The Pen Is Mightier Than The Nerd (2011) by Nev Fountain

I previewed this a while ago here – also the best place to check out the multitude of Mervyn Stone links – but if you missed it, over the course of April, Nev Fountain, the, ahem, biographer of Mervyn Stone gave us access to Meryvn’s twitter feed, @meryvnstone, [WARNING: If you go direct to the feed, as the posts are shown in reverse chronological order, you will see the name of the murderer!] as Mervyn became embroiled in another string of mysterious murders. So, did it work?

I’ll put my hand up and confess that I’m not an ardent twitterer – my blog gets posted there and I currently have a grand total of four followers, namely Mrs Puzzledoctor, Mrs Peabody, Mervyn himself and something I don’t know about called Whispering Stone, and I don’t have the technical nouse to work my twitter feed effectively – for example whenever I missed some posts, they appeared on my phone in reverse order, which meant occasionally I had to read them in reverse, being careful to avoid spoilers. The idea was excellent, and I’m sure expert/obsessive twitterers didn’t have my troubles, but help was at hand.

A very nice person at the Big Finish Message Board, known, to me at least, only as mass, has posted the tweets in order, which has enabled me to read the story properly. You can have a look too – you’ll have to register at Big Finish, but that’s free – check out their Sherlock Holmes audios while you’re there, as they’re very good. Now that I’ve read the story, I can say that it’s a lot of fun. Fountain makes full use of the twitter idea – to make it clear, it’s not simply a story told via tweets, but presented as if Mervyn is tweeting as the events progress. The story starts with Mervyn waking up next to a sci-fi shop owner’s body who has a laminated autograph embedded in his face. Things get progressively stranger from there. There’s a lovely part where the SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER– the most sensible reason I’ve ever seen for those asides in serial killer books where you find yourself in the nutter’s point of view for a bit.

Anyway, I recommend you check it out – it is free, after all – if you are technologically minded, the feed started on 1st April 2011.

Oh, and if you enjoyed it, the first three novels are now out in paperback – buy them here and read the reviews here, here and here.


  1. I have now go the three novels and look forward to reading them once I get past the letter Z …I must admit, I have yet to really get the hang of tweeting so thanks also for pointing to the post with the tweets in the right order!


  2. Glad you liked my “omnibus” edition, as it were.

    Great review of a great story, but it was so much fun to follow along.

    Im writing my own mystery on twitter starting today in fact, over at @CliveRochdale. If you want to know any more about it, just drop me a line.


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