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Dear Mr. Mann,

I read the first twenty-three pages of your new novel, The Affinity Bridge, with great interest. Steampunk is such a wonderful new genre; I was very excited to find not only that it is being written in, but that this new addition is, most gratifyingly, a sleuthing and detection story!

Quickly after picking up the book it became apparent to me that the powers which produced such a work are greatly beyond my own, and that my humble penetration is not equal to the comprehension of the deeper mysteries of the plot. I have therefore resolved to humbly seek your assistance in unraveling the following riddles:

  • On page 20, why does Sir Maurice Newbury "saunter", when he could just as easily stride, walk, pace or follow, especially as it is a bitingly cold night?
  • After bidding good-night to their hostess on page 17, Sir Charles Bainbridge chides his friend for having "cut her so". How was it possible for Sir Maurice to cut (i.e. ignore, pass over, refuse to greet) someone he had just spoken to?
  • Why does Sir Charles, on page 29, accuse his police officers of being "superstitious prigs", meaning small time thieves, when fools, cowards, idiots, asses or children would have done just as well?
  • Finally, and in recognition of the prodigious amount of wonderment that you have managed to create into only the first twenty or so pages (of which the above are but a small sample), may I ask: do you employ an editor, and were he or she perhaps hospitalised or suffering from temporary amnesia when your novel was being readied for print?

Yours,

An Avid Reader

The Affinity Bridge by George Mann, published 2008 by Snowbooks Ltd, ISBN 978-1-905005-88-8: I wouldn't bother.

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