Up to Snuff #45: Crime Fiction or the Detective Novel and Theory of Probability, How Mathematics May have been a Catalyst

Up to Snuff #45:  Crime Fiction or the Detective Novel and Theory of Probability, How Mathematics May Have Been a Catalyst

By Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

Perhaps it was the inclusion of local events that made detective novels popular to the masses.  In “Crime Fiction’s” Chapter 3 it says, “Juxtaposing fragmented selections of events from the contemporary world (became) a form of amusement for the mass public.”  (Priestman, Crime Fiction, page 41)  It may have also been the inclusion of social phenomenon outside the norm like “Experiences of a Lady Detective” in fields where women were just beginning to enter after World War I which may have been radical and was cited as written anonymously.  It was also likely very exciting the inclusion of contemporary science and technology in Arthur B. Reeves or in L.T. Meade’s “Stories from the Diary of a Doctor,” or perhaps naturalist works which were found in Arnold Bennett, HG Wells and Arthur Morrison’s “A Child of the Jago.”   What often occurred in detective novels was a pulling of events from newspapers which could create a stir when literary parallels current events.  The use of the detective short story in magazines likely also contributed to its mass popularity.

Feeding on the media and current events can be interesting.  How current events or items in the news get reinvented. In the art world especially, African Art, alot gets pulled from the media to work on when researching the human condition.  When you pull from the news in art you can get historical works.  The chronology at the front of, “The Cambridge Companion to Crime Fiction,” was really great in tying in world events with literary events that sprouted soon after.  The bibliographies, bios, and chronology are really fantastic to peruse and spend a great deal of time on them-it was nice to see “these elements” and utilize them to better one’s own writing and research.

In “Murder of the Rue Morgue” by Edgar Allan Poe, early imagery about games leads one to think about the “eliminations” as in chess and within investigations or what was described later as the “Theory of Probabilities.” Poe wrote that, “Coincidences, in general, are great stumbling blocks in the way of the class of thinkers, who have been educated to know nothing of the Theory of Probabilities-that theory to which the most glorious objects of human research are indebted for the most glorious of illustration.” (Poe, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, page 25) Theory of Probabilities may have been the actual foundation for detective, mystery and crime based fiction as well as many “games” (Chess etc.) that were emerging, that may have been based on the pioneering “Murders of the Rue Morgue” publication in 1841, one of the first, or vice a versa. Writers may have become enchanted with deduction as a means of exaltation. There may have been subtle clues like the use of what appeared to be a vintage spelling of clue, “clew,” that was claw-like.  There was also the name “Moreau” that suggested, “more water” which could have led one to a sailor or having a water relation.  Perhaps the sailor was an “assailant” and clearly evident was an adjacent assailant with a claw. The actual use of the word assailant, later on, may have paid homage to Poe, as a pioneer or perhaps the initiator of this genre.  The use of mockery by an ourang-outang of the sailor with a razor was interesting and perhaps Darwinian.  The choice of the passive killer was interesting as well as the birth imagery via the “thrusting up a chimney head downward.” The language around the “united vigor of several persons” was beautiful. (Poe, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, Pg. 25)   In Poe’s Murder of the Rue Morgue, there were undertones that could impact foreign affairs; there was almost a theory of man, his birth, his war and his evolution.

Perhaps it was, in fact, the unity in scholarship that paralleled mathematics to mystery when using the deductive processes like for example an algebraic equation and “solve for x.” Many early writers were in fact scholars and mathematics was in its prime.  Areas in mathematics that could relate to the advent of detective novels were finite math, probability and statistics, and algebra.  Detective novels were likely also made popular by the male macho, that enjoys exaltation and may find pleasure in the suspense or the chase.

Priestman, Martin, The Cambridge Companion to Crime Fiction, Cambridge University Press, 2004

Poe, Edgar Allan, “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” Classic Crime Stories, Edited by James Daley, Dover Publications, 2007, Pg. 1-34

Invisible President: Stop Birthing Babies Until There is Value to Man, a Prior Letter to an Editor

“Stop Birthing Babies

Until There is Value to Man”


Dear Editor,

In response to your article in Tuesday February 18ths, 2016  paper, “City’s Homeless Struggle to Cope with Cold,” this reader feels citizens should stop birthing babies until there is value to man.  Washtenaw County needs to place a greater value on its citizens above tents in the winter and beyond shelters as a solution.  I propose the government work on “valuation” of its citizens and provide as a birthright a “Basic Human Package” that includes a financial account and other items such as a dictionary at birth.

There is a need to put into place steps before this kind of dissolution when the people start to spill out into the streets.  The citizens should really start to realize that action is needed even for one person sleeping outdoors but in this county it has become the norm.  When the leaders do not call a state of emergency when their citizens do not have housing or even food sometimes it’s time to impeach.  One answer, which may be one of the only answers, is to value man and offer each citizen a constant prosperity.  Without a base income all citizens are in danger.  Illness is precarious, jobs are precarious, housing is precarious but a “Basic Human Account” should be a constant fixture that stabilizes mankind.

This citizen wishes to responsibly address the media to find the steps before and after.  What needs to be done to execute a base income, perhaps the first of man’s prosperous condition?  This citizen would like to chart from this moment to the moment a Basic Human Package could exist.  I called the Governor one time and emailed his website a day I had no food and was between jobs and got no response.  Washtenaw County and Michigan may be slim on emergency prevention and response, care of citizens and valuation is low.  I called the mayor of Ypsilanti to find out if he had any provision for citizens who may not have food and he gave me the number to our prior Congressman, who never responded.

It is as if Michigan has no real scaffolding of a Social System.  Even the Mayor might redirect your call and the Gov. may not pick up.  I have listened previously to Presidential campaigns and never heard Social System mentioned.  I think it was Eisenhower that feared the streets filling up with homeless and built housing projects and created Social Security and DHS. Is this really what the citizens of Michigan want as their Social System?

The current charitable organizations may be to arbitrarily assisting people and this system however beneficial may not be the real solution.  I plan to run for office maybe 20 years from now but I’ll start right now campaigning for a “Basic Human Package,” that I think would end homeless, increase intelligence, make us more beautiful, healthy and peaceful.

Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

Letter to The Editor



Work Up-Is God a Designer?

Work Up  Is God a Designer?  

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

God Design

New Species Design

The Art of Species, Chain of Beauty

Maplication of God

Maplication Subtitles

Creativity Religion

Original Creativity Outline

Briefs Structure

Creativity Theory

Original Tastes

Here’s Lettuce

And The Bird Is Made By Us

Sole Print Outline

Spiritual Time

Prosperous Zero

Self Realization


Paradise Cities

Intensely Beautiful

Beauty Theory

A Fashion Show



A Bird Flew Spastic Indoors

A bird flew spastic indoors

Banging into walls

She left the front door open

And sensing the cold outside

The bird flew out

The insanity of a bird inside,

The contrary of a bird with boundaries


The end of January

More chilling their racism and piquant their hatred

Their jealousy that manifested into phone calls,

And subsequent delirium for infestations in apartment complexes

Their calls to vengeance and legacy born into vermin eulogies, if any


The fair lady, a detector

God or The Devil?

Or her love, dynamic and protective

And young and without better ideas, yet


On a Libran scale his greed

Greed goes up and something else goes down

He lined up all his beauty queens in the desert

We try to heal all Mr. Lover Boys wounds

Selvage the stud, the god, and mankind


She said to the persons at the Office of Pain and Suffering

To try to understand everything

To reach a point of understanding

So you have healing and a path to wisdom

The moment to moment knowledge

The lessons and the leaders

and the enlightenment that leads back to love

Untie and re-tie the experiences

Give yourself something positive to come back to


This muscle man

Has trailed gasoline

However, this muscle man belongs to us


And the birth ready wombs

Pray for these men

That brings it home


Place him on the planet of Quarantino

Raise the flag of your brother

Raise the flag of your sister

There with others who chose suicide

Never to return to their suffering

We took a population count on TV

And many returned home to be counted

When her hair started to touch her shoulders

Near the beginnings of the DM Bazaar

When they pulled magically from beads, fine furnishings

The hiding of rare beads and the roll out of stories and love affairs

When they desired the magic of that in between conceptual realm

It was as if magic were that match up, of conceptual thinking with technology

Is that magic she asked? What is magic? She asked of her madness what is magic?


The flies must have a nest or birth place near here. I opened the front door and four flew in. I noticed two flying together in unison and then two appeared to be kissing and one crawled on top. One fly was upside down in back of the toilet, one on the ceiling looking down. One fly tangled itself in my uncombed hair. Then after a few days they starting dying all over the house. One fly I found dead on the bathroom floor, another fly died in the soap dish, still another appeared as if sleeping in front of the sewing machine.

Ypsilanti Michigan Plea to Our New Mayor Amanda Edmonds

Saturday 10/17/2015, I sat down to write the Mayor of Ypsilanti, Amanda Edmonds, about my walks around Ypsilanti that rendered the vision of a hill for sledding in the park. Wouldn’t it be grand, the whole place would transform into a winter wonderland. I requested a hill. Perhaps, I thought a cocoa stand and ice skating alongside the hill in Riverside Park. Children would go in search of those coveted saucer sleds and Eastern Michigan University would borrow trays from the cafeteria. Wouldn’t it be grand?

A few years ago, I was riding the local bus and noticed all the trees were spotted. First one, then two, then most of the trees were all spotty and I heard acid rain was falling on Washtenaw County. It was traumatizing, I thought all the local trees were diseased. It’s been two years now and the leaves have come and gone and are going again in a fall blaze. I don’t know if whatever plagued the cities trees at the time-insects or acid rain or disease has been attended to? One man told me that trees can even fall down when they become ill, even on top of a house.  It is as if science could produce “Tree Doctors” that regularly cater to trees diverse problems.

It also occurred to me that “I can no longer sit on the grass.” I was helping a friend with some landscaping and I left with so many scars on my arms and saw within the grass what looked like a blanket of insects. I wondered if the scars would endure or if Vitamin E or a skin graph would be needed to remove the marks on my arms.  A year later the scars have faded and gone with regular treatments using Vitamin E, Calamine lotion and Cortisone Creams.  I was unable to identify the culprits or predators.  It may be dangerous to sit on the grass without covering.  Perhaps now years down the road of a booming study in Evolutionary Biology we are left with many, many species of insects which are difficult to identify.  I wonder if we need to exterminate the city?  A technological method could be employed to control numbers or large populations and make land safe.  What is the impact of insects on a city or architecture?  Every time I find insects inside of my house I wonder how they arrived?  If through a hole in the structure or waiting by the front door. Are they breeding? Do they have a nest?  What if we were to make a website for the entire city or even world to input data about what insects they find on their land and in their house and evidence about their arrival.  There are Harvard Scientists associated to the rise in insect populations that design, birth and breed large populations of insects such as E.O. Wilson. I was always a long time fan of eco-systems and nature but it did concern me one day I was in the country side that insects were far more plentiful than I realized.  I even heard that you cannot leave land empty or vacant that insects will take territory and multiply. I saw even today, my neighbor with a broom stick hitting a nest of insects off the side of his house.  The other day I opened the door to my house and four flies flew in.  It was strange I wondered if they were chipped or programmed, I saw two flies flying together in unison.

If you want to find out about what is included in Michigan’s tree population, check the Herbarium’s website at the University of Michigan for books for sale.  http://herbarium.lsa.umich.edu/herb/publications/default.asp

Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

Excerpt from “Magic 8 and The Bone Marrow Sucker”

The animals said
Small bird
Big bird
Green bird
Purple bird
Pink bird
She bird
He bird
No bird
Every bird
Any bird
All bird
Animal bird

And that other bird said
Knowledge bird
Teacher bird
Draw bird
Print bird
Poetry bird
Singing bird
Science bird
Organism bird
Locura bird
Pranayama yoga bird
Love bird, Love bird (2)
Big bird
Flying bird
Love bird, love bird (2)