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Rankin's mystery message

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."

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."

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