Category Archives: Håkan Nesser

I’m Living in a Bad Dream*

a-body-in-the-houseImagine this scenario. You wake up one morning, or you come home one evening, to find that there’s a body in your home. So, of course, you call the police. But here’s the catch. How are you going to clear your name? After all, it is your home. So, it’s only natural that the police would have a lot of questions for you. And if you happen to have known the victim, things get even more tricky for you, even if you’re completely innocent. And that’s not to mention the horror of actually finding the body. It’s like a bad dream.

This scenario is used in several crime novels, and it’s not hard to see why. It raises the tension right away. And, in the case of whodunits, it can be very effective at diverting suspicion from the real killer.

For example, in Agatha Christie’s The Body in the Library, Colonel Arthur Bantry and his wife, Dolly, awake one morning to learn that the body of a young woman has been found in their library. Neither knows the woman, but of course, the police have to start somewhere. And it gets a bit difficult for the Bantrys as questions are raised about how the colonel might have known the victim. Dolly knows her husband isn’t guilty, and asks her friend, Miss Marple, to help find out who the murderer is. The victim is tentatively identified as eighteen-year-old Ruby Keene, a professional dancer at the Majestic Hotel. This discovery opens up several possible lines of investigation, and it’s not long before the police and Miss Marple discover that more than one person could have wanted the young woman to die. Still, there are definitely a few uncomfortable moments for Colonel Bantry… I couldn’t agree more, fans of The Clocks.

Things are even more nightmarish for Janek Mitter, whom we meet in Håkan Nesser’s Mind’s Eye. One morning, he wakes up after a night of far, far too much drink. He discovers to his shock that his wife Eva is dead, and her body is in the bathtub. He claims that he didn’t kill her, but Inspector Van Veeteran and his team have to go where the evidence takes them. So Mitter is arrested and put on trial. Although Van Veeteren is beginning to have his doubts, he can’t prevent Mitter from being found guilty. Because Mitter was so drunk the night of the murder, he doesn’t remember much of anything that happened. So, he’s remanded to a mental hospital instead of a prison. Meanwhile, Van Veeteren starts to ask questions about this case. Then, Mitter himself is murdered. Now, it’s clear that he was telling the truth, and someone else killed his wife.

Too much drink also plays a role in what happens to Maureen ‘Mauri’ O’Donnell in Denise Mina’s Garnethill. Mauri wakes up one morning after a night of drinking. She discovers her lover, Douglas Brodie, dead in her living room, but she can’t recall what happened. As you can well imagine, she’s a prime suspect. For one thing, she is mentally fragile; she’s even spent time in a mental health facility. For another, she and Douglas had been having problems, not the least of which is that he is – was – married to someone else. It doesn’t help that Mauri is not from the sort of background that inspires a lot of support from the police. But she’s sure she didn’t kill Douglas. So, she starts to ask questions. As she gets closer to the truth, Mauri finds out some dark secrets that someone wanted very much to keep.

Rob Kitchin’s Stiffed begins as Tadh Maguire is sleeping off a night of drinking. He’s jolted awake by a frightened shriek from his girlfriend, Kate. A second later he sees why she’s screaming. There’s a dead man in his bed. What’s more, Maguire knows who the man is. The victim is Tony Marino, second-in-command to crime boss Aldo Pirelli. If Maguire calls the police, it won’t be long before Pirelli finds out what happened. And he’ll likely assume that Maguire killed his associate. That can only have a bad outcome. There’s also the very likely possibility that Maguire will be the police’s prime suspect. Also not a good thing. So, Maguire calls his friend, Jason Choi, and asks him to help remove the body. That leads to all sorts of consequences, including abduction and some very nasty thugs who think Maguire has some money they want. This novel is more of a screwball noir approach what happens when a dead body ends up in your home.

You’ll notice that in several of these examples, there’s a night of drinking involved. And that’s one way to make it credible that a body could be put in someone’s home without that person knowing it. But it’s not the only way.

For instance, in Sherban Young’s Fleeting Memory, a man wakes up to the sound of someone knocking at the door of his cabin. He opens the door to find a woman who asks for his help. She says she doesn’t know who she is or why she’s there, but she needs assistance. The man invites her in, but when she asks his name, it occurs to him that he doesn’t know who he is, either. Thinking he’s mocking her, the young woman leaves. That’s when the man notices the body of another man on his living room floor. Now, he has to figure out who he is, as well as who the dead man is and why the body is in his living room. Just then, the man gets another visitor, PI Enescu Fleet, who’s looking for his missing dog. Fleet seems to be the answer to the man’s problem, and he agrees to look into the case.  

And then there’s Carin Gerhardsen’s The Gingerbread House. One evening, real estate agent Hans Vannerberg tells his wife, Pia, that he’s going to go look at a house for a client. When he doesn’t return, Pia gets concerned and contacts the police. The next morning, they begin their search. It ends when Ingrid Olsson, who’s been recovering from hip surgery, returns to her home to find Vannerberg’s body in her kitchen. She can account for her whereabouts of course, and she wouldn’t have been capable of murder in the first place. So the police, in the form of Stockholm area DCI Conny Sjöberg and his team, trace Vannerberg’s last days and weeks to find out who would have wanted him dead. It turns out that this murder is connected with other killings – and with a past traumatic incident.

See what I mean? You can be perfectly innocent, and still end up with a body in your house. So do be careful this holiday season…
 
 
 

*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from Violent Femmes’ Bad Dream 

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Filed under Agatha Christie, Carin Gerhardsen, Denise Mina, Håkan Nesser, Rob Kitchin, Sherban Young

Talk Me Into Losing Just as Long as I Can Win*

imag0201Even if you’re not into playing sports, you may have a bit of the competitive spirit, especially if there’s a prize worth the winning. It’s a very human trait, and it can add a great deal to a fictional character. It can also add a layer of suspense to a story, too, not to mention a motive for all sorts of things…

For example, in Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Red-Headed League, pawn shop owner Jabez Wilson gets caught up in a strange sort of contest. His shop assistant tells him about an advertisement for a new job, which promises good pay for easy work. The only requirement to apply is naturally red hair. Wilson goes to the job interview and finds that many, many other men with red hair are competing for the same job. But Wilson is chosen, and soon begins work. The job is as easy as promised: copying the Encyclopaedia Britannica. The pay is good, too. One day, though, Wilson goes to his work as usual, only to find that the building is shut and there’s a sign saying that the Red Headed League has been disbanded. It’s a puzzling matter, and Wilson takes it to Sherlock Holmes, who agrees to find out what’s going on. It turns out that the Red-Headed League was just a cover for some nefarious business.

Agatha Christie’s Death in the Clouds (AKA Death in the Air), introduces us to Jane Grey, a London hairstylist’s assistant. She takes a chance on the Irish Sweeps, and turns out to be a winner. While there are all kinds of well-meaning suggestions for how to spend her winnings, Jane decides to take a trip to Le Pinet, just as her wealthy clients do. On her way back after the trip, she takes a flight from Paris to London. On that same flight is a Paris moneylender named Marie Morisot. When the flight lands, one of the stewards discovers that Mmlle. Morisot has died of what turns out to be poison. Hercule Poirot is on the same flight, and works with Chief Inspector Japp to find out who the killer is. In this case, it turns out that winning the sweeps competition wasn’t all celebration for Jane…

Hugh Pentecost’s The Fourteen Dilemma tells the story of the lucky Watson family, who wins an all-expenses paid trip to New York City, including a stay at the ultra-exclusive Hotel Beaumont. Everything is carefully planned for their comfort, and all starts off well enough. Then, their twelve-year-old daughter, Marilyn, wanders off and is later found dead, stuffed into a trash can. The family is devastated, and of course, the hotel will do everything it can to find out the truth. PR Director Mark Haskell works with the hotel’s manager, Pierre Chambrun, and with the police, to find out who killed Marilyn. And the truth turns out to be much more complicated than it seems on the surface.

Waldemar Leverkuhn learns that winning a competition isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be in Håkan Nesser’s The Unlucky Lottery. He and some friends go in together on a lottery ticket and, wonder of wonders, they win. They go out to celebrate and it looks as though everything will go well for them. But that night, Leverkuhn is stabbed to death. Intendant Münster and his team investigate the killing. And, of course, they focus on the friends that Leverkuhn was with that night. But it turns out that there are several other possibilities, too. And in the end, the murder is related to something that has nothing to do with a lottery ticket.

But don’t worry. Getting into a competition isn’t always dangerous. I promise. For instance, there are still a couple of days left for you to enter the Blackjack Blog Scavenger Hunt competition! What’s in it for you? Possibly one of three signed copies of Past Tense, my newest Joel Williams novel, which is coming out on 1 November. Wanna be a part of it? It’s easy! The instructions are right here. C’mon, play along!

 
 
 

*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from Billy Joel’s Easy Money.

 

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Filed under Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, Håkan Nesser, Hugh Pentecost

It’s Just Apartment House Rules*

Apartment BuildingsFlats, apartments, whatever you call them, can be an attractive alternative to home ownership, especially if you don’t have a whole lot of money. Even if you are doing well financially, living in an apartment often means you don’t have chores such as house painting, grass cutting and the like. And, depending on where you live, you’re not responsible for most repairs, either.

Of course, the experience of living in an apartment can be miserable if your landlord/lady or the management company isn’t professional and responsible. And you live at close quarters with other people, not all of whom may be pleasant.

But apartment buildings can be very effective contexts for crime fiction. People get to know things about each other when they live in the same building. And some apartment communities are more transient, which makes for all sorts of possibilities for hidden pasts and other secrets. It’s little wonder, then, that we see apartment buildings going up all over the genre.

In Agatha Christie’s Third Girl, we are introduced to Norma Restarick, a young woman who shares a London flat with Claudia Reece-Holland and Frances Cary. One day, she visits Hercule Poirot, telling him that she may have committed a murder. However, she leaves before she even gives him her name, since she says he’s ‘too old’ to be of help. Poirot finds out that his friend, detective story author Ariadne Oliver, knows the young woman; and, armed with her name, Poirot tries to find her to learn more about this possible murder. So does Mrs. Oliver. But before they can find out the truth about it, Norma disappears. Neither of her flat-mates knows where she is, and her family isn’t any more helpful. Eventually, though, Poirot and Mrs. Oliver learn the truth about the murder and Norma’s part in it. And it turns out that the apartment building in which she lives holds important clues.

Peter Høeg’s Smilla’s Sense of Snow (AKA Miss Smilla’s Feeling For Snow) introduces readers to Smilla Jaspersen, who lives in a Copenhagen apartment building. As the novel begins, she is attending the funeral of ten-year-old Isaac Christiansen, who, so the police say, tragically fell from the building’s roof. Like Smilla, Isaac was a Greenlander, so she felt a sort of bond with him, and is drawn to the roof where he fell. As she looks at the patterns in the snow, Smilla begins to wonder just how accidental the fall really was. So she starts to ask questions. Her search for the truth leads Smilla back to Greenland, and to something much bigger than just the death of one young boy.

Walter Mosley’s Ezekiel ‘Easy’ Rawlings owns three Los Angeles apartment buildings, including the Magnolia Street Apartments. Even though he’s the actual owner, he does the maintenance work in the building, and keeps a very low profile, letting someone else collect the rent. That way, he can have time for his other work, which we learn in A Red Death is
 

‘…the business of favors.’
 

He doesn’t have an official PI license, but he does have a good reputation for being able to solve problems and find people who don’t want to be found. And he knows everyone in the building, too. Most people there think of him as the handyman, and that’s how he likes it.

At the beginning of Val McDermid’s A Grave Tattoo, Wordsworth scholar and fledgling academic Jane Gresham is living in a London council flat – not a luxurious place to be. It’s what she can afford, though, and she’s doing her best to move on in her academic career. She’s made a sort of friend in thirteen-year-old Tenille Cole, who lives in the same building. That’s what living at close quarters can do. Tenille is extremely bright, and Jane sees in her true potential in literature and writing. But Tenille has a terrible home situation. The first part of this novel has a strong focus on life in council flats. Then, Jane hears that a body has surfaced in a bog in her native Lake District. It is possible that the body may be that of Fletcher Christian, of H.M.S. Bounty fame. If it is, then it’s possible that he didn’t die on Pitcairn Island as has always been believed. And if that’s true, he may have told his story to his good friend Wordsworth, which could mean there’s an unpublished manuscript out there somewhere. If it exists, that manuscript could be exactly what Jane needs to get her career going, so she goes to stay with her parents in their Lake District home to look into the matter. Meanwhile, one night after a tragic incident, Tenille leaves her home, too, and ends up in the Lake District. Her presence there plays an important role as Jane gets involved in a web of murder and false leads to try to find the manuscript she is convinced must exist.

There’s an interesting use of an apartment building in Håkan Nesser’s The Unlucky Lottery. Waldemar Leverkuhn finds out that a lottery ticket he went in on with friends has come out the big winner. So he goes out with those friends to celebrate. Late that night, he is murdered in his own bed. Intendant Münster and his team investigate. Of course, the victim’s wife Marie-Louise comes in for her share of suspicion, but she claims she wasn’t home the night of the murder. The team members also speak to the other people who live in the same apartment building as the Leverkuhns, and it’s interesting to learn how much they know about each other. People know who’s been in and out, who does what, and so on. Despite that, though, the investigating team doesn’t get very far at first. Eventually, though, they link Leverkuhn’s death to the events that led to it.

Of course, no discussion of apartment buildings in crime fiction would really be complete without a mention of Kerry Greenwood’s Corinna Chapman series. Chapman is a baker, who lives and has her shop in a large Melbourne apartment building called Insula. As the series goes on, we get to know the other people who live in the building. They each contribute to the atmosphere of the place, and they all care about each other. They may not be related to the other residents, but the people of Insula have formed a sort of family of their own.

Apartment buildings can have that sort of effect. Of course, they can also be eerie places. That’s why we see so many of them in crime fiction – much more than I can show in one post (I know, I know, fans of Robert Rotenberg’s Old City Hall). After all, do you really know what the person living next door, above you, or below you is really like?

 

 
 

*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from Paul Simon’s One Man’s Ceiling is Another Man’s Floor.

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Filed under Agatha Christie, Håkan Nesser, Kerry Greenwood, Peter Høeg, Robert Rotenberg, Val McDermid, Walter Mosley

Or Have You Moved Away?*

Mobile CommunitiesI live in the sort of community where people tend to come and go. Many families don’t stay for more than a few years, if even for that long. In such communities, you don’t often get to know the other people who live there very well. In fact, you may not even be aware that a couple or a family has moved in – until you see them moving out.

That kind of community can be difficult when it comes to investigating a crime. That’s partly because the residents don’t really know one another, and partly because people can be long gone before a crime is even discovered – if it is. But with today’s mobile society, such communities are becoming more and more common.

They’re certainly not new, though. For instance, in Agatha Christie’s Third Girl, we are introduced to Norma Restarick. The daughter of successful businessman Andrew Restarick, she lives in London in a flat that she shares with Claudia Reece-Holland and Frances Cary. It’s the kind of place where people stay for a short while, but then leave, either to buy homes, or for a job in another place. As one character puts it,
 

‘‘We cater very largely for people who come and go.’’
 

That’s one reason why, when Norma disappears, no-one takes much note of it. But Hercule Poirot does. Norma visited him shortly before she went missing, and told him she thought she might have committed a murder. With help from detective story writer Ariadne Oliver, Poirot finds out the truth about what happened to Norma Restarick, and the truth about her claim that she might have killed someone.

The fictional town of Sea Haven, New Jersey, is another place where people tend to come and go. Just ask Chris Grabenstein’s Danny Boyle. He and his boss, John Ceepak, are police officers for Sea Haven, and they’ve seen their share of people who come, stay for a week or two (sometimes longer), and then leave. In fact, when we first meet Boyle in Tilt a Whirl, he’s a temporary cop, hired to help deal with the summer crowds. Here’s what he says about the transient nature of Sea Haven in that novel:
 

‘Saturday is changeover day. People who rented last week are leaving; people renting this week will show up later, after the maid brigades have vacuumed the sandy floors and tossed out the abandoned seashell collections.’
 

In an environment like that, it’s often difficult to follow up on leads. And it’s part of the challenge Boyle and Ceepak face when they investigate the murder of successful businessman Reginald Hart. Was the killer a transient homeless person? Someone who was in town for a week or two and now gone? It turns out to be much more complicated than the two detectives think at first.

People also tend to move in and move out in places with second/summer/holiday homes. A lot of people who have such places don’t really get to know each other, and there’s all sorts of opportunity for crime to go on. That’s what happens in Bill Crider’s Death on the Move. Sheriff Dan Rhodes of Blacklin County, Texas is faced with a difficult case when his friend Clyde Ballinger, who owns the local funeral home, is accused of theft. Ballinger’s innocent, but the case leads Rhodes to a disturbing problem: several of the summer homes around Clearview Lake have been completely stripped of anything valuable. What’s more, one of the local residents says she’s seen a suspicious rental van driving around the area. Matters get even worse when a body is discovered in one of the homes. It’s not the owner, and there’s no identification. So at first, it’s really difficult to tell who the victim is. It’s complicated by the fact that this is the sort of place where people come and go, so that nobody really knows anybody else as well as one might think. There’s a similar sort of premise, too, in Jørn Lier Horst’s Closed for Winter.

Very often, when people move, they tend to more or less disappear, at least from the point of view of other people who live nearby. If you think about it, you’re not likely to know where the people who used to live near you have gone. The van comes, their things are packed, and they go. You might have a vague idea (‘We’re moving to ___ because I got a new job’), but you don’t necessarily keep track. We see that in Håkan Nesser’s The Unlucky Lottery.  Elderly Waldemar Leverkuhn and some friends have gone in together on a lottery ticket. When they turn out to be the winners, they decide to go out and celebrate. Later that night, Leverkuhn is killed. Intendant Münster and his team investigate, beginning with the people who live in the same building. Nobody is really close with anyone else, so no-one can really say why Leverkuhn was killed, much less by whom. The victim’s friends aren’t very helpful, either. The team also looks into Leverkuhn’s past, including talking to people the Leverkuhn family used to know years earlier. And it’s not until the team visits that place, where people know each other better, that they start to get some hints about the real truth.

There’s also often a lot of coming and going in migrant communities. People arrive, work for a while, and then either return to their own countries or find other places to settle in more permanently. People may know each other slightly, but they don’t usually keep track of one another. We see that in Eva Dolan’s Long Way Home. In that novel, DI Dushan Zigic and DS Mel Ferreira investigate when the body of an unknown man is discovered in the remains of a shed fire. After a short time, the man is identified as an Estonian named Jaan Stepulov. Now the detectives are faced with the thankless task of tracing the victim’s last days and weeks. It’s difficult partly because people in that community are not interested in talking to the police. But just as difficult is finding anyone who really knew the victim. People move in and out to the extent that nobody really knows anyone well.

And that’s the thing about certain communities. They may not be exactly transient, but they certainly don’t have a stable group of people who’ve lived there a while and know each other well. These are just a few examples of such places in crime fiction. Over to you.

 

 
 

*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from The Smiths’ Back to the Old House.

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Filed under Agatha Christie, Bill Crider, Chris Grabenstein, Eva Dolan, Håkan Nesser, Jørn Lier Horst

Pile More Wood Upon the Fire*

FireplacesBeing able to make and control a fire has been an essential part of human survival. Fires have protected people from predators, cooked their food, and kept them warm for practically as long as there’ve been humans. So it makes sense that people are drawn to fireplaces and, in the outdoors, to campfires. When it’s cold outside, there’s nothing like a comfortable chair near the fireplace, with the fire lit, your beverage of choice poured, and a novel in your hand. Or a group of friends sitting near the fireplace, laughing and telling stories. Out in the open, a campfire means fresh-roasted food and coffee, warmth, and the kind of psychological intimacy that sharing that warmth brings.

It’s such an important part of life for so many people that it’s not surprising we see fireplaces and campfires so often in crime fiction. All sorts of conversations happen there, and sometimes, fireplaces provide clues, too.

Agatha Christie used fireplaces in several of her mysteries. I won’t mention particular titles or circumstances, as that would be giving away spoilers. But there are several Christie stories in which important information and clues are hidden on mantelpieces, squirreled away in and near hearths, and so on. There are a few, too (Taken at the Flood and Ordeal by Innocence come to my mind), where pokers, edges of hearths and the like turn out to be deadly.

In Håkan Nesser’s Mind’s Eye, Inspector Van Veeteren and his team investigate the murder of Eva Ringmar, who is found dead in her bathtub. Her husband, Janek Mitter, is the most likely suspect. He was on the scene at the time of the killing, but was so drunk that he remembers little about that night. He claims that he loved his wife and did not kill her; but there is circumstantial evidence against him. So he is duly arrested, tried and convicted. Since he remembers so little about the night of the murder, he’s remanded to a mental hospital instead of a regular jail, with the hope being he’ll start to recover his memory. Van Veeteren isn’t convinced that Mitter is guilty. And when Mitter himself is brutally murdered, it seems clear that he was innocent. So Van Veeteren and his team look into the matter more deeply. One ‘person of interest’ is Andreas Berger, Eva Ringmar’s first husband. Berger has since married again and has a family, and he invites Van Veeteren to dinner at his home. Afterwards, they have a drink in front of a warm, inviting fire. Against this backdrop, Van Veeteren feels guilty about asking the difficult questions he has to ask (Berger is, after all, a suspect). The contrast between the friendly, homey scene and the ugly reality of interrogation make the process difficult for him. But he asks his questions, and Berger gives him some interesting background information.

In Vicki Delany’s Winter of Secrets, Trafalgar, British Columbia Constable Moonlight ‘Molly’ Smith investigates the deaths of Jason Wyatt-Yarmouth and Ewan Williams. These two young men were part of a group of six young people who were taking a skiing holiday in Trafalgar. One snowy night, the group’s rental SUV skids on an icy patch of road and goes into the Upper Kootenay River. Forensics tests show that Jason, who was driving, died as a result of the accident and exposure in the river. But Ewan had already been dead for several hours before the accident. So Smith and her boss, Sergeant John Winters, trace his last days and hours to find out what happened to him. One possibility – and the evidence suggests this might be the case – is that Ewan was killed at the B&B where the group was staying. There’s a chance he was hit with a fireplace poker, and the evidence includes traces of what could be fireplace ash. And, since Smith has been to the B&B, she knows it has a fireplace. Armed with this knowledge, Smith urges her boss to go to the B&B with a search team. Winters agrees, based on what Smith has told him. The only problem is, the fireplace at the B&B is gas-powered. Needless to say, the team leave with proverbial egg on their faces, and Smith has a lot of explaining to do.

There’s a very tense scene in front of a fireplace in Peter May’s The Blackhouse. Edinburgh police detective Fionnlagh ‘Fin’ Macleod is seconded to the Isle of Lewis. One of the island’s residents, Angel Macritchie, has been murdered in a way that’s very similar to a murder that MacLeod is already investigating. It’s hoped that his working with the Lewis police will help to solve both cases. MacLeod grew up on Lewis, so he knows most of the people who live there, including a former friend Artair Macinnes. One night, he has dinner with Artair and his wife Marsaili. The situation is awkward, since Marsaili is MacLeod’s old love. Nonetheless, everyone behaves more or less politely. Then, Marsaili leaves to make up the spare room so that MacLeod can spend the night. The two men sit by the fire with a drink. At first it’s peaceful enough. But then, Artair, who’s had more than his share, stuns MacLeod with an attack of vitriol. At the end, he says something that shocks his guest and changes everything. The conversation is a real contrast to what’s supposed to be a friendly, warm setting.

Of course, not all ‘hearth’ scenes have to be indoors. In Adrian Hyland’s Gunshot Road, for instance, Aboriginal Community Police Officer (ACPO) Emily Tempest investigates the murder of geologist and former prospector Albert ‘Doc’ Ozolins. The official police theory is that he was murdered as the result of a drunken quarrel. But Tempest isn’t sure that’s what really happened. Her questions and insistence on investigating get her into serious trouble with her boss, Bruce Cockburn. More than that, they put her in serious danger. In fact, she is brutally attacked. Not very long afterwards, she travels with her lover, JoJo Kelly, to his bush shack. She’s still suffering from what happened to her, but feels much better when she and JoJo arrive at the shack. There, she sees that her best friend, Hazel Flinders, has come to visit and lit a bluebush campfire. The company of people close to her and the warmth of the fire do much to help Emily start the healing process. It’s a very human, intimate scene that shows, among other things, the way a fire can draw people close.

There are a lot of other ‘hearth’ scenes in mysteries (I’m thinking, for instance, of Arthur Conant Doyle’s novels, Arthur Upfield’s novels, and Louise Penny’s novels). That context can provide a very effective background for the exchange of confidences, contrast with tension, and clues, too. Which have stayed with you?

 
 
 

*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from Billy Joel’s She’s Right on Time.

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Filed under Adrian Hyland, Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, Arthur Upfield, Håkan Nesser, Louise Penny, Peter May, Vicki Delany