Question: what do the following objects have in common?
• One Green Lantern power ring
• One purple v-neck top
• Two Wild Cards books
• One green-gray round-neck top
• One 28mm model of a Mexican wrestler
• One sensible brown handbag with lots of compartments
• One book of anti-war cartoons
• Some Long Tall Sally clothing vouchers
• One collection of Kevin Smith comics
Could they be…
1. …the personal effects of a bizarre double homicide in the latest episode of Cutting Up Dead Bodies And Finding Out Shit. The victims: an overly-tall middle aged woman with a dull but well-paid job in the City, and a seventeen boy with no girlfriend and a room full of comics in old cereal packets. Sceptical, by-the-book Detective Inspector Malcolm Prostate is convinced it’s nothing more than an unfortunate accident, the sort that could easily happen in an abandoned warehouse at three in the morning. But maverick forensic scientist Dr Janice Flange insists that the tell-tale grainy residue in the bodies’ nostrils shows they were beaten to death in a frenzy by a left-handed Frenchman wielding a packet of Hobnobs wrapped in a pair of tights. Catch the whole story tonight on Living TV (9pm).
2. …somehow connected to a mysterious caravan that moves back and forth through time. Each object possesses a unique ability which may be activated by whoever holds it. For example, the purple top can render the wearer invisible to dogs and teenagers; the cartoon book enables you to instantly teleport to any location that begins with the letter L; the wrestler model conveys the ability to see the Elvis in the hearts of men. Can you assemble the objects and discover The Secret Of Caravan 13? Out now on PS3, Wii and Xbox 360.
3. …the contents of a luggage locker at King’s Cross station, the key to which was slipped to bland paleocryptologist Tom Hampton by his old Cambridge professor, as he was dying of a fatal stab wound, said injury delivered by a mute Ghurkha assassin armed with a sharpened human sternum. Can Hampton work out the secret code concealed within these mundane objects? What is the significance of the brown handbag anagram Bob Gnawn Hard? And just how does this all tie in to the secret bloodline of King Arthur? Read ‘The Pendragon Cypher’ by Don Brawn, out now.
Answer: none of the above - they’re my birthday presents this year. A refreshingly eclectic mix, I think you’ll agree. Or possibly ample evidence that I’m a terribly confused individual with overly indulgent friends and family. Please don’t answer that.
Right, I’m off to choose a compartment in the handbag for my Green Lantern ring.