Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Bachelor Girl Detectives Find Missing Raccoon in The Ward

By Rachel McMillan

(Dear readers of this esteemed and frankly wonderful blog, you are in for a singular treat.  Below, you are given exclusive access to a very, very rough draft of a piece Ray DeLuca reported as scribbled in his journal  and which he is currently polishing for publication in next Wednesday’s edition of The Hogtown Herald)

  Bachelor Girl Detectives Find Missing Raccoon in The Ward

               Miss Fleming of Parliament Street in Corktown was quite bereft when her pet raccoon, Squeakers, was discovered to be missing on Thursday last. Fortunately, his discovery inspired her to relay the talents of Toronto’s celebrated  renowned annoying infamous lady detectives Herringford and Watts. The rotund spinster searched high and low for her constant companion only to be told that he had probably vanished for all eternal in search of a well-stocked rubbish bin.
               “I went straight to those lady detectives.” Miss Fleming informed me when she knocked on the door of the Hog office, thereafter trundling her not inconsiderable girth through the narrow corridors of our newspaper.   “You know, the Ward detectives, they call them.  That odd girl Merinda Herringford who has the audacity to wear men’s trousers!” (she whispered the last part of the sentence conspiratorially as if we were plotting invasion). “And the pretty brunette. And of course their advertisement says there is no problem great or small! Why, Mr. DeLuca it says so right here.” She stabbed her sausage finger at the mock-up of a new Herringford and Watts advert atop my desk.
 “Or small.” I hedged.
From Amazon
“Exactly. And Squeakers is not one of the most robust of his species.  So, I get there, see? And they treat me all lovely.  The pretty brunette, Miss Watts, ensures that her housekeeper has provided me with tea and shortbread. I ate five fingers of the delicacy! Melt in your mouth, so it was.” (I tried to direct Miss Fleming back to the matter at hand: with little success ) “And then she brought out the most wonderful lemon sandwiches.  They are a true wonder, they are. Make me think I should start losing things more often!”  Then, she asked me, your run-of-the-mill muckraker, how familiar I was with Misses Herringford and Watts.  I am, of course, familiar with both.  Merinda Herringford is a little larger than life, Miss Watts, a little more delicate with skin like porcelain and eyes like blue china and a figure like a goddess and…  is slightly more refined.   The two had recently become quite the talk of the town (in which my efforts to report their goings-on have, of course, contributed).
I consulted Miss Herringford after Squeakers had been returned safe and sound to Miss Fleming for her side of the story and inquired if she felt whimsical employment such as a missing raccoon might somehow undermine her attempts to grow her efforts and secure a respectable detective establishment.
               The question was met with anticipated annoyance spirit. “You tell your Hog readers that it takes a certain tenacity and gumption to focus one’s efforts on finding an animal of a species so populous in Toronto.  Why Squeakers very much looks the same as every other of his ilk!” She lifted her chin and narrowed her eyes. “It takes far more stamina to dedicate oneself to a mystery many other investigators might find below them.  But, mark my words, the deductive prowess I engage in returning a missing raccoon to its owner is exaggerate tenfold when I am pitted against a murder.”
I then asked Miss Watts of her opinion, which was of a far more delicate and feminine sensibility: “Oh the poor fluffy thing.  Don’t you just adore raccoons, Mr. DeLuca?  Their little faces look like they’re wearing masks! And their little paws.”  She went on in this same vein for several moments. “But we found him.  Snuggled under a newspaper at Queen Street. At first, we couldn’t be completely sure that it was Miss Fleming’s raccoon. They all sort of look the same.”
              It turned out the identifying marker was a small green ribbon tied around the animal’s neck.   That and a determining clue from Miss Fleming’s cook who said that the “pesky rodent” had overturned a jar of molasses.  Our intrepid duo was able to follow the sticky prints from the rear kitchen of Miss Fleming’s home on Frederick Street and to his hiding spot at Queen.
             One assumes that their advertisement, boldly stating that there is no problem too great or small has not always accounted for raccoons.  Nonetheless (and despite a few eye rolls from Miss Herringford before Miss Watts nudged her in the rib), Herringford and Watts have again proved their loyalty to Toronto’s most peculiar cases. 

Rachel McMillan
From Goodreads
Rachel McMillan's Author Bio:

Rachel McMillan is a keen history enthusiast and a lifelong bibliophile. When not writing or reading, she can most often be found drinking tea and watching British miniseries. Rachel lives in bustling Toronto, where she works in educational publishing and pursues her passion for art, literature, music, and theater.

How to connect with Rachel:

The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder  -     By: Rachel McMillan
From Christianbook.com
Where to purchase A Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder:

Just in case you want more of Rachel's FABULOUS books, there is a novella out too that you can purchase for $2.51. It is entitled A Singular and Whimsical Problem. (I loved this novella too!!!)

I really hope all my readers enjoyed spending time with Ray and Rachel today. I know I did!! If you haven't read A Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder, here is my review. I hope it inspires you to read the book. I LOVE this book and can't wait for more from Rachel.   

Thank you, Rachel for supplying this little piece to continue the imagination for your series.

To celebrate with Rachel, I am offering a DIGITAL copy of A Singular and Whimsical Problem, the novella in the Herringford and Watts Mysteries. (Open to U.S residents only! Sorry.) Leave a blog comment and enter with the Rafflecopter. I will draw a winner on Monday, April 11th and announce the winner on my blog on Tuesday, April 12th. 

Thank you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



  1. Series sounds great. Can't wait to read it.

    1. Thank you, bluenichols!!! They are great! I hope this "journal" entry wets your appetite for more.