Category Archives: Christine Poulson

She Blinded Me With Science*

As this is posted, it would have been Marie Curie’s 151st birthday. Her contributions to our understanding of the world are too numerous to mention (and I’m not sophisticated enough in science to do them justice, anyway). And, of course, she made those contributions at a time when it was very unusual for a woman to be accepted as part of the scientific community.

Scientific breakthroughs are, of course, double-edged swords, as the saying goes. They are the basis for much of our progress. At the same time, they have consequences. We’ve certainly seen that in real life, including the work that the Curies did. And we see it in crime fiction, too.

In Agatha Christie’s Dead Man’s Folly, we meet atomic scientist Alec Legge. He and his wife, Peggy, are staying in a cottage on the property of Nasse House, which belongs to Sir George Stubbs. When Sir George and his wife, Hattie, host a charity fête, the whole household, including the Legges, get involved in preparing for it. So does their guest, mystery novelist Ariadne Oliver, who’s preparing a Murder Hunt competition for the event. She’s not typically a fanciful person, but she gets the feeling that something is very wrong with this fête, and that more is going on than it seems. So, she asks Hercule Poirot to visit and investigate. He (and Alec Legge) are both on hand on the day of the fête, when there is a murder. And it turns out that Legge’s profession has gotten him into a difficult situation that figures into this plot.

Peter Høeg’s Smilla’s Sense of Snow features Smilla Jaspersen, a Greenlander who now lives in Copenhagen. She is upset when ten-year-old Isaiah Christiansen, who lives in her building, dies from what seems to be a terrible accident – a fall from the roof of the building. She soon begins to suspect that this fall was not accidental and decides to ask questions. The trail leads back to Greenland, and to some scientific discoveries there that have serious consequences.

Robin Cook has written more than once about scientific breakthroughs and the risks and benefits they offer. In Seizure, for instance, we are introduced to Dr. Daniel Lowell. He’s been conducting some promising stem cell research and is hoping to make his procedure a viable option. But his interest in such research is not universal. There are several people, including powerful US Senator Ashley Butler, who are opposed to stem cell research. In fact, Butler supports a ban on studies such as the ones that Lowell has been conducting. So, it’s a real shock when Butler actually contacts Lowell with a proposal. Butler has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. If word of this gets out, he will have no chance to pursue his ambition of becoming president. He offers to withdraw his objections to stem cell research (thus giving Lowell’s work a vital boost) if Lowell conducts his procedure on Butler. Lowell agrees, and plans are made. But neither man knows that this breakthrough will come at a terrible price.

Scientific breakthroughs have meant that we can now test water to determine whether it’s safe and what particular toxins are or aren’t in it. And that means that companies and other entities are now accountable for what they put in local water. And municipalities are now accountable for the way they clean (or don’t) clean it. Carl Hiaasen takes a look at how water testing can be (mis)used in Skinny Dip, which features Charles ‘Chaz’ Perrone. On paper, anyway, he is a marine biologist. His real interest, though, is himself. So, he’s all too open to an ‘arrangement’ with agribusiness owner Samuel Johnson ‘Red’ Hammernut. It seems that Hammernut’s company has been accused of polluting the local water. He needs to prove that his company isn’t responsible or face huge fines or even worse. Perrone has developed a technique for making water samples appear clean and toxin-free, even if they aren’t. So, Hammernut hires Perrone to ‘prove’ that his company is not a polluter. When Perrone’s wife finds out what he’s doing, he decides that the only way to deal with that situation is to get rid of her. He tries to do just that by throwing her overboard during a cruise. But Joey survives, and that’s just the beginning of Chaz Perrone’s problems…

And then there’s Christine Poulson’s Katie Flanagan. She is a laboratory researcher whom we meet in Deep Water. In that novel, the laboratory she works for is on the point of a breakthrough control for obesity. But a suspicious death, and other troubling events raise some real questions. And, when Katie looks into them, she finds herself and her career in real danger. In Cold, Cold Heart, she travels to Antarctica, grasping at an opportunity to do research there in an attempt to salvage her career. There, she gets involved in a mystery that ties a murder on that outpost with some hidden secrets that a patent lawyer, David Marchmont, discovers. In both of these novels, there are high-stakes scientific breakthroughs that could make a major difference in people’s lives. But they’re also both risky and in high demand. And that can spell trouble…

That’s the thing about scientific breakthroughs. They move our lives forward, and they have saved millions of lives. But that doesn’t mean they have no consequences…

 
 
 

*NOTE: The title of this post is the title of a song by Thomas Dolby.

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Filed under Agatha Christie, Carl Hiaasen, Christine Poulson, Peter Høeg, Robin Cook

Deadlines and Commitments*

Deadlines are a fact of life for most of us. For students, assignments have to be handed in on time. Journalists and other writers have deadlines for publication, and TV professionals have production deadlines, especially if they’re in the news business. Lawyers must have their cases ready by the hearing or trial date; a lot of judges don’t like granting continuances. And the list goes on.

In real life, deadlines can cause anxiety. They can also spur on the procrastinator. Either way, they can add a layer of tension and suspense to a crime novel. And they are realistic, as just about all of us have to cope with them at one point or another. There are many examples of how deadlines work in the genre; here are just a few.

In Agatha Christie’s The ABC Murders, Hercule Poirot receives an odd sort of deadline. He gets a cryptic note warning him of something that’s going to take place in the town of Andover. The writer of the note even goes so far as to give the date. Sure enough, on the appointed day, Alice Ascher, who owns a small newsagent shop, is murdered. At first, the police believe her estranged husband, Franz Ascher, is responsible. But he claims he is innocent, and Poirot is inclined to believe him. Then, Poirot gets another warning note, this time directing him to Bexhill-on-Sea. The body of twenty-three-year-old Betty Barnard is found on the beach, and it’s shown that she was killed on the day specified in the note. It takes two more deaths before Poirot and the police work out who the killer is, and what the motive is. In the meantime, especially for the fourth death, everyone’s scrambling to get ready before the day mentioned in the notes, so there’s a great deal of time pressure. It’s not a main point of the story, but that tension adds to the suspense.

In Michael Connelly’s The Black Ice, LAPD detective Harry Bosch goes to the scene of what looks like a suicide. The body of fellow copper Calexico ‘Cal’ Moore has been found in a seedy motel, and the story is that he committed suicide because he’d ‘gone dirty.’ Little things about the scene suggest that Moore might have been murdered, so Bosch decides to look into the matter. But it’s soon made clear to him that the Powers That Be want this case to be left alone. In fact, Bosch is distanced from the investigation, and given eight other cases to close – cases left unsolved because another officer is on a stress-related leave of absence. Bosch is also given an impossible deadline – one week – to finish the job. It’s hoped that giving him a heavy workload will keep Bosch from asking too many questions about the Moore case. It doesn’t work. Bosch follows up leads and pursues the case, and, in the end, finds out the truth about Calexico Moore.

Anyone who’s ever been in academia can tell you that deadlines are a part of life in that world.  For instance, in Christine Poulson’s Murder is Academic, we are introduced to Cassandra James, who becomes Acting Head of the English Literature Department at St. Etheldreda’s College, Cambridge. Her predecessor, Margaret Joplin, has been murdered, and, since James found the body and, of course, knew the victim, she wants to find out who was responsible for the killing. Until arrangements can be made, someone needs to undertake the duties of Head of Department, and that person is James. One of those tasks is to prepare for the next Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). The department’s funding depends heavily on how successful it is at passing that exercise, so James must get everyone’s research, including her own, updated and as polished as it can be. She’s on a deadline, too, as the RAE is already in the works. So, besides finding out who killed Joplin, she’s under pressure to gather everyone’s scholarship. That deadline stress adds tension to the story.

If you’re a writer, you know all about deadlines. That’s especially true in journalism, but it’s true of other sorts of writing as well. And there are plenty of journalist protagonists who have to meet deadlines. One is James ‘Qwill’ Qwilleran, who is featured in Lilian Jackson Braun’s Cat Who… series. After inheriting a fortune from a friend of his mother’s, Qwill moved to the small town of Pickax, in Moose County, ‘400 miles north of nowhere.’ Now, he writes a twice-weekly column for the Moose County Something. Qwill is somewhat of a celebrity, but that doesn’t excuse him from having to meet deadlines. In more than one scene in this series, Qwill rushes to the newspaper office to turn in his copy in time (most of the novels were written before today’s Internet made submitting copy a matter of a few keystrokes).

And then there’s Brad Parks’ Carter Ross. He’s a reporter for the Newark, New Jersey Eagle-Examiner. Because it’s a daily paper, there’s a lot of pressure to meet publication deadlines. And Ross certainly feels that pressure. Even his cat’s named Deadline. In Faces of the Gone, for instance, he’s working on a story about four bodies that were found in a vacant lot. The first police theory is that one of the victims had held up a local bar, and the bar’s owner had the thief and accomplices murdered. But Ross soon discovers that that’s probably not true. In one plot thread, his boss wants him to go with the police account and do a background story on the bar based on that assumption. And he gives Ross a short deadline. Ross is reluctant, because he doesn’t want to put in print something that’s not true, so he starts by procrastinating. It takes a lot of convincing to get his boss to agree to a different approach, and it’s interesting to see how the pressure to put out a newspaper plays a role in the story.

And that’s the thing. Newspapers have to be published. Grades have to be given. Trial dates have to be set. And all of that means deadlines. We may not always like them, but they add an interesting layer of suspense to a story.

 
 
 

*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from Bob Seger’s Against the Wind.

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Filed under Agatha Christie, Brad Parks, Christine Poulson, Lilian Jackson Braun, Michael Connelly

It’s Called Plagiarism*

An interesting post from Bill at Mysteries and More From Saskatchewan has got me thinking about integrity. Of course, integrity has all sorts of different meanings, and one post couldn’t possibly do them all justice. But it’s a fascinating topic.

In the world of writing, higher education and science (among other settings), one of the greatest breaches of integrity is plagiarism – passing off someone else’s work as one’s own. It’s grounds for termination on a lot of campuses; and, in the case of students, it’s grounds for failing a course/exam, dismissal, and other consequences. No matter what disciplinary action is taken, the end result for an academician/scientist who commits plagiarism is a ruined reputation and disgrace.

Because it’s such a grave matter, accusations of plagiarism are taken as seriously as criminal investigations. So, it’s no wonder that we see plagiarism come up in crime fiction. It can make for an interesting layer of tension in a novel, and it can add to a plot, too.

In Dorothy L. Sayers’ Gaudy Night, for instance, Harriet Vane returns to her alma mater, Shrewsbury College, Oxford, to attend the school’s annual Gaudy Festival and Gala Dinner. She is warmly welcomed, and enjoys her stay. A few months later, she’s asked back, this time for a much more unpleasant reason. There’s been a rash of vicious anonymous notes and vandalism at the college, and the dean would rather not involve the police. So, she asks Vane to investigate, under the guise of doing research. With some help from Lord Peter Wimsey, and after getting attacked herself, Vane discovers who is responsible for what’s happened at the college. It turns out that academic dishonesty – plagiarism – has an important role to play in the story.

It does in Aditya Sudarshan’s A Nice Quiet Holiday, too. Justice Harish Shinde (called the Judge throughout most of the novel) and his law clerk Anant travel to the town of Bhairavgarh, in the Indian state of Rajasthan. They’ve been invited for a two-week holiday at the home of an old friend of the Judge’s, Sinkhar Pant. Other guests have also been invited, including NGO managers Ronit and Kamini Mitta; Pant’s cousin, Kailish Pant; and Pravin Anand and Anand’s son Avinash, as well as Dr. Davendra Nath and his daughter Mallika and sons Ashwin and Nikhil. There’s a certain amount of tension right from the start, since the Mittas’ NGO is controversial. They’re focused on HIV/AIDS education, and plenty of people think that what they’re doing is obscene, even subversive. Still, the guests settle in and all starts well enough. Then, Kailish Pant is found murdered. Inspector Patel is assigned to investigate, and he works to find out who was responsible. The Judge isn’t sure Patel is on the right trail, though, and he and Anant also start to ask some questions. And they find that plagiarism played a role in what happened.

Janice MacDonald’s Another Margaret, features Edmonton-based sessional lecturer Miranda ‘Randy’ Craig. As the novel begins, she’s teaching mostly for Grant McEwan University. Then, her friend, Denise Wolff, asks for her help with a major alumni event at the University of Alberta (that’s where Craig got her M.A. in English). Craig’s reluctant at first, but allows herself to be persuaded. She’s busy helping to make preparations when Wolff tells her a disturbing piece of news. A new novel, Seven Bird Saga, has been published. The author is Margaret Ahlers, the subject of Craig’s master’s thesis. That’s how Craig knows that this book is a problem. Ahlers died twenty years earlier, so whose book is this, actually? As the story goes on, we learn about Craig’s master’s research, her work under Dr. Hilary Quinn, and the truth about what happened to Ahlers. Then, the story returns to the present day, and to Craig’s concern that someone attending the reunion knows more about this new book than he or she is saying. And that could be very dangerous for Craig. In the end, we find that academic dishonesty – including plagiarism – is involved in what happens.

Christine Poulson’s Cold, Cold Heart has two main plot lines. In one, research scientist Kate Flanagan steps in to assist at an Antarctic research station when one of the station’s team members has to be evacuated. She and the rest of the team will be together, cut off from the rest of the world, for the next nine months. In that atmosphere, one of their number goes missing, and there’s more trouble to come. In the other plot thread, UK patent attorney Daniel Marchmont is overseeing due diligence for Lyle Linstrom in the matter of an important medical breakthrough. But something isn’t quite right about the case. And it turns out to be very closely connected to what’s going on at the research station. There’s an important question in the novel as to some of the scientific work that’s discussed in the novel, and Poulson presents some interesting questions of ethics.

Of course, there are other means of passing off someone else’s work as one’s own. For instance, in Rhys Bowen’s For the Love of Mike, Molly Murphy is trying to carry on the private investigation business that she inherited from her former business partner, who’s now dead. It’s 1901, and the idea of a female private investigator is, to say the least, unusual. Still, Murphy gets a new case. Max Mostel, who owns a clothing factory, suspects that one of his employees is stealing his designs and giving or selling them to Lowenstein’s, Mostel’s top competitor. Mostel isn’t exactly comfortable hiring a woman, but he sees the advantage of it, since most of his garment workers are female. So, she goes undercover at his factory to find out who might be helping Loweinstein. This case turns out to be more dangerous than it seems, and it’s tied in to another case Murphy is working, involving the disappearance of a young woman named Katherine Faversham.

Anyone in academia, science, writing, and several other fields, can tell you that plagiarism is a serious matter. It’s investigated thoroughly, and not forgiven when it’s found. It’s little wonder, then, that it also figures into crime fiction.

Thanks, Bill, for the inspiration. Now, folks, may I suggest your next blog stop be Mysteries and More From Saskatchewan? Fine reviews and discussion await you.

 
 
 

*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from Primus’ Year of the Parrot.

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Filed under Aditya Sudarshan, Christine Poulson, Dorothy L. Sayers, Janice MacDonald, Rhys Bowen

People Livin’ in Competition*

A recent post from Bill Selnes, who blogs at Mysteries and More From Saskatchewan, has got me thinking about competitiveness. Bill’s post, which you really should read, discusses competitiveness in attorneys. His point, which is very well-taken, is that trial lawyers have to be competitive. Otherwise, they don’t keep the ‘fire’ they need to do all of the work that’s involved in preparing for a trial and seeing it through.

There are many, many legal mysteries that bear him out, too. In John Grisham’s A Time To Kill, William Deverell’s Trial of Passion, and Robert Rotenberg’s Old City Hall, to name just three, we see examples of attorneys who take on difficult cases – and want to win. There are far too many more examples of such novels for me to mention in this one post, so I won’t.

There’s plenty of competitiveness in other crime fiction, too, and it can add a healthy dose of character development, suspense, and plot to a novel. And, since there’s competitiveness in many different professions, the author has a lot of flexibility when it comes to integrating it into a story.

Competitiveness is certainly important in the world of athletics. That’s a major part of the plot in Megan Abbott’s You Will Know Me. Devon Knox has rare gymnastic talent, and her parents, Katie and Eric, want to nurture it. So, when gymnastics coach Teddy Balfour approaches them with a proposition, they’re happy to listen:
 

‘‘Bring her to BelStars [a program he’s started up]  and she’ll find the extent of her power.’’
 

Then, a tragic hit-and-run accident (which might not have been an accident) occurs, and changes everything. Devon is gifted, but the question becomes: how far are she and her family willing to go to get to the Olympics? After all, there are only a limited number of young people who can join the US team. So, when one person earns a place, it often means others lose.

Alison Gordon’s Kate Henry series also explores athletic competitiveness (and for the matter of that, journalistic competitiveness as well). Like her creator, Henry is a sportswriter. She works for the Toronto Planet. Henry especially follows the doings of the Toronto Titans baseball team, so she goes along with them on ‘away’ tours, attends the home games, and gets locker-room interviews with players, coaching staff and the like. When the team is in a slump, it’s devastating. When the team does well, it’s euphoric. These players work hard and train intensively to go as far as they can in the World Series competition. Gordon doesn’t lose sight of the fact that this is a mystery series, and the murder plots dominate the books. But the books also give readers a look at what it’s like to be Major League Baseball athlete. It’s not a life for those who aren’t competitive. Neither is the life of those who write and publish stories about sports.

Business can be very competitive, too. In most industries, there’s a finite pool of customers. So, companies vie to get as much of their business as possible. And sometimes, that competitiveness can be deadly. In Robin Cook’s medical thriller, Contagion, for instance, we learn about a major competition between two insurance giants: AmeriCare and National Health. That competition becomes important when a virulent strain of influenza seems to be the cause of a series of deaths at Manhattan General Hospital. Medical examiners Dr. Jack Stapleton and Dr. Laurie Montgomery try to find out what’s causing the virus. The hospital’s authorities are interested in keeping the whole matter as quiet as possible, mostly to protect the institution’s image. But Stapleton in particular wants to whatever it takes, regardless of unpleasant publicity, to prevent more deaths. When it comes out that Manhattan General is affiliated with AmeriCares, the question becomes: did someone at National Health have something to do with these deaths, with the aim of discrediting the competition?

Riley Adams’ (AKA Elizabeth Spann Craig) Hickory Smoked Homicide deals with the competitive world of the beauty pageant circuit. In it, wealthy pageant coach and judge Tristan Pembroke is murdered during a charity art auction being held at her home. The most likely suspect is local artist Sara Taylor, who had a public argument with the victim shortly before the murder. But Sara’s mother-in-law, Lulu, is sure that she’s not guilty. So, she sets out to clear Sara’s name and find out who the real killer is. There are plenty of suspects, too, as Tristan was both malicious and vindictive. And, for the contestants in the pageant, and their families, there’s an awful lot at stake. The beauty pageant life is demanding, expensive, stressful and time-consuming. You don’t stay in it long if you have no sense of competitiveness.

I’m sure I don’t have to convince you that there’s a lot of competitiveness in the academic world, too. Many academic mysteries have plots that involve competition for scholarships/bursaries, prizes, academic jobs, funding and so on. It’s a demanding life that takes a lot of time and effort. Just to give one example, Christine Poulson’s Cassandra James novels take place in the context of St. Etheldreda’s College, Cambridge, where James heads the English Literature Department. One of the sub-plots in the first of this series, Murder is Academic, concerns funding for the program. Each department’s funding is based on its performance in the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). There’s a lot of competition for finite funding, and James knows that she will have to ensure that all of the faculty’s scholarship (including her own) is as impressive as possible. That in itself is stressful. At the same time, she’s caught up in the investigation of the murder of her predecessor, Margaret Joplin. Admittedly, getting funding isn’t the reason for the murder. But it does add to the tension in the novel. And it’s a realistic look at one way in which competition works in academia.

Bill is right that being competitive is important if you’re going to win your case in a trial. It’s also an important personality trait in other fields, too. So it’s little wonder it figures so much in crime fiction. Thanks, Bill, for the inspiration. Now, folks, give yourselves a treat and go visit Bill’s blog. Thoughtful reviews and commentary await you there!

 
 
 

*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from Boston’s Peace of Mind.

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Filed under Alison Gordon, Christine Poulson, Elizabeth Spann Craig, John Grisham, Megan Abbott, Riley Adams, Robert Rotenberg, Robin Cook, William Deverell

Searching For the Truth*

Any writer will tell you that research plays a role (and sometimes a very important role) in creating a quality novel, story, or article. Research can take a person in any number of directions, too; and I’m sure that, if you’re a writer, you’ve got plenty of good ‘research stories’ to share. I know I do.

Research plays a role in crime fiction, too. After all, you never know what research might turn up. And if it’s something that people would rather keep secret, anything might happen.

For instance, in Dorothy L. Sayers’ Gaudy Night, mystery novelist Harriet Vane returns to her alma mater, Shrewsbury College, Oxford, to participate in the school’s Gaudy Dinner and the accompanying festivities. A few months later, she’s asked to go back to Shrewsbury. It seems that several distressing things have been going on at the school, and the administrators don’t want the police involved, if that’s possible. There’ve been anonymous threatening notes, vandalism, and more. Vane agrees, and goes under the guise of doing research for a new novel. In the process, she turns up some things that someone does not want revealed; and it nearly costs her her life. Lord Peter Wimsey joins Vane to help find out the truth, and, together, they discover who and what are behind the disturbing occurrences.

Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse gets involved in some research in The Wench is Dead. In that novel, he’s laid up with a bleeding ulcer. With not much else to do, he reads a book he’s been given, Murder on the Oxford Canal, about the 1859 murder of Joanna Franks on a canal boat. At the time, two men were arrested, convicted, and executed. But, as Morse reads and considers the case, he begins to believe that those men were not guilty. With help from Sergeant Lewis and Bodleian librarian Christine Greenaway, Morse looks into the case again, and finds out the truth about the long-ago murder.  You’re absolutely right, fans of Josephine Tey’s The Daughter of Time.

Deadly Appearances is the first in Gail Bowen’s series featuring Joanne Kilbourn Shreve. As the series begins, she is an academician and political scientist. So, she’s well aware of the importance and value of research. One afternoon, she attends a community picnic at which her friend, Androu ‘Andy’ Boychuk, is to make an important speech. He’s been selected to lead Saskatchewan’s provincial Official Opposition Party, and has a bright political future ahead of him. Tragically, he collapses and dies just after beginning his speech. It’s soon shown that he was poisoned. Kilbourn grieves the loss of her friend and political ally, and decides to write his biography. The more she researches for the book, the more she learns about Boychuk. And that knowledge leads her to the truth about his murder – and to some real personal danger.

Paddy Richardson’s Rebecca Thorne is a Wellington-based journalist. Her career, of course, involves quite a lot of background research, as any credible story has to be supported. In Cross Fingers, Thorne is working on an exposé documentary about dubious land developer Denny Graham. She’s lined up interviews with people who claim he’s duped them, and she’s been trying to get information from Graham’s people, too, to be as fair as she can. Then, her boss asks her to change her focus, and do a story on the upcoming 30th anniversary of the Springboks’ 1981 tour of New Zealand. At the time, apartheid was still the law of the land in South Africa, and a lot of New Zealanders protested the government’s decision to invite the Springboks. On the other hand, the police needed to keep order, and rugby fans just wanted to see some good matches. The result was a set of violent clashes between protestors and police. Thorne is reluctant to do that story. For one thing, she wants to do her interviews for the Graham story before his victims lose their nerve. For another, she doesn’t see that there’s any new angle on the rugby tour story. Still, her boss insists, and Thorne gets to work. Then, as she does research on the tour, she finds a story of interest. It seems that two dancers dressed as lambs went to several of the games and entertained the fans. Then, they stopped attending. Thorne wants to know what happened to The Lambs, so she starts researching. She learns that one of them was murdered one night, and his killer never caught. The case nags at her, especially when it becomes clear that several people do not want her to find out the truth.

And then there’s Martin Edwards’ Daniel Kind. He’s an Oxford historian whose work gained him not just academic plaudits but also a lot of popular appeal. Burnt out from being a well-known TV personality, Kind moved to the Lake District and more or less dropped out of media sight. He still writes, gives lectures, and so on, though. And he’s still interested in research. His research findings are often very helpful to the Cumbria Constabulary’s Cold Case Review Team, led by DCI Hannah Scarlett. Since her team’s focus is on older cases that are re-opened, she finds Kind’s historical perspective useful and informative. For example, Kind’s research on Thomas de Quincey proves to be key in both The Serpent Pool and The Hanging Wood.

There are other fictional sleuths, too, such as Christine Poulson’s Cassandra James, and Sarah R. Shaber’s Simon Shaw, who do research as a part of their lives. Those skills serve them very well when it comes to sleuthing, too (right, fans of Elly Griffiths’ Ruth Galloway?).

Research skills – knowing how to pose questions, look for information, weigh its value, and come to conclusions – are important in a lot of professions. And they can certainly add to a crime novel.

 
 
 

*NOTE: The title of this post is the title of a song by Edwyn Collins.

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Filed under Christine Poulson, Colin Dexter, Dorothy L. Sayers, Elly Griffiths, Gail Bowen, Josephine Tey, Martin Edwards, Paddy Richardson, Sarah R. Shaber