Friday, November 21, 2014


Long Beach

As the others enjoyed themselves on the way to Iceland, I alone soldiered on and suffered the sunshine in San Diego (to see the Tasmanian Devil) and then continued my weary trek onto Vegas where a man wearing only angel wings and white (Scottish ) pants accosted me. I refrained from accepting whatever it was he was offering. If not unlawful in the state of Nevada, it would probably have led to something infectious.

But back to Long Beach and Bouchercon. I’d like to dedicate this blog to ‘Thelma  Straw in Manhattan’, a regular commenter, who wanted one of us to dish the dirt/ report on Boichercon.

My job!

Seriously though, it was genuinely lovely to meet up with the other MIE bloggers.  And especially nice to meet some of those who leave comments. As writers we can sometimes feel our words are thrown into the ether so it’s very touching when folk go out their way to touch base with us – Barbara. Both Barbaras!!

Wee story before the pic parade. I have a ‘look’ at work - scrubs, hair up, specs, tired.  I have an 'author look' – hair down, make up on, dark clothes (never pastel in case folk think I’m nice).  When actually writing, I look like a bag lady - one of my favourite quotes is ‘I look like I’ve crawled up an embankment after a derailment.’
I am encased in dishevilment.  And yes I can make that word up. I am coming to terms with ‘deplane’ (?)  We call it ‘get off’. And beautification (?).  And I was just getting used to ...’alphabetised.’
I’m fair skunnered. :)     

So I was truly heartened when very early one morning (very early, only just past dawn) I stumbled across a fellow crime writer in the street. Or rather they stumbled into me – looking like they too had as 'the derailment' described above.  They were carrying a tray from a take-out (to go) coffee house. The tray had two espressos - one already consumed, the second just started. The coffee was held at nose height, in a donkey/ carrot manner, as an incentive to propel the tired little writer back to the hotel room for a well earned kip before another panel.

They too were transformed  by panel time- smart, cool, calm, professional, entertaining and witty. not a hair out of place.   And they are now poorer as I extracted money in return for my silence as to who it was…….I can keep this to myself as I am now a ‘mystery writer’, and that can be your mystery of the day.

The good news is that book 6 has been received by my publisher with great enthusiasm!  So I’m Boucherconning again next year with my emphasis on the 'conning' - and then to Iceland Noir.
here's the picture gallery...

a small bit of both venues
Alex Sokoloff tries to slap the tartan panel into shape

I think I spy a Barbara

Spying on everybody

don't trust the short one !

our book bundle- it raised a lot of money!

Michael being intelligent

over 65 crime writing men.
that's the number of men
not men who are over 65 who write crime fiction..
(as somebody actually thought)

Stan's turn to be Michael Stanley

just when you need a AK 47!!!

Stan  just out of  shot.
Jeff totally out of shot

A rose between two thorns.
Although it does look like the two ladies are stabbing
the gentleman in the knees with a fork. 

pure vodka

response of local wildlife at one of Jeff's jokes

that was a difficult question

jeff comes up with the answer
apologies to Cara and Stan but the photographer was sitting behind a lady with big hair and only had a good view to the right side of the panel


Caro Ramsay Globe trotting 21 11 2014

Thursday, November 20, 2014


Last time I wrote about the Botswana elections and Unity Dow's election to the National Assembly. The piece below, which appeared four years ago, explains why we think that's a really good thing!

Michael - Thursday

Unity Dow is an extraordinary woman by any standards, but even more so by the standards of male-oriented Botswana. Born in 1959, she became a lawyer and immediately took up the cause of women’s rights in Botswana. In a landmark case, she challenged the constitutionality of a law which excluded her children from citizenship because her husband is a citizen of the United states. She won this, solidifying the equal gender rights promised by the constitution. Later she became a High Court judge – the first woman member – and served for 11 years. During that time she was one of the justices involved in the High Court challenge that gave the San (Bushman) peoples the right to return to their traditional lifestyle in the Kalahari. She later served on a commission redrawing the Kenyan constitution. And now she has been appointed to the legislature.

She is also a talented writer. She has written four novels reflecting deep issues in contemporary Botswana: the struggle between traditional and Western values, the AIDS pandemic (Botswana and South Africa compete for the world’s highest infection rates), and ritual murder.

The Screaming of the Innocent is a powerful and disturbing book. A young girl vanishes; the police guess that she has been eaten by a lion, but the reader knows that she has been ritually murdered for body parts reputed to bestow great power. Years later a female student doing national service in the community comes across a box of clothing which seems to belong to the missing girl. But after she draws attention to it, the box vanishes. She seeks out a friend – now a lawyer – and the two young women pursue the matter together.

The book is good not only because of the intriguing characters and plot, but because the reader finds the premise completely believable because the perspective is purely African. To westerners, witchcraft has become almost flippant superstition – like avoiding a black cat. But in many African cultures it is not only respected and feared, but deeply believed. It is this that Dow manages to capture so well in her novel. She makes no bones about the influence of male dominance being connected with these issues. When her evil characters are plotting the murder, they look for “a man with a hard heart, a heart of stone, a heart of a real man”. And, of course, they find such a man. The heroine follows the twists and turns and seems to be taking us to a successful resolution. But Africa is often not like that.

The book was first published in 2002 by Spinifex Press – a boutique publisher in Australia specialising in books focussing on women’s issues – and subsequently published in South Africa. Fortunately, it is widely available. It is a harrowing book, but one well worth reading.

It is tempting to see the premise of the story as an ingenious (if ghoulish) invention, but it is probably based on a real case which would have been well known to Dow. In 1994 a 14-year-old girl named Segametsi and her friend Monnye decided to sell oranges in Mochudi (a small town where they lived) to raise money for a church trip to Francistown. The girls separated near the house of a man called Mokgalo. Segametsi was never seen alive again. Her body was found with fatal chest wounds and with a variety of body parts removed, possibly while she was still alive. Clearly she had been murdered to harvest these organs for Dipheko, “medicine” made from human flesh.

Nothing about the case was obvious. Circumstantial evidence pointed to Mokgalo and he was held briefly, perhaps for his own safety. Soon he was released. Monnye then came up with a story that Mokgalo previously had made advances to Segametsi. Mokgalo wa held again. And in an almost unbelievable turn of events the murdered girl’s father made a confession that he had accepted a promise of 1,200 pula (about $200) to help with the girl’s abduction. Mokgalo was held for two months. During that time the police became suspicious of the stories they had been told. The father was sent for mental examination. Both the father and the Monnye eventually withdrew their stories, and the suspects were released. This led to rioting in Mochudi and nearby Gaborone and the focus moved from the murder to public order. The police and soldiers reacted violently and many people were injured. One was deliberately killed by a policeman.

The government was under continuing pressure and eventually was obliged to ask Scotland Yard to send a team to independently investigate the murder and the police conduct of the case. This lack of trust in the police and people in authority is all reflected in Dow’s novel.

The policeman who killed the suspected rioter was sentenced for manslaughter and the government paid his family about $100,000 in compensation. Mokgalo won a case for wrongful arrest, but describes himself as a broken man who is still treated with suspicion. The Scotland Yard report has never been made public. No one has been arrested for the murder of Segametsi.

When we met the then director of the CID and he heard we were mystery writers, he said there was much to write about in Botswana, and mentioned the Segametsi case. I have always wondered why the director of the investigating department would want this brought up. Also, he must have known about Unity Dow’s novel. What was there to add? It took us eight years to discover our answer in DEADLY HARVEST.

The belief in the power of evil medicines and witches has another somewhat unexpected and damaging consequence. Since witchcraft is used to ensure success in financial and other ventures, it can be dangerous to appear too successful. If you have risen faster and farther than others, is it not possible that you too may have dabbled with Dipheko? This perception may be very dangerous for you indeed. It is safer to be mediocre…

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Iceland Noir

Soon Murder is Everywhere will ascend on Iceland - sadly not all contributers, but enough to make a healthy presence.

Here is some of what they can expect to see:

Tjörnin - the lake downtown Reykjavík
 Iðnó - by the above lake, an old theater where the gala dinner will be held
Norrænahúsið - the Nordic House, the Iceland Noir venue 

Arnarstapi - for those that take the tour on Sunday
Pretty, pretty Harpa
Fish - if you don't see/eat fish while here you took the wrong plane
Hopefully, hopefully the northern lights will make a showing - note the light beam on the leftish side, this is the John Lennon peace tower.
So as not to forget a whole lot of great authors appearing on the many panels. See you there!
Yrsa - Wednesday

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

in transit

We're on our annual Bouchercon hiatus and I'm just sharing some pics from Paris. More soon and kudos to Stan for chairing our MIE panel at Bouchercon.
 An espresso at the Zinc counter
 at the Metro
 Foxes and rabbits do live in the parks in Paris!
 A water spout at the Chapel Expiatoire
 the Mairie (town hall) of the 8th arrondissement - not too shabby
 Always wondered if there's a name for this shape of building - slice of tart?
A possible murder spot.
Cara - Tuesday in transit

Monday, November 17, 2014

Bouchercon Hiatus: The Lunatic Express Redux

 Since so many of us are traveling this week, I chose to rerun my post about a railroad.  Right now I am in LAX after a wonderful Bouchercon conference and lots of fun with the attending MIE writers.  We missed Zoe and Yrsa.  But Zoe will be traveling soon too to join us on our next stop.  Yrsa is the only one staying at home, because later this week many of us will be visiting her in Iceland for the second annual Icelandic Noir conference.  I am so looking forward to my first visit there.

In the meanwhile, take ride with me on the Lunatic Express! 

It was called the Uganda Railway, but all of it was in the Protectorate of British East Africa, now Kenya.  It goes 660 miles from the port city of Mombasa, on the Indian Ocean, to Kisumu on the Eastern shores of Lake Victoria, across the water from Uganda.

It is credited with cementing Britain’s colonial power in East Africa.

But also with being instrumental in stopping the “trail of tears”—the route where slaves were dragged from the interior to the coast and then shipped to work in the households of Asia Minor and on the sesame plantations of the Zanzibar.

Construction began in 1896.  It cost Great Britain’s taxpayers 55 million pounds sterling: £20.1 Billion or $33 Billion in today’s money.

If the indigenous people tried to stop its progress through their territory, “punitive expeditions” were sent out to put them in their place.  Keep in mind that the King's African Rifles had firearms.  The tribal people fought with iron (not even steel) spears and swords.  Still, the Maasai won one of those battles.

32,000 Indians were shipped in from the Raj to build it.  6,724 of them stayed after the work was done and made a life there—many of their descendants remain today.  

It crosses 35 viaducts, 120 bridges and culverts.

Its engineers and construction crews braved man-eating lions and deadly scorpions.

2,498 perished during its construction.

Before the Brits built the railroad, the route from Mombasa to Kisumu was an oxcart trail.  To traverse from the coast took about three months with most of the party walking, carrying water and food.  Ordinarily around three hundred at a time, most of them tribal porters, made the trip.  People died.

A new way to travel that distance was called for.  But not everyone agreed.

Calling the railroad a “gigantic folly,” Liberals in Parliament were against the project, saying that Britain had no right to drive what African’s called the “Iron Snake” through Maasai territory.  The magazine Punch called it “the Lunatic Line.”  In 1971, Charles Miller wrote a book about it: The Lunatic Express: An Entertainment in Imperialism.  Many politicians and newspaper editors called it a waste of the taxpayer’s money.  Shaky wooden trestles over enormous chasms, hostile tribes, workers dying of until-then unknown diseases—much of what transpired seemed to support those against the idea.

But from the outset, the Uganda Railroad had its adherents.   Conservatives saw it as an important salvo in the “Scramble for Africa,” that Nineteenth Century madness of the European powers to take over whatever chunks of the African continent they could lay their hegemony on.  Winston Churchill admired it as “a brilliant conception."  He said, “The British art of ‘muddling through’ is seen here in one of its finest expositions.  Through everything—through forests, through the ravines, through troops of marauding lions, through famine, through war, through five years of excoriating Parliamentary debate, muddled and marched the railway.”

In the end it was seen as a huge achievement—both strategically and economically.  It became vital to the suppression of slavery.  Its existence eliminated the need for huge squads of human beings to carry goods.

The American President Teddy Roosevelt rode the railroad during his visit to British East Africa in 1909.  He wrote, "The railroad, the embodiment of the eager, masterful, materialistic civilization of today, was pushed through a region in which nature, both as regards wild man and beast, does not differ materially from what was in Europe during the late Pleistocene."  On his way into the interior from the coast, he often rode on a platform on the front of the locomotive, giving him a great vantage point for viewing the huge array of wildlife along the way.  According to Teddy, "...on this, except at mealtime, I spent most of the hours of daylight."  It's a view I sorely wish I could have seen.

More next week on the motivation for building the railroad.  In the meanwhile, here is a link to give you a glimpse of the line as it passes through some of the most incredible scenery on earth, as shown in the opening credits of Sydney Pollack’s brilliant Out of Africa. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Bouchercon Hiatus Call for New Author Voices.

Since February, MIE has opened up a guest slot every other Sunday to mystery writers who base their stories in foreign settings. 

We thought it a great way of introducing our readership to new experiences and places.  The response has been nothing short of terrific.  So much so that we’ve decided to keep the slot open and continue to bring in new voices. 

So, if you're a published mystery author writing about foreign locales who would like the opportunity of reaching a broad, erudite audience, do we have a deal for you.  We have no fixed rules about subject matter other than no BSP. Meaning this is not a forum for touting you or your work, though in introducing yourself you may mention your current book (as well as post its cover and your head shot), list your website, and provide a brief bio for incorporation into your introduction.

Our only requirement is first-class writing that is original material not posted elsewhere.

Posts generally run between 500-800 words though some run to twice that.  Photographs work very well and are encouraged, but just make sure all appropriate credit is given and copyrights observed. 

To quote our good friend and founder, Leighton Gage, “I know you’ll enjoy the experience because you’ll be in really good company.” :)  The smiley is ours.

If you’re interested, please contact Jeff off line at  Of course, there is no guarantee that a submitted piece will be published.  But we will look at them all.

The MIE Crew--Sunday

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Bouchercon 2014 Hiatus #3: What, The Greek Gods Again?

During Bouchercon week we’re picking posts from among our favorite blogs of the past. I find it impossible to choose which I “like the most,” so I’m taking the easy way out and going with what our readers continue to favor more than any other of my posts. Coincidently, it’s my post for Bouchercon 2012 (October 6, 2012) titled “The Greek Gods Redux” and incorporates my posts from January 28, 2012, “The Gods Will Be Back,” February 25, 2012, “A Visit With The Gods,” and the substance of a third post on the Greek gods that went up on May 18, 2013, titled “Greece’s Sun and Moon God Twins: Apollo and Artemis.”

If this post is beginning to sound sort of like a nest of Russian dolls, I understand, but who am I to argue with the gods over their popularity?

And for those of you lucky enough to be in the Long Beach area on this glorious Saturday morning, I’ll be moderating a panel at Bouchercon between 1:30-2:30 PM today titled "Crimes with International Flavors," featuring Lisa Alber, Brett Battles, Ragnar Jonasson, Ed Lin, and some guy named Stanley Trollip.  Stop by if you can.  After all we don’t want to make the gods angry, do we?

So, here they are, three visits with the gods, back to back:

I long for the day when the mention of Greece will once again first bring to mind ancient gods, epic tales, and a land and sea infused at every inch with the seminal essence of western civilization.   Someday that will happen, for financial crises are transient and gods are immortal, though not eternal—after all, they do need nectar and ambrosia to sustain them.

Ahh, yes, the good old days of true Greek gods quick and strong, knowing all things, capable of miraculous achievements.

It’s been a long while since I’ve read up on the ancient gods, and I must admit to often getting them mixed up, but I’ve just learned that my confusion puts me in illustrious company. 

Socrates (469-399 B.C.E.)
According to Alexander S. Murray’s Who’s Who in Mythology, even Socrates was confused by the varying number of seemingly same gods (one Aphrodite or two?) and multiple names for one god (Zeus in summer was called Zeus Meilichios, the friendly god, and in winter Zeus Maemaktes, the angry god).

Some think that’s attributable to disparate early Greek tribes who even after coalescing as a single race kept the original names for their separate gods despite obvious similarities to each other (Dione, Hera, Gaea, and Demeter). 

But call them what you wish, the essential purpose of the Greek gods was the same: their existence and interactions explained to mortals the natural order of things, e.g., the earth, the sun, the moon, the stars, the clouds, lightning, thunder, earthquakes, storms, waves, and on and on as needed.  

What made Greek gods so significant was that the essentially human form of the Twelve Olympian Deities of Mount Olympus and of the lesser gods living in other environs gave to those who worshipped them the sense that their deities could understand and relate to a mortal’s needs and fears. 

The mythological explanations offered by the carryings on of the gods largely centered upon the three supreme rulers of the world: Uranos, Kronos, and Zeus. 

The first to rule was Uranos.  He represented the heavens and, as the husband of Earth, brought forth life and everything on our planet. 
Uranos with Earth

His son, Kronos, ruled next as god of the harvest, ripening and maturing the forms of life brought forth by his father. 
Kronos and Rhea

And, lastly, ruled Zeus, bringing order and wisdom to the universe. 
Zeus overthrows Kronos (Van Haarlem 1588)

I think it’s safe to say that Zeus hasn’t been around for a while.  Or has he? 

Whatever, all of this impresses me, as it should every writer, artist, and musician who freely borrows from the tales of the gods in their own creations, albeit sometimes consciously oblivious to the source of their inspiration.  So much of what we think unique to modern culture is simply a new way of retelling of what ancient Greeks witnessed in their deities. 

I wish I had time now to say more.  But there will be later.  One must always make time for the gods.


I’ve often wished there were a way to journey back to the heyday of the ancient Greek gods.  Just to drop in, say “Hi,” and ask what they think of our current times.  These days I’d likely have to make the trip alone, because my Greek buddies—make that all of Greece’s eleven million souls—have more than enough all-knowing, all-powerful forces to contend with in the form of the EU-IMF-ECB troika, plus a hundred-fold that number of homegrown politicians governing their country as if immor(t)als.

This, though, isn’t about current events; it’s about my interest in visiting Olympian deities and, in particular, one called “father of gods and men, ruler and preserver of the world, and everlasting god.”  In other words (courtesy of Alexander S. Murray’s Who’s Who in Mythology), I’m talking about the boss man himself: Zeus. 

But before I wave goodbye and click those ruby slippers together (couldn’t find a reasonably priced pair of Hermes sandals), let me share a little background on how Zeus got to be Numero Uno.  And for you Wizard of Oz aficionados out there, don’t worry about Dorothy’s shoes whisking me off to Kansas instead.  I have it on the highest authority they’ve been re-programmed to route me to the otherwise inaccessible, cloud-shrouded Olympos of Thessaly.

Zeus’ upbringing certainly wasn’t what most normal folk would call traditional, unless of course you happen to be a fan of the Dr. Phil sort of stuff inhabiting weekday afternoon American TV. 

To begin with, his daddy (Kronos) and mommy (Rhea) were brother and sister.  But since his grandparents were the original paired begator (Uranos) and begatee (Gaea) of what love, via Eros (Cupid), had fashioned out of Chaos (the great shapeless mass at the beginning of the world) to prepare the world to receive mankind—that might be considered an extenuating circumstance under modern consanguinity laws. 
Eros and Chaos (by Treijim)

Besides, it was a substantial improvement over his grandparents’ marital arrangement.  Uranos, the husband of Gaea, was not her brother.  He was her son.  And when Uranos “mistreated” their children, Gaea sided with her son/grandson (Kronos) to destroy her husband/son (Uranos).  Got that?

But it gets better.  Zeus’ father (Kronos), alert to how children could treat their fathers, swallowed his first five children as they were born.  Zeus, the sixth child, only escaped because his mother (Rhea) deceived her husband/brother (Kronos) into thinking Zeus, too, had been swallowed. 

Kronos (Saturn) by Francisco De Goya
When Zeus reached manhood he enlisted the aid of his grandmother (Gaea) to convince his father (Gaea’s son/grandson) to yield up Zeus’ siblings, which Kronos did.  One was Zeus’ sister, Hera (Juno), the love of Zeus’ life … and later his wife.  Like father like son, I suppose.

Zeus had many affairs and fathered many children, at times in rather unorthodox fashion, but Hera was his only wife, as was the way in Greece.  Some say Zeus didn’t gallivant around as much as people liked to think, but gained his reputation innocently through an historical accommodation.  When the disparate tribes of Greece came together as one race, each brought with them their own Zeus stories, and all those separate tales were incorporated into one mythology that multiplied Zeus’ fathering experiences far beyond what any individual tribe had believed on its own.

If Zeus got Hera to buy that story, it’s good enough for me.  

Hera with Zeus
By the way, let’s not forget that all this played out for Zeus against the time of man on earth. 

At the beginning of Zeus’ rule it was the Silver Age of the human race.  Men were rich, but grew overbearing, were never satisfied, and in their arrogance forgot the source to which their prosperity was owed.  As punishment, Zeus swept the offenders away to live as demons beneath the earth.

Then came the Bronze Age, one of quarreling and violence, where might made right, and cultivated lands and peaceful occupations faded away.  Ultimately even the all-powerful grew tired of it all and disappeared without a trace.

The Iron Age followed with a weakened and downtrodden mankind using their bare hands to toil for food, thinking all the while only of themselves, and dealing unscrupulously with each other. 

Zeus had seen enough.

He brought on a flood that destroyed all but two members of the human race.  A husband, Deukalion, and his wife, Pyrrha, were spared and commanded by the gods to propagate a new human race upon the earth. 

Pyrrha and Deukalion by Andrea di Mariotto del Minga
That, folks, is supposed to be us. 

If I recall correctly, Zeus didn’t think much more of the new batch than he did of the ones he’d wiped off the face of the earth. 

But this is 2012, and the human race is so much different now than it was in Zeus’ day that we have absolutely nothing to fear from the big guy for the way we live our lives today. 


Hmmm.  I really can’t wait to get going.  Honest.  But time travel these days isn’t as predictable as it once was (what with all those amateurs clogging up the astral planes) and I’d sure hate to pop in on Zeus on a bad day.  God(s) knows where/how I’d end up. 

On reflection, I think I’ll put those slippers away for now—at least until after the elections. Which elections, you ask?  Good question.  I’ll wait for a sign from the gods on high and let you know.

It’s hard when you watch a sunset on Mykonos not to think of the island of Delos less than a mile away to the west. 

After all, Delos is where Apollo, god of the sun, and his twin-sister, Artemis, the original divine personification of the moon were born to their mother, Leto, out of her assignation with Zeus.  Delos wasn’t Leto’s first choice for a delivery room, because back then it was little more than a rock bouncing around the Aegean Sea.  But she had little choice because Zeus’ wife (and sister), Hera, had the world fearing her jealous wrath, and only tiny Delos saw nothing to lose in making a “You take care of me, I’ll take care of you bargain” with Zeus.

Birth of Artemis and Apollo to Leto

From the moment of Apollo’s birth, when golden light flooded down upon Delos, the island prospered, so much so that it rose to emerge as one of antiquity’s bastions of commerce and religiosity.

But Apollo didn’t stick around his birthplace very long.  Jealous Hera drove Leto away from her children forcing Apollo to grow up quickly—in a matter of hours to be precise (on a diet of nectar and ambrosia)—and begin a pilgrimage that launched his myth, one of the oldest of all Greek myths and one of the few of entirely Greek creation (as opposed to foreign influences).

Although Apollo’s exploits gave rise to his being known by many different names and titles—Karneios, Hyakinthios, Pythios, Thargelios, Nomios, Delphinios, Ismenios, Hebdomeios, Lykios, Musagetes, etcetera—they all in one way or another derived from his link to the eternal operation of the sun and all that the ancients attributed to it.

In much the same way Apollo’s sister, Artemis, found that the qualities attributed to the moon—bringing fertility to the earth through cool, dew filled nights and casting light into the dark night offering protection to flocks and hunters—had her identified with those traits (fertility, hunting) and called by names and titles linked to those perceived powers of the moon: Agrotora, Kalliste, Diktynna, Britomartis, Eleuthro, Orthia, Limnaia, Potamia, Munychia, Brauronia, Amarynthia, etcetera.

Adonis and Artemis

As a duet, Apollo and Artemis might be best known for a bloody, Bonnie and Clyde-style episode brought on by an affront to their mother (and them) by the daughter of a king who boasted that her own children were “more beautiful” than Leto’s.  Talk about perturbing the wrong folk.  Artemis and Apollo promptly punished the prideful mother (Niobe) by slaying all of her children, Artemis by arrows the daughters, and Adonis by arrows the sons.  In her anguish the mother turned to stone.

On the off chance I’ve written something that a buddy of those Delosian twins might find offensive, please don’t come looking for me.  You’ll want to talk to Alexander S. Murray who wrote Who’s Who in Mythology.  It’s his book that’s responsible for driving this post…so help me gods.