Serial stories published over a stretch of days or weeks were once a staple of daily newspapers, with their roots stretching back into the...

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Serial stories published over a stretch of days or weeks were once a staple of daily newspapers, with their roots stretching back into the 19th century. Today, we’re publishing the first chapter of a 21st-century version of this venerable old form.

“Mystery @ Elf Camp” is a 14-chapter serialized novel by the husband-and-wife team of Christopher Scanlan and Katharine Fair. Scanlan is on the writing faculty at the Poynter Institute in Florida and before that was a longtime feature and news reporter; Fair is an award-winning advertising copywriter and a substitute teacher.

This is their second foray into serial-writing. The pair also wrote “The Holly Wreath Man,” which appeared in these pages during the holiday season of 2003 and was a great favorite of readers.

We hope you’ll enjoy the new story just as well. It starts today and will appear every day in Northwest Life through Dec. 23.