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gumshoe detective via twitter

By capriox, member

Dec 16, 2009: Twitter is a tricky medium for serializing fiction. The problem for me is that if the author links directly to their twitter page, you only see the most recent posts and have to dig through the archive to find the beginning to start reading. This is the case for Whodunit140, and it makes it difficult to get into the story.

The story itself is a mystery heavily influenced by the styles of gumshoe detective tales and Sherlock Holmes novels. It’s told from the point of view of the sidekick, K, having a conversation with the star sleuth, N. There’s a reference to a laptop early on, but otherwise the whole feel is very late Imperial Britain. 30 posts in, it still seems to be scene-setting, with lots of 140 character side comments (which could be consider super short mini-tales themselves) with the actual plot only just starting to show up.

While it’s an interesting concept, and normally I love Holmesian detective tales, I had a hard time following this story. Confining yourself to only 140 characters is certainly a challenge, and unfortunately the author sometimes sacrifices clarity for brevity. Especially in the beginning, but at several other points, I lost the thread of the narrative and had to sit there puzzling it out. This made it very difficult for me to enjoy the story, so I probably won’t be returning to it to finish. If a reader is comfortable dealing with the constraints of Twitfic, though, then the premise is interesting enough to check out.

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