The Ghosts and Gowns series has largely sprung out of many years living and working in Oxford. Life here is a constantly-changing whirl of one strange moment after another, although of course we wouldn’t have it any other way! This is a city where it is acceptable to lob coins at small children, chase invisible ducks and spend May Day Morning chatting to a dancing tree. Dead serious.
So some friends and I were having lunch and asked ourselves – what would it take to phase the people who work for Oxford University, its departments and colleges? The result was the idea that even working with a ghost would soon become a normal part of Oxford life!
Well, for a given value of normal…
Chapter 1: Life is Compulsory, Death is Optional – Professor Richards, Master of Devon College, knew he was dead when he woke up and found Death sitting by his bedside.
Chapter 2: Reactions – Reactions to the news that Professor Richards would not be allowing mere death to interfere with him living a full life were… mixed.
Chapter 3: The Joys and Hardships of Life After Death – Professor Richards, Master of Devon College despite having ceased to breathe some three days ago, had found that there were several benefits for life after death.
Chapter 4: A Crisis of Faith – Everyone expected the Chaplain to be the greatest issue about Professor Richards’ refusal to accept Death as a good excuse to stop working. They were correct in this belief, but not perhaps in the form events happened to take effect.
Chapter 5: The Problem with Ghosts… – Nobody wanted to admit it for the longest time, not even to themselves. Nobody wanted to speak of the problem, for of course once you have given a worry words, you give it a shape to see it by. But in the end, there it was; somebody had to admit it – the Master may have gotten out of hand.
Chapter 6: The Hero of the Hour – Part 1 – Something’s afoot in Devon College and it’s up to Professor Richards to save the day!
Chapter 6: The Hero of the Hour – Part 2 – It’s the morning after the excitement of the night before. How do you explain that your resident ghost now fights crime?
Chapter 7: The Ghost in the Machine – There’s something going on with the College’s photocopier, but is it really what the Fellows think it is?
Chapter 8: Just Checking In – In which Richards sallies forth to the rescue, and Death would just like this conversation to be over with…
Chapter 9: Duck and Cover – The Bursar is keeping an ominous secret, and it is up to Professor Richards to ensure that all is safe!