Brought to you by OBS reviewer Caro
I have to say that I really enjoyed The Humpty Dumpty Tragedy. I don’t think that I have ever read a nursery rhyme turn into a mystery and like it so much! I even shared it with my brother and now he’s wondering about Humpty’s fall, too.
Be sure to read our review for “The Humpty Dumpty Tragedy” here at OBS.
Herschel Cozine: My first Osgood story came about when I thought of Cinderella. Who was she? I decided she was really a con artist and “outed” her in “The Cinderella Caper”. The story was published by Orchard Press Mysteries and received many favorable comments. That inspired me to look into other nursery rhyme and fairy tale mysteries. As of now I have involved Osgood in nine, (not including his investigation of the missing pickled peppers).
Caro: You’ve written short stories with the same theme like The Porridge Incident and The Birds, before, and for this new one you picked a very well known egg 🙂 What made you write about Humpty Dumpty and not another rhyme?
Herschel Cozine: Only a few nursery rhymes and fairy tales lend themselves to mystery. Humpty Dumpty was one of them. I had already written several, and he was next in line. His situation was tailor made for a story such as “The Humpty Dumpty Tragedy” and pretty much wrote itself. I was simply the chronicler.
Caro: Was Nathaniel P. Osgood III, right about his theory of Humpty being some kind of “spy machine”? If he was a machine, then, was the yolk really not yolk? 🙂
Herschel Cozine: Ah, yes. The yolk. That was a problem I wrestled with and solved it by leaving it alone. However, if one should press for an answer, I would say it was lubricant for the bells and whistles that made him work. That’s the beauty of this kind of story. One can do just about anything one wants with the details. And Nurseryland is such a nonsensical place that just about anything goes.
Caro: In your opinion, what might have made Humpty Dumpty fall? Did he fall by his own will or did someone push him?
Herschel Cozine: He wasn’t pushed, nor did he fall by his own will. He simply lost his balance. Considering his shape and lack of mobility, it was surprising he hadn’t fallen a long time ago.
Caro: Nathaniel, in the end of the story, starts writing “Hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle….”. Is that a hint of a new story in the near future?
Herschel Cozine: I have given a lot of thought to Hey Diddle Diddle, but there isn’t a mystery there that I can use for Osgood. However, I haven’t given up on the idea.
Caro: Until know these have all been short stories, but do you see yourself writing a full book based on Nathaniel and the mysteries behind the Nurseryland? What else can we expect from your upcoming works?
Herschel Cozine: I have no plans for a book. There is not enough body to a nursery rhyme to make a full length book out of it. Besides, my attention span is too short. I have been, and always will be, a short story writer.
Caro: If you had the opportunity to go to any part of the world for free on vacation, where would it be and why?
Herschel Cozine: I would love to visit Italy. The history, art, romance and beauty of Italy has always appealed to me.
- Favorite place and hour to write: My den. Favorite time. Usually in the morning, but I write when inspired. Now that I am retired I have the luxury of writing when the muse strikes.
- Favorite author: I have many favorites. Poe, O Henry, Rex Stout, Thomas Hardy, and more contemporary Ed McBain and Lawrence Block. But there are many I can include on the list.
- Favorite movie: Casablanca. (And just about any movie with Jimmy Stewart).
- Favorite Book: To Kill A Mockingbird
- Favorite Color: Blue or green. But no strong preference.
- Favorite food: Steak and baked potato.
- Favorite music: Big band. And to expand on that my favorite female singer is Doris Day. Favorite male singer is Dean Martin. I’m a product of my time.
Thank you to author Herschel Cozine for an amazing interview!