What would Agatha Christie make of it all?
Now I was always a big fan of Miss Marple. Wouldn't it have been fantastic if Agatha had set one of her stories in the torrid, and well, some would say, (not me, obviously) 'funky' world of pet publishing.
Our small and fairly normal magazine world seems to have recently been infiltrated by a new, very glamorous, talented breed of publisher with an unrivaled interest in the popular music that apparently the younger folk like to call 'rap'.
This beauty apparently turned all the existing ugly dog magazine editors into green-eyed monsters - which is a slightly confusing concept as at the same time, this new thrusting publisher refused to even acknowledge that some of those other magazines have ever actually existed.
But, sadly, dear Agatha didn't see the untapped potential, perhaps one day an unfinished manuscript will emerge... but until then, I'm afraid you've just got me.
Late last night there was a very disturbing comment posted on this very blog.
It would seem that there had been an attempt to silence one of our number.
Would every voice on Twitter be picked off one by one - like the Christie classic 'Death on the Nile?"
@BoredomBusters had received this email.
I reproduce it here for you all to examine more closely...
Unfortunately, you have been brought into this case regarding Beverley Cuddy. The Surrey Police are monitoring any links with Ms Cuddy to Surrey Dog Life. So you will be called and contacted next week regarding your comments. (The Crime no. is 0H112820)
You do not know myself or Surrey Dog Life to give an ‘opinion or judge’ and am sorry you have been brought into this case. Maybe if you want to chat I am happy to do so next week. Ms Cuddy has brought this all upon herself and has used every angle to try and bring our magazine down including threats from her staff through jealously.
I do not know you and I do not know how you can call me Mad or a Troll.
Life is difficult enough and running your own business is daunting. I wish you well but as I said the Surrey Police will be contacting you shortly.
Editor in Chief & Publisher
Surrey Dog Life
I am sure many of you are hugely disappointed that this isn't a more classic, early Lizette. She appears to have, at last, found the spellchecker.
But it does delight in so many other ways.
First she alleges that Linda called her a 'troll'. That is true.
But Linda stopped short of 'mad'.
Although Lizette had obviously, very politely, called Linda "dum".
And Lizette said the mispelling was intentional... this must mean something to move evolved folk, but I'm not getting the irony.
Linda has decided to laminate this exchange and display it prominently. Others on this blog have already expressed that vice which all dog magazine editors are apparently burdened with - jealously. (Shakes head in shame)
Miss Marple would normally have an afternoon tea at this point to ponder, but I know we all have very busy lives and frankly fish puns don't conjugate themselves, so I'll get on with it.
It seems that things are advancing at quite a heady pace.
No longer is it just an undercover secret police investigation, so secret that even the Woking Police force and specifically PC Graham don't know anything about it, but Lizette has obviously (perhaps by grace of her connection to the 'planet's most famous rapper') has gone into closed court with a judge (who must have been just dazzled by her talent and beauty as we all have been). And this wise judge must have pronounced that it is now officially a CRIME in Surrey to ask Lizette Roux to stop saying they she edits the first and only dog magazine in this county.
You, or I, might read the above letter and just see some quite strange and badly constructed sentences on a computer screen, but Miss M would see what others might dismiss as mere madness.
She would see a fiendishly sharp mind at work that has cleverly slipped in yet another a witty Fishwife Weekly reference which mocks us all.
"Ms Cuddy has brought this all upon herself and has used every angle to try and bring our magazine down including threats from her staff through jealously. "
For the record I have to reveal here that Linda did very kindly help out at our obviously imaginary office in Surrey three years ago, but I seem to remember we were very, very cruel to her and didn't actually pay her - which is probably why she's prepared to go to jail on our behalf.
Now as if one new piece of evidence wasn't enough, another key clue emerged yesterday.
It would have been perfect at this juncture for Miss M to get on an unbearably gorgeous train and head out to talk to the shaken recipients of a very, very Special Delivery.
But you'll have to imagine it as I don't yet have the filming schedule for "It's a Dog's Life being the first* and only** (in Surrey)"
(It's not a great title is it? Which is possibly why the movie mogels have been slow to bite on it. Could be the very small print you'd need at the bottom of the screen which puts them off. Those hard to ignore details. That *actually it was the second and ** there is another one. Or it could be that since One flew over the Cuckoo's nest was such a hit the genre of films of that type has pretty much been a box office desert.
So imagine the scene instead.)
In a sleepy village on the Welsh border, an impossibly photogenic, bright and plucky eight-year-old young girl was surprised to receive an important communication from Lizette Roux.
It contained several upper case pronouncements with revelations about how many dog magazines there were in Surrey and, in which order the dashing Lizette thought they had been conceived.
(Some of them were in green font and emboldened. But even to a child it was most clear that Lizette wasn't going to accept her new tag line of second dog magazine in Surrey lying down, standing up or indeed while dancing to the rap music she so obviously loves according to her hypnotic Twitter feed.)
The letter revealed that the vile 'Beverley Cuddy' had dared to send Surrey Dogs Life £10 via paypal to secure a subscription to her publication. And that due to an ongoing police investigation Lizette was forbidden from accepting this filthy lucre.
I admit it Governor.
I did indeed try to buy a subscription.
In fact in a moment of madness I bought two.
One for the office and one for my chief sub Claire who works remotely.
(By chance it had ended up in a minor's hands as I only had her daughter's name registered on my paypal account from the previous time I had sent her a Webkinz from ebay. (I am bad to the bone.).)
Lizette's crack detective work had sadly had failed to intercept our main office copy.
And, extra helpfully, she had sent it to us with a letter obviously intended for a potential advertiser!
How low had I sunk?
I know, it was a lot of money for a confusing number of issues.
What was I thinking?
Was I trying to buy her friendship?
Was I hoping not to be found out - fiendishly concealing my identity by using my own paypal account?
Lizette had caught me out big time and she informed young Katie that, you've guessed it, Surrey Police were not only fully aware of this evil gesture, but would be using it in their investigation.
But mysteriously the crime number quoted in the letter (which was also copied to Woking Police) was not the same as that quoted in Linda's email.
Is there another felony?
Am I a recidivist?
Am I a petty serial offender?
For the record, the letter cited Crime number P11162190 - and the charge 'harassment and aggressiveness to our company."
(I am sure there are now those among you looking through hefty volumes to find that unusually worded law.)
I await a knock on the door and have my bag packed in true Apprentice fashion.
Perhaps I'll take my illicit copy of Surrey Dogs Life with me to read... and March Dogs Monthly just so I can figure out at last which two articles were switched.
So far, I'm not recognising Lizette's lovely writing style and innovative spelling shining out from the pages.
It is a surprisingly normal magazine. I confess I had really high hopes for it being hilariously strange.
But what do I know about the niche pet magazine sector anyway?
The last 20 years didn't actually happen did they! It was all just a dream.
Now please do sleep soundly tonight and if you have been in any way affected by the scenes revealed here perhaps I could interest you in a subscription to FishWife weekly?