Mystery and Misadventure – An Old Acquaintance – a Kindle eBook by M.D. Hall

Kindle Countdown 11/23/2014 – 11/28/2014


'Mystery and Misadventure – An Old Acquaintance' follows on from the original 'Mystery and Misadventure'.
The idea for the original book came in parts. I wrote a short story 'The Ticket' as a result of receiving a parking ticket. I know that my podiatrist likes my stories and so I gave her a copy. When I returned some months later she confessed to having passed it around all her friends, who loved reading of the travails of Derek – a traffic warden. In particular, they wanted to know who, or what the old man in the story was ... Was he the Devil? Was he something almost as sinister? That prompted me to write another six stories which I added to 'Ticket' to create the first 'Mystery' volume.

The cover on that first volume shows, through a fog, a walking stick leaning against a wall. This is the walking stick of the old man who appears in all seven of the stories. The cover is deliberately in dark, subdued tones, for while some of the stories involve humour, there is a dark undertone to them all.

The current volume has thirteen stories – I thought that to be apposite – six of them ghost stories, seven supernatural. Again there is a recurrent story arc of the old man ... Samuel Prite.
I enjoy writing about Samuel, and teasing you over his identity. In the final story of this volume you will discover if he is, indeed, the Devil. The cover shows, again through a fog or mist, a Morris Minor. The cover is in grayscale except for the rear lights of the car ... naturally, they are red! Of course, you will have guessed that the car belongs to Samuel. In one of the stories set in 1948, the car is brand new, but Samuel is still very old. As if his existence isn't bizarre enough, the eyes of this old man are deep blue. I don't tell the age of Samuel, but in one story there is reference to a writer reaching an agreement with an old man who answers Samuel's description ... an agreement he may later come to regret! A coincidence? I wonder.

While Samuel provides me with the inspiration for the stories – after all, he does introduce his tales, as well as closing the collection – I do research any verifiable facts with meticulous care. For instance, in the first story, 'The Clock,' the weather and moon settings on a certain Friday 13th in 1805, and again in 1903, are exactly what they were on those days in the region where the stories are set. It's the least I can do for Samuel ... After all, only a very unwise man would upset him.