A Public Service Update… ;-)

The GirlFair Warning: this post is not appropriate for impressionable disbeliefs. So please have your disbelief leave the room as you read this. Thank you.

As a public-spirited citizen, and especially one who’s interested in crime fiction, I feel a responsibility to alert you to things that are going on in the genre. In that spirit, let me make you aware of a potentially dangerous individual who’s been lurking among recent crime novels. That’s right, I’m referring to an unnamed person I’ll refer to as The Girl.

She’s become a prominent character in a lot of crime fiction, but she’s just been reported as a Gone Girl (Gillian Flynn).  In case you haven’t noticed, let me fill you in on what she’s been doing and why authorities are looking for her. You’ll soon see why she’s a cause for concern.

Let’s begin with what she’s been doing. There is evidence that she is The Girl Who Played With Fire (Stieg Larsson), and that’s of course always dangerous. Word is also that she’s The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest (Stieg Larsson). That’s a very risky thing to do, as it could result in swarms of hornets who could pose a threat. She’s quite possibly been responsible for a great deal more harm, too, so I think it’s important that the public be aware of this person.

Here is what we know about her appearance. One important identifying feature is that she’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Stieg Larsson). It’s quite likely that you’ll notice her right away, as she’ll be The Girl in the Green Raincoat (Laura Lippman). Reports are, though, that she’s been seen in other clothes. For instance, you may see her as The Girl in the Red Coat (Kate Hamer).  So don’t be fooled by changes in clothes. The ‘photo above is provided so that you can get a sense of what she may look like.

Hospitals and doctors’ offices are also being alerted to the presence of this girl. She will likely stand out at such places, because she is The Girl With a Clock For a Heart (Peter Swanson). As if that weren’t unusual enough, we’ve also gotten reports that it’s a unique sort of a clock. In fact, some people call this girl The Girl With the Long Green Heart (Lawrence Block). That may very well be because of the shape and appearance of this clock. Authorities aren’t sure at this point where the clock came from, or what the girl’s purpose was in having it. It’s possible that she stole it or was transporting it for someone else.  Either way, it’s hoped that if the girl goes for medical treatment of some kind, the clock can then be traced to its source.

There have been several alleged sightings of this girl. Some witnesses have reported seeing The Girl on the Stairs (Louise Welsh). Others, though, insist that they saw The Girl on the Train (Paula Hawkins). Descriptions of the girl were not clear enough to establish whether the witnesses were speaking of the same, or of two different, girls. Authorities are not ruling out either possibility. There has even been speculation that she was The Girl in the Ice (Robert Bryndza), as some witnesses have suggested. That possibility seems less likely, though.

Whatever her actual whereabouts may be, this girl has certainly caused quite an upheaval in the crime fiction genre, and authorities would like to find her as soon as possible. If you do happen to see her, use extreme caution in approaching her. She’s been involved in all sorts of crime-fictional doings. Keep an eye out: she could even be The Girl Next Door (Ruth Rendell).

Thank you very much for your kind attention and alert observation in this matter. The more of us who know about this girl, the more likely it is she’ll be found. Now, please feel free to pick up your disbelief as you exit. Thank you.


Filed under Gillian Flynn, Kate Hamer, Laura Lippman, Lawrence Block, Louise Welsh, Paula Hawkins, Peter Swanson, Robert Bryndza, Ruth Rendell, Stieg Larsson

63 responses to “A Public Service Update… ;-)

  1. Ha, you’ve managed to brandish your magic pen through a nice swathe of ‘girl’ titles.

  2. Tim

    And that puzzling Daughter of Time has been seen bouncing around between a hospital and a castle. Weird!

  3. tracybham

    Very clever post, Margot (again). Out of all of those, I think I have only read the books by Steig Larsson. I want to read a few of them. The Lawrence Block book: The Girl With the Long Green Heart, and maybe the one by Louise Welsh.

  4. mudpuddle

    tx for the warning; hereabouts we’ve been told to look out for the “third girl”(agatha christie)…

  5. Thank you so much for alerting us, Margot. I checked with the police to see if any of these girls had reported themselves missing/dead/unhappy/mystified or perhaps just a Lady in a Car With Glasses and a Gun. I was told to ignore reports by any of these women as they have all been classified as unreliable narrators.

    • Thanks, Brad, for letting us know what the police said about these reports. You know, I’d heard the girl in question might be unreliable. But then, I didn’t know if that in itself was reliable. I hope the police will keep the public notified of any new information.

  6. megwolfewrites

    Terrific post, Margot, on a bewildering phenomenon. If it isn’t “The Girl,” it’s everything “Gone,” isn’t it?

  7. Pingback: A Public Service Update… ;-) | picardykatt's Blog

  8. Reblogged this on e. michael helms and commented:
    “(L)et me make you aware of a potentially dangerous individual who’s been lurking among recent crime novels. That’s right, I’m referring to an unnamed person I’ll refer to as The Girl.” –Margot Kinberg

  9. Bec

    Next title should be Girl on the Bandwagon

  10. Howard

    She has apparently been around for a while. “The Girl, the Gold Watch, and Everything” by John D. McDonald… 1962,,,

  11. Very good piece, Margot! I am just reading David Swinson’s new novel, out last week, “The Second Girl.” Do you think a new girl is coming on the scene? Or the same one in disguise?

  12. Brilliant! Your best blog post yet!!

  13. It will be even harder to find The Girl Next Door (Jack Ketchum) as she has a multiple identity.

    I doubt she will be found unless she becomes The Girl in the Spider’s Web.

    In a twist of fate you can find The Girl in the Book in the movies rather than in the pages of a book.

    (Beautiful post Margot.)

    • Now that does take talent, doesn’t it, Bill, to appear in a film, when your name indicates you’re in a book. That girl is certainly adept at being elusive! Perhaps, as you say, it’s because she has a multiple identity. A spider web may indeed be what’s needed!

      (Thanks for the kind words, Bill. Your own contribution is clever, funny, and pitch perfect, as ever. I appreciate it!)

  14. Lindy Cameron

    ha ha – that’s hilarious Margot. There’s another rumour going around that the Girl might actually be a ‘woman’ but that didn’t sound as good on all the Wanted posters.

  15. I believe next week we’re going to learn about her clothing so she might be easier to spot as Derek B Miller’s THE GIRL IN GREEN is about to be published. And worryingly it looks like she might be recruiting for a girl army or something if THE SECOND GIRL (David Swinson) is to be believed 🙂

    • Oh, my, Bernadette! That’s very worrying news if she’s actually out to recruit! Who knows what sort of havoc may be wrought. I’m glad you brought that to our attention. We’ll all have to keep alert, I think. 🙂

  16. Great stuff Margot 😉 Very much looking forward to more women in my book titles from here on in hopefully …

  17. Elly Griffiths told us about the Zig Zag Girl, so goodness knows what had happened to her!
    Brilliant post Margot, absolutely spot-on.

  18. Well, she could be The Girl in the Cellar (Patricia Wentworth) so hard to find, but if she’s The Girl Who Trod on a Loaf (Hans Christian Andersen) it should be easier with all that bread on her feet!

    Love it, Margot!

  19. A clever and funny post, Margot. “The Girl” has really caught on, hasn’t she? Can “The Boy” be far behind? I haven’t read any of these books, not even Stieg Larsson who, I think, unintentionally started this mass culture (and marketing) trend.

    • Thank you, Prashant. And you’re right; ‘The Girl’ has become wildly popular. It’s funny, too, about how many such titles there are these days. Novels with ‘Girl’ in the title have been around, of course, for some time. But I suspect you’re probably right about the ‘Larsson Effect.’

  20. I love it! I might just have to change the title of my WIP to The Girl You Don’t Want to Meet in a Dark Alley. 😀

  21. kathyd

    Yes, I’ve been wondering if the Girl in the Green Coat could be the cousin of The Girl in Green.
    I think the link is “The Girl on the Best-Sellers” list is what started it all … the Stieg Larsson books, as bestsellers, then “Gone Girl.” Since that “Girl on the Train,” is still on the NYT top reads (and purchases), publishers are going to want to cash in on the latest reading craze to sell books and make money. Well, they reason, if these books are selling like hot cakes, let’s keep churning out more, compete with other publishers, and let the sales roll in — as long as they can.
    Wwe’ll go with the next reading fad. Whenever something sells, there are 25 imitations till the market is saturated and then the next good thing comes along. Right now, domestic noir seems to be a top theme, and first-person women in peril books.

    • Now, that’s a very well-taken point! The Girl on the Best-Sellers List is definitely the prime culprit here. I say we inform the police about her right away. And you’re right that there will likely be a new fad – whatever it may be – when another sort of title/protagonist hits the top of the charts.

  22. Very clever!!!! I can tell you local police have updated their BOLO for The Girl and are working tirelessly to apprehend her as we speak. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to find where I left my disbelief. It’s around here somewhere.

  23. Very clever!! I enjoyed immensely.

  24. Just been alerted by Amazon to The Girl Who Lied and The Wrong Girl, so she is clearly still on the loose!

  25. I hear they’re getting up a posse to go out hunting for The Girl. So far they’ve signed up A Man Called Ove, The Man with the Golden Gun and The Third Man! Rumour has it they turned down The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat, though…

    Haha! Great post, Margot! 😀

    • Thank you, FictionFan 🙂 – And thanks for that valuable information about the posse being put together. I think something has to be done to find The Girl. And it sounds as though it’s quite a group, too. I wonder if The Man From Beijing and The Troubled Man will be joining them? Or perhaps the The Man on the Balcony? 😉

      ps. I’m very glad you mentioned the Sacks; he is much missed…

  26. Col

    There’s a few of The Girls on my shelves!

  27. kathyd

    This topic has engendered so many replies, more than usual. “The Girl” really gets folks riled up!

  28. What a wonderful public spirit you have Margot:) Thanks and cheers.

  29. I loved this post! So clever! 🙂

  30. Pingback: Writing Links in the 3s and 5…6/20/16 – Where Worlds Collide

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