you cannot expect to stay off the radar forever, especially if low-level types or even Bad People are egging this blogger on.
— Find out who the blogger is and break all his hands and fingers (not a viable solution given your turn from violence toward being a kinder, gentler quasi-criminal syndicate). Not my favorite, either. Dump the digit destruction.
— Lean on the high-profile persons that your Vault is designed to intimidate (on the assumption that they might be behind the original leak). I don’t like this one much, because the bookshop’s “secret” is so well-known locally, and so hidden in plain sight, that the leak is probably at a medium level of power at best, and probably local only.
— I can take a sniff locally to see if the leak was from law enforcement or media or courts.
— The blogger’s information is reasonably accurate but out of date, since none of you have done any TLA-related work for at least the past 36 months. However, the blogger does not have to be accurate in order to raise holy hell with the Tribe.
— In the interest of a full range of options, you could consider staying down low and refusing comment to any media types who might call. I don’t recommend this as one of the better options at all. We need to minimize the gawper effect; you don’t want a lot of quasi-customers who want to show their kids a real, live spook.
— Start thinking about a blog of our own to dish some disinformation concerning the other blog and the content of future posts from that blog.
— Make some dummy accounts and start posting negative comments on the offending blog, just don’t leave any elephant hoof prints. And only if other visitors begin to leave comments.
Be sure to have a plan in place on your end, to cover your end, by yesterday, because this promises to escalate overnight.
Yours in some haste and trepidation,