On October 11th, The Golden Notebook bookstore in Woodstock launched Carey Harrison’s new novel, published by Dr. Cicero Books. Dog’s Mercury is a comic tale, set in the English countryside, featuring a history teacher who has fled his comfortable life and family to patrol the rural roads as a hobo. Obsessed with plants and with number, he has a chosen a role he thinks of as that of ‘God’s accountant,’ keeping count of wild plants and wayside weeds. A kindly nun allows him to hibernate during the winter in the basement laundry room of a monastery, and in the spring he takes to the roads again, accompanied by his pet snail, Nebuchadnezzar, in his tobacco tin. One night, sleeping rough in the woods beside a cliff over the North Sea, the hobo witnesses a murder. The murderer sees him. Their lives become entangled, and the hobo’s life is altered for ever.
Dog’s Mercury is the third to be published in a sequence of seven novels, connected only by theme and loosely known as the Justice Septet, and this particular book also belongs to a story, the tale of the hobo and the murderer, that the author has told in several different genres: as a stage play (Hedgerow’s Specimen, produced in 2012 by the Woodstock Players), and as a radio play.