Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Riddle:  Poke your fingers in my eyes,
I will open wide my jaw;
Fine linen, paper or yellow straw
In angry hunger I will bite them all!
What am I?
(This is a very old riddle.)

FTL Publications, which is republishing my Peter Brichter series both in paper and as e-books, is offering a free download of Murder at the War (written as Mary Monica Pulver) today and tomorrow through Amazon.  This was my first published novel.  It is set at The Great Pennsic War, an annual event of The Society for Creative Anachronism.  You’ve heard of folks who re-create battles of the American War Between the States?  This is sort of like that, only earlier.  MUCH earlier.  Medieval times, the politics, the statesmanship, the chivalry, the music, dance, food, costumes, arts and crafts, are brought to life through the SCA at weekend members-only events.  But the War is the Big One.  Thousands of medievalists gather at a campground in eastern Pennsylvania to eat, drink, game, dance and, most of all, fight.  Using real armor and rattan swords and pole arms, they stage uncorreographed battles in the fields and woods of the campground.  And in the middle of all this fake dying, a man in armor is found for-real dead of a stab wound.  The State Police think they’ve uncovered a cult and are baffled by the esoterica of the Society.  It is up to police detective Peter Brichter, who is also Lord Stephen von Helle, to obey King William’s royal command to find the murderer before this shocking discourtesy destroys the Society’s grandest game.

Hint to Riddle:  The answer is appropriate to the mysteries I write.

Had a medical scare yesterday.  Well, it started Sunday.  I’ve been having a sharp pain in my lower right back off and on for weeks.  On Sunday I was in serious pain – but, as before, as the day went on, it got better.  Monday it was back with a vengeance.  I went to my water aerobics class and was frightened at how much it hurt.  My classmates noticed and strongly advised me to go to the emergency room, filling my ears with horror stories about kidney stones.  I called my doctor when I got home – and found she had the day off.  So I told her nurse I was going to the ER.  I spent six hours there, undergoing ultrasound and X-rays and being poked and prodded and relieved of bodily fluids.  The result?  My kidneys are fine.  I don’t have an aneurism.  I don’t have appendicitis.  I do have arthritis of the spine – but I already knew that.  I was given a prescription for a pain killer and sent home.  The pain killer is amazing, I had a good full night’s sleep, the first in ten days.  I’m still walking a little bent over, but it’s good to know I’m healthier than I thought.  I think.  If I’m not better in a week, I have to seek further medical aid.

Answer to Riddle: Scissors


Linda O. Johnston said...

So sorry to hear about your back pain, Monica. I empathize a little, but for a different reason. My back aches when I carry my baby grandson around, so I endure it gladly!

Betty Hechtman said...

It's great that the pain killers helped your back. Back pain is terrible. I had a small sprain once and I know how much that hurt.