A Wrinkle in Crime by Caroline Spencer
In the year 2491, Bumwold owns the only licensed time machine which makes it pretty easy to frame other people for his crimes. Ejected six hundred years into her past, Ranger Giles is condemned to live out her days in Time Lockup 221-B-1887, with only a platinum class death-level security guard-bot for company. Then she discovers there’s a glitch in Bumwold’s system: Doctor Watson is already living there. At first, Watson objects to the arrival of a strange young woman in his neat, ordered world until he meets the guard-bot, whose malfunctioning torture programme jolts him out of bachelorhood.
While her guard-bot and Watson are otherwise occupied, Ranger stumbles across a case that has stumped Scotland Yard. Using her encyclopaedic knowledge of Detective Gallactica (Star Trek for the twenty-fifth century), she figures out the solution. With the reward money, she buys materials to build a new time machine and escape.
But when Bumwold learns that the Time Lockup isn’t secure, he must stop Ranger from proving she was framed. Desperate to escape before Bumwold’s Time Wards find her, Ranger poses as Sherlock Holmes and takes on crime in the city; alludes the envious Detective Gregson; evades Detective Lestrade’s advances on her alter-ego; and hopes that Watson’s affair with her guard-bot doesn’t turn him into charcoal. As London fills with subjects from across the Empire, who’ve come to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, can Ranger finish off the time machine before Bumwold can finish her off, permanently?
Arielle & David: Again, a really cool title. Wonderful play on one of the greatest and most popular books in recent memory: A Wrinkle in Time. We love the specificity of this pitch. Time Lockup 221-B-1887. Lots of cleverness: Detective Galactica (Star Trek for the 25th century). And we love how you combine the time travel idea with Dr. Watson and Sherlock Holmes, Scotland Yard and Detective Lestrade, even the Golden Jubilee. And you really create a wonderful climax of this pitch, which is very hard to do. Again, after reading this pitch I believe you can write a really good book, and that’s as important as anything when you’re trying to convince a reader, an agent or an editor to take a chance on you. What can be improved? Comparable titles, comparable titles, comparable titles. We feel like a broken record, but it’s just so important as a shorthand for readers, agents and editors. It’s not exactly clear what Ranger Giles wants desperately in life that she doesn’t have as well as what is the character flaw that is stopping her from getting what she desperately wants in life. And it’s not clear that the guard-bot is someone that you could hook up with until the very end. I thought the guard-bot was some tiny little robot thing, not a very attractive sexy female robot.