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Who Killed Nessie?
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Who Killed Nessie?

by Paul Cornell & Rachael Smith

Lindsay Grockle, a sceptical, rational young woman, agreed to be the manager of an isolated hotel in the Great Lakes to get over a terrible break-up that left her with zero self-confidence.  Her partner was romantic, whimsical, a believer.  And she kept telling him there were no such things as fairies.  She arrives to find the former manager on his way out of the door, as if he’d been freed from a terrible burden.  The rest of the staff have all elected to go on leave this weekend.  Because this weekend is… the convention.

Lindsay doesn’t know what that is, but is pleasantly surprised when some charming, but eccentric patrons arrive, patrons who want to hide their faces or shelter under huge coats or all walk together in single file, as if they’re one long creature pretending to be several people.  And there’s a just slightly too big cat that’s started to hang around.  And the lake outside seems to have suddenly become both deserted of wildlife and weirdly choppy.

But still, Lindsay goes to bed in the hotel that night sure that her weird guests are having the best time she can provide.

She’s woken in the early hours by the cat, who tells her she has to come quickly.  There’s been a murder.

Lindsay can’t quite decide which part of that to deal with first, the murder or the talking cat, but she’s quickly hustled to the ballroom, where, on the floor, lies the enormous corpse of… the Loch Ness Monster.

And around Nessie are gathered the convention attendees, now revealed as who they really are: legendary creatures from all over the world.  There’s Bigfoot and the Jersey Devil and a Unicorn and a Succubus and a minibus-load of Yokai from Japan… and outside in the lake there’s the Kraken and many more water-based monsters.  And the cat is actually the Beast of Bodmin.  Or Bob for short.  And oh dear there really are Fairies.

Every year, Lindsay is told, the cryptids gather here for their annual convention.  But never has there been a murder.  Suddenly, they can’t trust each other.  They’ve locked the doors and prevented all external communication.  The only person they can agree on to solve this mystery is Lindsay.

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