Curse Of The Hideous Teapot
An Adella Barlow and Detective Clifford Mystery (NaNoWriMo Synopsis)
Adella Barlow works for her Uncle, a local Antiquarian, called Mr. Porter Hoddle. He is the owner of P. Hoddle’s Antiques Emporium, which has earned its reputation for the unique items that seem to find their way into the shop under questionable circumstances. The latest acquisition being an ancient and unusual tea making vessel, which is not pretty in any sort of way. Dull grey in colour, its bulbous body is entwined in tentacle-like appendages with a top that could only be the eye of a cyclops, if one imagined hard enough. More information is needed about this strange item and Porter sends his niece, Adella, on an errand with regards to the strange object. She finds out more than she has bargained for and upon her return to the shop, she discovers her Uncle dead and the tea making vessel vanished.
Adella meets Detective Alfred Clifford, a former colleague of her Father’s from the local Constabulary. She encounters him at the Antiques Emporium, as he is investigating the death of her Uncle. Detective Clifford is an “oafish” gentleman, who has an exceedingly bad temper and, yet, tends to be more than overprotective of Adella, due to his feeling obligated to look out for her, although she doesn’t understand why. They discover that someone has been using the stolen vessel to make tea in the various tea rooms around Edwardian Toronto and dooming the ordinary tea drinkers into becoming zombie-like tea consuming minions. This change happens within 42 hours of the very first sip.
Detective Clifford’s over overzealousness causes him and Adella to unwillingly submit themselves to the curse by coming into contact with the accursed teapot and experiencing a powerful shared vision. Both he and Adella now need to find a way to reverse the curse. Could the answer lie in the mysterious hooded tea lady, who has been seen at the tea rooms and who has been dodging them at every turn?
Adella and Detective Clifford discover that the hideous cursed teapot is the hallowed item that is needed to re-awaken the creature, C’hamomile, one of the ancient tea swilling gods, still among these civilized Edwardian mortals. It is he who has been staunchly protected beneath a small derelict tea shop by one known as “The Old Woman”. She does not to suffer fools gladly and wields a mean broom defensively when required. C’hamomile is in an neonate state and therefore requires her protection from those who would use him for their nefarious purposes.
Adella and Detective Clifford soon learn that they are not the only ones to have gleaned this crucial information. It is a race of time between them and the “hooded tea lady” to find C’hamomile’s lair. Not as if there isn’t enough for them to do already, with having to solve a murder or two, reverse an ancient curse and keeping a gaggle of tea drinking minions at bay. If and when the creature, C’hamomile, awakens, could this mean the end of civilized tea drinking Toronto as we know it?