The 1948 Somerton Man mystery, also known as the Tamám Shud mystery, got me interested in many diverse topics, including cryptography, DNA, 1940s Australia and anything with those two intriguing words. "Tamám Shud" were the closing words in the famous poetical work, The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyam and mean "finished" or "ended". The 12th century work has been popular in the West since 1860, with numerous worldwide Omar Khayyam clubs.The Rubáiyát has inspired much in popular culture, includes titling works by Nevil Shute, Agatha Christie, Stephen King and others. I should not have been surprised when last year I found that Tamám Shud was used as a nom-de-plume for the author of an 1894 book, A Rash Vow.
- It starts an unusual mystery which leads to a romance
- There is a body, at first thought to be drugged unconscious, but actually dead
- Foxgloves feature repeatedly, the source of Digitalis (which probably didn't kill the Somerton Man)
- An Australian connection, with some characters living there