Friday, April 25, 2008


Charles here. Alert the media.

It’s a double topic time here at Type M for Murder. Two topics where you’d normally only find one, and both more interesting than what I had planned to write (a short critical analysis of the symbolic use of broken Greek urns in unpublished early 19th century French poetry).

Topic 1: Ray and Me

In 1980 I headed off to basic training at Ft. Benning, Georgia (1st squad, 2nd platoon, A-1-1 for those of you who know military unit designations). While I was vacationing there I met Ray Arsenault and Tom Coyne, and, as these stories go, all three of us ended up at the Old Guard together (3rd US Infantry in Washington, DC.) Ray was the kind of guy the army brass both dream of and fear – a tough, hard-core, freakishly smart, fiercely loyal, patriot (but not in a phony watch-me-wave-the-flag way) who knew bullshit when he saw it and was ballsy enough to point it out. In short, he was everything I wasn’t. When the army and I parted ways – the word re-enlist was never mentioned by either party – Ray stayed on. He made a career in the military and today works as a civilian pilot, currently stationed ‘somewhere in the news’. A few months back, Ray and I reconnected and met up in DC where he filled me in on the past 25 years. Let’s just say he lived the life every action/adventure craving guy would love to live. If I had done all of the things he’s done, I would be an even more insufferable jerk than I am. But not Ray. He’s humble, hilarious and man, can he tell a story. And he can write – I saw snippets of the Age-of-Sail swashbuckler he’s writing and it’s got Big Screen written all over it. Anyway, Ray must be really bored because he tells me he just received all three of my books at his undisclosed location. The books are crammed with action and murder and gunfights and danger, but based on what Ray’s been up to, I think he’s going to find them dull. So here he is, pretending to be enjoying Noble Lies.

Topic 2: I’ve been tagged.

My friend and fellow author Jared Case, has apparently tagged me in his blog. Now I have to pass it on. Here’s how Jared put it:

“I don't subscribe to chain letters too much (or memes, in the virtual world), but this one seems to be going around mostly to mystery writers, and I've been tagged by a friend, so I'd hate to let him down. I first saw this at The Rap Sheet, posted by J. Kingston Pierce, who tagged Dan Wagner over at The Hungry Detective, who tagged me. It's a simple little exercise called "Page 123." What you do is this:
1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Go to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence. (A virtually useless step as the action comes next...)
4. Post the next 3 sentences
5. Tag 5 people and acknowledge who tagged you.

I’m one of the 5 Jared “tagged”. So here we go. The closest book to me is one I’m using for reference for the new historical mystery I’m working on, a light history entitled Operation Dragoon: The Allied Invasion of the South of France by William B. Breuer.* Now here’s what you get:

“A bullet tore through the back of his head, and the Feldgrau fell over dead. As the wild shooting melee raged, Sergeant Lumsden struggled to his feet. His kness felt jellylike and his head was groggy. A stream of tracer bullets hissed past him as he staggered to a nearby woods, which swallowed him up.”

Hmmm…not bad Mr. Breuer, not bad.

Now here’s whom I’m tagging – Vicki Delany, Rick Blechta, Donis Casey, Debby Atkinson, and travel-mystery writer extraordinaire, Maria Hudgins.

And while you're here - I'll be at the Festival of Mystery in Oakmont on Monday (meeting with my pals, The No Lunch Bunch for, ironically, lunch)

*I will confess to wanting to grab an impressive book off the shelf, something that would show my acute sense of taste and style, but I figured that’s cheating. And the next closest book was a re-print of the 1945 pilot training manual for a CG-4A glider – it only has 58 pages.


Rick Blechta said...

I have a friend like yours, Charles. I ask him what he's been up to and he says he'd be glad to tell me, but then he'd have to kill me. I don't believe that he's stretching the truth too much. Funny thing is, he's Canadian. We're supposed to be nice. We're not supposed to make waves. He showed me his pistol. "This has saved my live many times," he says.

These people frighten me -- a lot.

Charles benoit said...

Don't try to change the subject, sir. You have been tagged and I expect to hear about it!

Rick Blechta said...

On Tuesday, my son...