IAN Rankin has made his name writing grisly thrillers set in Edinburgh, but the author felt life was imitating art just a little too much yesterday while researching the latest short story featuring Inspector Rebus.

He alerted his followers on Twitter that he may be caught up in a mystery all of his own.

He said: "The story I have started features a suspicious death in an Edinburgh hotel. Coincidentally, two Edinburgh hoteliers followed me today."

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However, unlike his novels, there was no conclusion to the tale and his followers were left wondering what happened.

Rankin is a prolific user of the micro-blogging site, and has written a "novel" in tweets for an Italian literary festival.

He said previously: "I used to keep a page-a-day diary from the age of 12 until my thirties. Every Christmas my sister would buy me a diary and I would fill the whole page, even if nothing had happened that day.

"I use Twitter almost like that. I can scroll back and remember, 'Oh yeah, I went to that concert and to that city. I tweeted today that I was in Mono with my friend having a drink."