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Richard accepted the sad inevitability that he was now a follower of The Northern Barstows like everybody else in the country. He knew who all these people were and how they related to each other, and suffered a nagging itchy need to know what they would get up to next. This must be what it was like to be a newly body-snatched vegetable duplicate and click in sync with the collective consciousness of the pod people.

When a jockey is ridden to death by his model girlfriend at exactly the same time as the broadcast of an episode of massively popular soap opera featuring an identical crime, the Diogenes Club (the branch of the secret service that deals with anomalous events) is alerted by Scotland Yard. Ghost--hunter Richard Jeperson is assigned to the case, but he never watches ITV because the adverts disrupt his psychic powers, and he knows less than nothing about the soap opera, so a beautiful academic specialising in The Northern Barstows is assigned to bring him up to speed, while Richard's assistant Vanessa goes undercover as an actress, playing the new girlfriend of one of the main characters, nicknamed 'lovely legs' by the cast and crew.

This highly-enjoyable novella is an amusing paranormal whodunnit with a well-realised 1970s setting.

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kittiwake

June 2012

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