Benson Hedges, Private Eye! in: The Case of the Soccer Punch

It was a hazy L.A. morning, the kind of day when the city slept under a blanket of smog and broken dreams. I hadn’t seen the sun in so long, my quills were pale.

I was on my second pack of Luckies when the call came. It concerned Vivien Brooke-Troute, star soccer player for the Keosaqua Kicks. His legs were insured for a cool million, but now those legs were missing, along with the rest of him. Before you could say “bend it like baked ham,” I was on the next plane to Iowa.

Brooke-Troute had been imported all the way from England, and he was last seen enjoying afternoon tea with a mysterious brunette. The table was set for two, but somebody didn’t have time to finish his biscuit.

I went to the soccer field and looked for clues. The place was deserted, except for a lone soccer ball — and judging by the smell, it had been freshly kicked.

The lead pipe stung the back of my head like a nearsighted dentist had put me in the chair face down and started drilling. When I came to, I was at the wharf wearing cement galoshes. “Since you’re so keen on findin’ dis guy, shamus,” said a voice, “we’ll take you ta’ meet ‘im — at da bottom o’ da river!

Is this the end for Benson Hedges? Tune in for the next episode whenever we get more pictures and I feel like writing it!

Christine L. checks in: “In January you featured my hedgie, Barnaby, typing at his little desk. I thought you might like to know that Barnaby now has his own Instagram account! You can follow him at @barnabyhedgehog. Here are a few of my favorite pics.”



  1. Priceless. LOL.

  2. Really, NOMTOM!! A load of unrelated photos and you make that storyline out of them!! Is it time to beg for your hand (your writing one, natch) in marriage again?

    PS glad to see the reference to “Bend it like Beckham” (I assume), great film and to know you’re obviously enjoying “Sherlock”

  3. Simply cannot wait for the next installment.

  4. I’m on the edge of my seat. NTMTOM left us with a (flower) potboiler!

  5. Smartypants says:

    You had me at “Benson Hedges” – immediately I said “that must be NTMTOM”!

    Wonderful hedgie and props, wonderful text.

  6. [elbowing bookmonstercats out of the way to be first in line for NOMTOM’s marriage proposal line]

  7. no no no mememememememe

  8. I trust you didn’t pull Keosauqua out a hat, NTMTOM… any connection to my old stomping grounds?

  9. Yep, had a relative who lived there years ago, and the name always stuck in my mind.

  10. NTMTOM: This is like discovering that Beatrix Potter wrote a detective story! Thank you–and Christine L–for a wonderful nugget of delight.

  11. Benson Hedges you say?

  12. gail pierson (bunny) says:

    I’m on the ‘hedge’ of my seat! 🙂 Simply delightful read! Hearkens back to James Cain and Raymond Chandler.

  13. Mary (the first) says:

    There’s been a line for years and it’s around the block already. You, ceejoe and dgerish all need to go to the back of the line!!

  14. Mary (the first) says:

    I’d watch Benson Hedges (aka Barnaby) over that smartypants Benedict Cumberbatch any day.

  15. Mary (the first) says:

    Mod lounge? Really? Well then, is there any coffeecake? I’m still on my first cup of coffee and could use a snack.

  16. *encourages fight between ceejoe and dgerish and takes opportunity to get in line ahead of them both*

  17. OMGEE, that totally explains the red wedding!

  18. Hmmmm!! Thinking about that one….. 😉

  19. As soon as I read “bend it like baked ham” my eyes shot to the by-line, knowing is was NTMTOM. Classic.

  20. It’s Benedict’s last name. The auto-mod doesn’t like the first three letters…

  21. *pompoms* YAY MIKE YAY Benson Hedges!!!

  22. Where’s the dingdangity book already?!?!?!?


    Nobly refraining from commenting….