(Fredericton, April 7, 2007) After completing his fourth novel, Murder by Burger, over the Easter weekend, author Biff Mitchell has started a blog for his surreal mystery story set in a city permanently under a cloud of fog because of global warming.
“I wanted a setting that would reflect the detachment of the characters and their world from the rest of the world,” said Mitchell. “In Murder by Burger, worship of the almighty dollar is taken to the extreme by turning the headquarters building of the world’s largest corporation – Barto Burger – into the world’s biggest cathedral and having its employees dress in monk’s robes.”
Barto Burger has created the ultimate consumer product – the cloned hamburger. And it’s not just a hamburger made of cloned beef and vegetables; it’s a single piece of food that’s cloned in its entirety from the world’s most perfect burger. Bite the bun, you taste the whole burger; bite the meat, you taste the whole burger.
“We’re already cloning cattle and vegetables,” said Mitchell. “This is just the next step … cloning the entire end product and doing away with all the expenses of growing plants and raising cattle.”
But something goes wrong. The president of the company Gansheng Barto is found slumped up against the wall in his austere quarters after eating himself to death with cloned burgers. Another man is found dead in a medieval washroom after eating himself to death on toothpicks. Boston Jonson, Consultative Investigator, is brought in to make a referral. Does it go to the police, or does it go to a shaman? All hell breaks loose when Boston uncovers an insidious plot.
“It’s a murder mystery,” said Mitchell. “But it’s also a spoof on corporations and frivolous use of science.”
Mitchell started Murder by Burger in 2004 but took a two-year leave from it to work on short fiction and marketing for his other books. “I was about sixty pages into it,” said Mitchell, “when everything just seemed to stop, so I started working on short fiction and a marketing book for writers. I also spent more time marketing my previous novels and getting my name ‘out there’.”
“I started back on Murder by Burger shortly after Christmas,” said Mitchell. “Now, I’m just a few pages away from finishing the first draft. It’s gone in some different directions than I’d originally planned, but that seems to happen in all of my novels.”
This April, Mitchell started a blog devoted entirely to Murder by Burger. “I still have a lot of work to do on the novel,” said Mitchell. “Revision is where the real writing starts, but I can still begin promoting the book through the blog.”
“Murder by Burger has a tremendous amount of back story,” said Mitchell. “I ran an auction on eBay to find a character to murder in the story. Some people thought I was crazy. Who knows? Maybe they were right, but the auction got me radio interviews across the US and coverage in a number of newspapers. Too bad I didn’t have a novel ready to go at the time. People were asking for it in bookstores.”
You can read the blog at http://murderbyburger.blogspot.com.
About Biff Mitchell
Biff Mitchell is the author Heavy Load (a laundromance), The War Bug, a cyberpunk satire set on the Internet 200 years in the future, Team Player, a satire on the IT industry, Surfing in Catal Hyuk, a collection of short stories, and eMarketing Tools for Writers, 2nd Edition. He has two novellas, Smoke Break and The Baton available through Echelon Press. Mitchell also has stories appearing in the Twisted Tails anthologies available through Double Dragon. Mitchell will be teaching a course on mystery and suspense writing at the Maritime Writers Workshop at the University of New Brunswick in July, 2007. For more information about Biff Mitchell and his writing, visit http://www.biffmitchell.com.