Susan Grossey

Time to name “Plank 5”

It’s a different time of year to usual (winter rather than summer), but don’t think for one moment that this excuses you from your duty: choosing the title of the latest Sam Plank novel, heretofore known as “Plank 5”.  Just to remind you, the four predecessors in the series are called “Fatal Forgery”, “The Man in the Canary Waistcoat”, “Worm in the Blossom” and “Portraits of Pretence”.  Of course, no-one can be expected to choose a title without knowing a little about the book, so here we go:

“Plank 5” is set in the autumn/winter of 1828.  Constable Sam Plank becomes curious about religious meetings led by a charismatic preacher at which ‘heralds’ claim that they can communicate with the deceased and pass on messages from them to their mourning relatives.  [This practice gained enormous currency in the Victorian period, with spiritualism and mediums gathering huge followings, but the idea has been there since the beginning of time.]  Some of the messages suggest that the subjects should donate quite a bit of money to the preacher’s cause – and when a man’s wife refuses to allow him to do this, the herald suggests a rather extreme solution, and this is how Sam becomes involved.  Others who attend the meetings because they have lost beloved children are told that, for a fee, replacement babies could be found.  And yet everything suggests that the preacher himself is an honest and godly man, who truly believes that you can communicate from beyond the grave.  Sam’s baffled scepticism is matched only by Martha’s heartbreaking desire to believe and Wilson’s stolid determination to make sense of it all.

As ever, I have thought of five possible titles and will leave the final choice to you.  The poll will run from today for three weeks – i.e. until Friday 9 February 2018 – and then I have to give the title to the cover magicians.  So here we go, the five contenders…

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  1. Graham Avatar

    Dear Susan

    Duty duly done!

    Nice to see that there had already been lots of votes cast by the time I took my turn. Not so nice to see that my preference is languishing in joint last place at the moment.

    Looking forward to seeing the winning option announced in February.

    Best wishes


    1. ihatemoneylaundering Avatar

      If it’s any comfort, Graham, my personal favourite is losing out as well! But if we have learned anything from Trump, it is that the electorate is unpredictable… Many thanks for voting.
      Best wishes from Susan

  2. Sorting out Sam’s diary | Susan Grossey

    […] I am still referring to “Plank 5”: don’t forget that my title poll is now open, and you can cast your vote here for the title that you like […]

  3. Victoria Blake Avatar
    Victoria Blake

    Mine is also languishing in joint last! But I’ll be really interested to know the result.

    1. ihatemoneylaundering Avatar

      I allow myself to check once a day, otherwise I’d be doing it constantly…!

  4. Let the nail-biting begin… | Susan Grossey

    […] By the way, I’m now feeling the terrible lack of a title, so please do head on over to my earlier post and cast your vote. […]

  5. Jo and Jaffa Avatar
    Jo and Jaffa

    Oh..chewing fingernails in nervous anticipation, I haven’t done this before, but urged on by the cat of glory, aka Jaffa, I have endeavoured to cast my vote and am pleased that our choice is currently in the top spot.
    Regardless of title Jaffa and I are looking forward to meeting up with Plank in 5.
    All good wishes x

    1. ihatemoneylaundering Avatar

      Thank you so much for your vote, Jo and Jaffa – if anyone knows a suitable Plankish title, it’s you two! Trying not to dwell too much on what the beta reader is thinking… x

  6. Name that book! | Susan Grossey

    […] a quick reminder that today is your last chance to have a say on the title of “Plank 5”.  I will be closing the poll at the end of the day, and then sending the chosen title to the […]

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