"If Lord Ashton's murder were a disease, Abbeline would have all of the symptoms..." --Smythe on Daniel Abbeline
In "The Continentals: That Shape am I" the city of Mansfordshire is gripped in fear after a series of grisly mangling murders in the lower class Eastend, unaffectionately known as "The Narrows" because the people there are said to live between the cracks of polite society. The murder of common folks is one thing, the murder of a posh high society aristocrat and university professor like lord Percevil Ashton is some thing else entirely.
That one murder in the series of murders is the real mystery. And the one common thread between the escaped convict thought to be the Mangler, the murders committed by him in the Narrows, and the murder of Lord Ashton is Daniel Abbeline, student doctor of medical sciences at the Mansfordshire university. But even as Smythe and Fiona investigate the case, following a clear bread crumb trail of clues seemingly connecting all the dots pointing to a single suspect, does the equation really add up to murder? Or are all of the interconnecting threads of the tangled web that make up the tapestry of mystery surrounding the Mangler murders that stretches from posh high society to the very dregs of society knotted even more tightly then they appear? Smythe and Fiona are determined to find out.
Getting the look of Daniel Abbeline right was very important to Monique for plot reasons that I can't divulge. In the story, Abbeline isn't a particularly likeable guy. In fact "a real prick" is how I think I described him to Monique in an email. Abbeline is a smug, arrogant young genius on the verge of the discovery of a lifetime. And his standoffish, above it all attitude doesn't endear him to anyone. Especially Smythe and Fiona.
Monique's first attempt at designing Abbeline came before she'd even read any part of the script. Her first attempt came from the character profiles I'd written of the main characters (Smythe, Fiona, etc), so her first try at Abbeline had him looking rather meek and mild mannered. Not the Abbeline I'd written in the story at all. With an intermediate sketch that tweaked her first attempt a great deal, Monique finally sent me a rendering of our Abbeline. From the expression on his face, to his very severe haircut, Monique had nailed the Abbeline I'd written. I can remember emailing her back after looking at the picture and saying, "Now this guy looks like a real prick". LOL!
Next week the knot that binds the tangled web of intrigue surrounding the Mansfordshire murders, the man himself Donny aka The Mangler.