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Webcomic / The Letters of the Devil

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The Letters of the Devil: a Whodunit Mystery Graphic Novel by Ben Wright-Heuman

The Letters of the Devil is a whodunit mystery graphic novel by Ben Wright-Heuman that was launched as a serialized webcomic in February 2017. New pages post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. After the story concluded in November 2017, a print edition was published that December. A second print volume titled The Letters of the Devil II: The Legacy of L was published in October 2020 following a successful Kickstarter.

The Letters of the Devil contains examples of:

  • Asshole Victim: Chuck Castor is murdered right after it is revealed that he killed an underage mistress.
  • Biblical Bad Guy: Both the title of the comic and some passing comparisons to Lucifer imply that the mysterious "L" is the Devil. Whether this is literal or figurative is not yet clear.
  • Big Fancy House: The Castors have a pretty swanky place.
  • Black Widow: Right after shooting her husband in the chest, Susan says, "Don't worry 'bout me, hon. It's not the first time I've done this." This confirms an earlier L Letter clue, which suggests that one of the Castors killed their previous spouse.
  • By-the-Book Cop: Detective Lechter, who sits across from Cedric, is "too big a straight-edge."
  • The City Narrows: The run-down warehouse district becomes a scene of violence and chaos when Gilly attacks Cedric with a syringe.
  • City Noir: The unnamed city that The Letters of the Devil inhabits is a world of barely-hidden corruption. As the mysterious L says in the Prologue, "The city is beautiful from a distance. It hides the Rot well."
  • City with No Name: The city is never named. The only clue is the initials "SGPD" on the back of Cedric's police windbreaker.
  • Cool Kid-and-Loser Friendship: In a flashback, Cedric describes how he became friends with Ira after saving him from a beating from some bullies.
  • Cop Killer: Cedric makes reference to his old partner, Eric Thompson, who was killed by a junkie.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Rita Carey, founder of Carey Investments and a businesswoman of questionable ethics.
  • Dirty Cop: Cedric might be on the side of justice, but he's more than willing to murder unarmed criminals and leave people to die if it gets him a shiny new promotion.
  • Disposing of a Body: Chuck reveals that he had an aide dispose of Lucy Tripp's body.
  • Driving Question: Who is L, how do they know so many secrets, and why are they sharing them?
  • Fair-Play Whodunnit: The mystery will be solvable with the clues provided.
  • Forensic Accounting: In response to Cedric's questioning of her books, Rita Carey sends the police precinct boxes full of accounting records.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Vida Olivier, tabloid reporter for The Scrutineer.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: The story appears simple at first, but it becomes progressively more complex as more and more clues surface.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Cedric is more interested in advancing himself by doing the least amount of work possible than he is in actually solving crimes.
  • Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: The story is started by Cedric's investigation into Rita Carey's fraudulent business practices, and we discover a plethora of other, more heinous crimes as his investigation progresses.
  • Mysterious Stranger: Letters from "L", and a mysterious bicyclist.
  • Pædo Hunt: It is revealed that Chuck Castor had an affair with an underage intern and subsequently killed her when she revealed she was pregnant.
  • The Reveal: And L is... Ida, the background guy who played the part of the Extreme Doormat mook to get all the intel he needed to pull this off. He's been practicing since he was six.
  • Sleazy Politician: Chuck Castor discusses using his late wife's death to get "sympathy votes" in the upcoming election. It is also revealed later that he murdered an underage mistress and had an aide dispose of her body.
  • Splash of Color: The entire comic is in black and white, with certain special objects and flashbacks being drawn in red.
  • The Only One I Trust: When describing Ira, Cedric says, "There's nobody I trust like him."
  • Take It to the Bridge: The story opens on a bridge, and Cedric meets with Ira on the same bridge.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Rita Carey is portrayed as being an exceptional and charitable businesswoman, which causes roadblocks when Cedric investigates her for fraud.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: The location of the city is never specified.
  • White-Collar Crime: Rita Carey is accused of running a Ponzi scheme.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Once it becomes clear that Chuck's reputation is irrevocably tarnished, Susan kills him while saying, "You're too broken."