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“these characters convey a message” [DANC] 

It isn't every day that one has an opportunity to chat with someone who owns an intimate piece of clothing that belonged to "a certain gracious lady." Barbara Rusch, BSI ("The Mazarin Stone") is a collector of Victoriana and ephemera, and more importantly is the author of the play "The Crossing: or Three Authors in Search of a Character."

In a barren antechamber three titans meet unexpectedly. Oscar Wilde, Edgar Allan Poe, and Harry Houdini are not pleased to be spending the afterlife in each other's company, and a clash of egos is the result. A mystery interloper only seems to add fuel to the fire. Ultimately, the connection is revealed: they all have unresolved issues with Arthur Conan Doyle, and their mission at last becomes clear. The resolution is only achieved with the assistance of a surprising yet familiar figure.

Barbara takes us on this fascinating journey to the afterlife and talks about her inspirations along the way.

We also have another installment of "As We Go to Press" with Mattias Boström, co-editor of the Sherlock Holmes and Conan Doyle in the Newspapers series. Try your hand at the latest Canonical Couplet quiz, see if you can figure out the story we're referring to, and you might win a prize.

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