There’s an intriguing new initiative out there in the world of naturist fiction! It’s an anthology volume of short stories, to be titled Murder in the Nudist Colony. Several online colleagues have been involved – I believe the idea for the volume was Paul’s, the call for submissions graphic was created by Ted Bun, the page to share documents was set up by Robert, yours truly volunteered to edit, and it looks like there are a half-dozen or so contributors signed up so far – a strong example of an online community working together! If you’re interested, check out the details on Ted’s graphic below.
The nudist “colony” as a setting for a murder mystery endures from at least the 1930s–with Peter Hunt’s 1934 Murder Among the Nudists–if not earlier. What seems to fascinate is the peculiar juxtaposition of innocence and guilt: the innocence represented by nudity, and the guilt behind such a heinous crime. I know that my local nudist park, for instance, has hosted from time to time those mystery dinner parties where everyone assumes an identity and tries to solve a murder. In any case, this volume in the works looks to be the first multi-author anthology featuring this particular focus.
For my contribution to the collection, I’ll be linking two “colonies”: the fictional nudist “colony” of Noonay Noo, and the seventeenth-century European colonies of the Caribbean. Noonay Noo first appears in “Bugs and Bares,” a mystery that I serialized on nudescribe.com in spring of 2016. The main character, Dr. A, is a retired entomologist who lives at Noonay Noo, a naturist park that she founded with her late husband on the fictional Caribbean island of St. Ethel. In the story “Bugs and Bares,” Dr. A confronts a plague of moths that can eat any type of textile. She is aided by her young friends Nate, who works at a hotel in the island capital of Port Trésor, and Beverly, a chemist who uncovers key evidence.
These characters will return in the new story, which will feature some element (an object? a legend? a locale?) that will tie the present-day world of Dr. A and her friends to the world of my current naturist novel-in-progress, which is set in the 17th-century Caribbean – a sort of nudist pirates novel. The challenge is to get the plot just right, because I need to finish this short story before I can even finish the novel. Everything’s got to tie up nicely! So in addition to the objective of producing a fine, high-quality story that merits inclusion in this anthology, I have the parallel objectives of creating more interest not only for “Bugs and Bares” and perhaps future stories at Noonay Noo, but also for the nudist pirates novel!
In their efforts to solve the murder mystery, what will Dr. A and her partners discover from the colonial Caribbean? A shipwreck? A treasure chest? A scroll with the wax seal still unbroken? Stay tuned!