Category Archives: P.D. Martin

The Stage is Set*

In Janice MacDonald’s The Eye of the Beholder (the 7th in her Miranda ‘Randy’ Craig series), Randy and her police-officer partner, Steve Browning, marry. It’s winter, so Randy and Steve are among large numbers of Western Canadians (they are based in Edmonton) who take off for warmer climates. Their honeymoon destination, Puerta Vallarta, Mexico, is beautiful, but the newly-married bliss is soon interrupted. The body of University of Alberta student Kristen Perry has been discovered on the beach. At first, it looks as though she was simply suntanning. But it turns out that her body was deliberately posed. Since the victim was Canadian, Steve is asked to help with the investigation. Kristen didn’t really have any local connections, so he concentrates on her life in Alberta. She was studying art, so Randy uses her connections to the university’s Art Department (she is a sessional lecturer at the university) to get to know more about Kristen. In the end, we learn what the connection is between Kristen’s art background, and the way the body was posed.

In that novel, the pose of the body and the things around it are a clear clue and message. We see that in other crime fiction, too. In several novels and stories, murder scenes are contrived, or at least posed. Sometimes it’s to send a message. Other times it’s to misdirect. Either way, the position of a body can tell a lot about a crime.

For instance, in Agatha Christie’s The Hollow (AKA Murder After Hours), Harley Street Specialist Dr. John Christow is shot one Sunday during a visit to Sir Henry and Lady Lucy Angkatell. Hercule Poirot has taken a cottage nearby and is invited for lunch. When he arrives, he sees what looks like a macabre tableau arranged for his ‘amusement.’ There’s Christow’s body, there’s the murderer holding the weapon, and it all looks, in a way, artificial. But it turns out that this murder is all too real. Poirot works with Inspector Grange to find out who killed Christow and why. Along the way, we find out why the murder scene was arranged as it was.

One of the plot threads in James Ellroy’s L.A. Confidential involves the murder of Sid Hudgens, chief writer for Hush Hush magazine. He’s had a secret deal with LAPD officer Jack Vincennes; he gets ‘inside dirt’ from Vincennes in exchange for a ‘consideration.’ So, when he is killed, Vincennes has a personal interest in finding the killer. Hudgens’ body, and markings on it, are posed in a way that resembles a cache of pornography that the police have discovered. That connection proves to be crucial in solving the murders of six patrons at the Nite Owl, an all-night diner.

In one plot thread of Tony Hillerman’s The Ghostway, Los Angeles Navajo Albert Gorman travels to the Big Reservation. He’s later found dead not far from the property of a kinsman named Ashie Begay, and Jim Chee, of the Navajo Tribal Police (now the Navajo Nation Police) investigates. Gorman’s body has been prepared for burial in the traditional Navajo way, but Chee notices that it hasn’t been done correctly. To him, that means that Begay, who is an observant, traditional Navajo, probably wasn’t responsible. Chee slowly finds out more about Gorman, and learns what the connection is between him and a Los Angeles auto-theft ring. And in the end, he links that death to the disappearance of another of Gorman’s kin.

In P.D. Martin’s Fan Mail, best-selling novelist Loretta Black pays a visit to the FBI’s Behavior Analysis Unit to do background research. There, she meets FBI profiler Sophie Anderson. Soon afterwards, Anderson takes a field position in Los Angeles. That’s where she learns that Loretta Black has been murdered in an eerie imitation of the murder in her latest novel. Then, another novelist is killed, also in an imitation of a murder in that writer’s work. And another disappears. Now, Anderson has to work with the LAPD to find out who has targeted these novelists and why.

And then there’s Anna Jaquieri’s The Lying Down Room. In it, Commandant Serge Morel of the Paris Police is called to the scene of a murder. The body of Isabelle Dufour has been discovered in her bed. Post-mortem findings reveal that she was drowned before she died, and placed in her bed, with extra makeup and a red wig. Then, another woman, Elisabeth Guillou,is also found dead, posed in the same way as the first victim. The two women didn’t know each other, didn’t live near each other, and had little in common other than their gender. So, it’s hard for Morel and his time to link the deaths. But he is convinced that they are connected. Once he learns what the connection is, he is able to begin the process of finding the killer and the motive.

There are a number of reasons why a body might be posed or dressed in a certain way. It might be a message, or it might be done to misdirect. Or, it might have to do with the motive. Whatever the reason, it can add to the tension and the mystery in a novel.


*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from Albert “Al” Hamilton, Eugene Hamilton (under the pseudonym of Ronnie Savoy), and Ed Wingate’s The Whole World is a Stage. 


Filed under Agatha Christie, Anna Jaquiery, James Ellroy, Janice MacDonald, P.D. Martin, Tony Hillerman

Oh, I Wanna Talk to You*

Readers and WritersIf you think about it, writing – any sort of writing – is a form of communication between author and reader. And I use the term ‘communication’ very deliberately. Authors plan their stories, put them together, and send them out to readers. Sometimes they have other kinds of messages (social, political, environmental, etc.), but even when they don’t, their stories serve as tools for communication.

But it doesn’t just work in one direction. After all, communication implies that messages are sent, if you will, in both directions. Readers respond to what the author says through book reviews, blog comments and so on. Sometimes they go to conventions and other gatherings where they can meet authors in person. In fact, I know of several blog friends (you know who you are) who’ve reached out to authors for interviews and Q&A opportunities.

This back-and-forth between authors and readers isn’t new. Fans of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes will know that Conan Doyle was quite ready to be done with his creation. He wrote his vision of Holmes’ end in The Adventure of the Final Problem. But that wasn’t what readers wanted. They made it abundantly clear that they wanted more of Holmes, despite Conan Doyle’s feelings about the matter. In the end, he was persuaded to bring his creation back.

Here’s what Agatha Christie’s detective story novelist Ariadne Oliver has to say about the author/reader relationship. In Cards on the Table, she works with Hercule Poirot, Superintendent Battle, and Colonel Race to find out who murdered the very eccentric Mr. Shaitana. At one point, Mrs. Oliver provides some useful information:

‘‘You’ve been the goods, Mrs. Oliver,’ he said. ‘You’re a much better detective than that long lanky Laplander of yours.’ 
‘Finn,” corrected Mrs. Oliver. ‘Of course he’s idiotic. But people like him. Good-by.’’

And that’s not the only story in which Mrs. Oliver mentions both her frustration with her creation and her acceptance that people want to read about him. It’s said that Christie used Mrs. Oliver’s character as a way of poking fun at herself, and sometimes, of expressing her feelings. It’s also said that she was as fed up with Hercule Poirot as Mrs. Oliver is with her Sven Hjerson, but continued to write about him because that’s what her readers wanted. If that’s true, it’s another example of the ways in which readers make their views known to authors.

With today’s instant global communication, it’s easier than ever for readers and authors to be in contact. I’ve had the distinct pleasure and honour of having several authors whose work I respect comment on this blog and send me emails. It’s very kind of them to take the time to do so, and it’s given me real insights. And it’s not just a matter of blogs. Sites such as Goodreads and Amazon are virtual meeting places for writers and readers. And many authors include options on their websites for contacting them.

In some ways, that can be beneficial for both sides. Readers can feel a connection to an author, and (hopefully!) therefore, a greater connection to that author’s work. And some authors really do pay close attention to what readers say. For example, P.D. Martin’s Coming Home, the sixth in her Sophie Anderson series, was,

‘…written with input from anyone who wanted to affect the plot and outcome of a crime fiction novel. Anyone and everyone could vote, watching their plot choices come to life six days later!’

It’s a very different approach to writing a novel, and shows how today’s technology can make reader/author communication easier than ever.

Authors can benefit from knowing what makes their work appealing to readers (and what isn’t working). I know several authors who regularly look for patterns in reviews of their work, to see if there’s something that they need to re-consider.

On the other hand, there is the fact that sometimes, authors do nasty things to their characters, even characters whom people like. I think we can all come up with examples of authors who’ve killed off beloved characters (no names – no spoilers). And sometimes, authors take their series in directions we don’t anticipate. Should authors necessarily check with readers before doing such things? Speaking strictly for me, I don’t think so. Of course getting a book published is an ‘ensemble effort,’ in the sense that the wise author pays attention to what others say. Editors, agents, and readers have valuable ideas. So do other authors and those who serve as first readers for a manuscript. Balancing that important input with the author’s own ideas and inspiration is tricky.

What do you think about all of this? Do you contact authors with your input? If you’re an author, how do you stay in contact with what your readers want?


And…talking of such things…  Several of you have asked me to add on to some of the short fiction I’ve put up on this blog. That means a lot to me – trust me, more than you know. So I’m going to let you choose which of my stories should be continued. Here are your options:

Giving All Your Clothes to Charity
Clean-Up Time
A Bite to Eat

Check ‘em out if you’ve forgotten them, and then feel free to vote in the poll below. Whichever story gets the most votes when the poll closes (in about a week) gets continued.





*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from Coldplay’s Talk.


Filed under Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, P.D. Martin

It’s a Dirty Story of a Dirty Man*

Stories within StoriesOne interesting plot strategy that authors sometimes use is to fold one story within another. The ‘story within a story’ plot thread needs to be handled very carefully; otherwise the result can be confusing, plodding or meandering. But when it’s handled well, a story within a story can richness to a novel. It can also add suspense and tension.

The main plot of Agatha Christie’s Dead Man’s Folly, for instance, concerns detective novelist Ariadne Oliver’s trip to Nasse House in Nassecomb. She’s there on commission to create a Murder Hunt as an attraction for an upcoming fête. She soon suspects, though, that more is going on than preparations for the event. So she asks Hercule Poirot to join her and investigate; this he agrees to do. On the day of the fête, fourteen-year-old Marlene Tucker, who’s been playing the part of the victim in the Murder Hunt, is actually killed. Poirot works with Mrs. Oliver and Inspector Bland to find out who would have wanted to kill her. Wrapped within this story is the plot of Mrs. Oliver’s Murder Hunt. We learn the plot through the synopsis and character profiles she provides, and that folded-in story plays its role in the larger plot.

In Colin Dexter’s The Wench is Dead, Inspector Morse has developed a bleeding ulcer (not particularly surprising given his lifestyle and – er – diet). During his hospital recovery, he is given a copy of Murder on the Oxford Canal, which tells the story of the 1859 murder of Joanna Franks on a canal boat. At the time, two men were arrested and convicted of the crime, and duly executed. But as he reads the book, Morse becomes convinced that they were innocent. As soon as possible, he sets out to discover who the real killer was. So at the same time as we follow the main plot of Morse’s recovery and search for the truth in this case, we also follow Joanna Franks’ story. Fans of Josephine Tey’s The Daughter of Time will know that that novels is structured in a similar way. Inspector Alan Grant is recovering from a broken leg when he becomes interested in the history of Richard III and the story of the Princes in the Tower.

James Yaffe’s Mom Doth Murder Sleep is the story of what happens when the Mesa Grande, Colorado amateur theatrical troupe puts on a production of The Scottish Play. The cast includes Roger Meyers, who also works for the local Public Defender’s office. On opening night, Martin Osborn, who has the lead role, is murdered. His leading lady Sally Michaels is arrested for the crime; she had motive, too, as he’d recently ended a relationship with her. But there are other suspects, too, and Meyer’s boss Dave works with him to find out who was really guilty. Simon Brett’s What Bloody Man is This? also folds in the plot of the The Scottish Play with the main plot of the murder of the lead actor.

Sometimes, a ‘story within a story’ plot line can be very effective at building tension. Fans of Stephen King’s Misery, for instance, will know that this story’s main plot concerns novelist Paul Sheldon, and what happens to him when he is rescued after a car accident that happens during a bad snowstorm. His savior, Annie Wilkes, is a fanatic devotee of his work. And that’s the problem. She gets deeply involved with the plot of his latest novel, which is still in manuscript form. And when certain plot events don’t go the way she wants them to, she takes her own kind of action about it. In this novel, the story told in the manuscript plays a role in the larger plot. Admittedly, this isn’t, strictly speaking, a crime fiction novel; it’s more psychological horror. But it really was too good an example not to include…

P.D. Martin’s Fan Mail also shows what can happen when the plot of a novel is folded into a larger plot. FBI profiler Sophie Anderson meets best-selling crime novelist Loretta Black when Black pays a visit to Anderson’s department as a part of researching a new novel. Not very long afterwards, Anderson transfers to the FBI’s Los Angeles field office. She’s settling in there when she learns that Black has been murdered in an eerie re-enactment of the murder in her latest novel. That case is under investigation when there’s another murder, again of a novelist who is killed in the same way as the fictional character is killed. Then another novelist disappears. Now Anderson works with the local FBI team and the LAPD to find out who has targeted crime writers.

More recently, Renée Knight’s Disclaimer tells the story of what happens when documentary filmmaker Catherine Ravenscroft decides to read a new book called The Perfect Stranger. She soon discovers that the book is about her, and tells a terrifying secret that she’s kept for twenty years. But how did anyone know that secret? And why would anyone want to ruin her life? Now she’ll have to go back to the past to find out who is threatening her now.

I’ve only mentioned a few examples here; I know you can think of a lot more. Folding one story into another is an interesting way to add depth and keep readers engaged. When it works well it can also add a great deal of suspense. Which stories like this have you enjoyed? If you’re a writer, have you used this plot point?



*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from The Beatles’ Paperback Writer. Happy Birthday, Sir Paul!

Paperback Writer_6126


Filed under Agatha Christie, Colin Dexter, James Yaffe, Josephine Tey, P.D. Martin, Renée Knight, Simon Brett, Stephen King

Scotland Yard Was Trying Hard*

National Police ForcesMany countries have a national police force or other law-enforcement agency with jurisdiction over the entire country. There are also sometimes local, province/state/department-level, or regional police as well.

National police forces and agencies are often the subject of crime fiction novels, for obvious reasons. And it’s fascinating (at least to me) to look at how they’re treated. Of course, a lot of that depends on the protagonist of a given novel or series, and it’s interesting to look at the different lenses through which those agencies are viewed.

The Met (formerly Scotland Yard), for instance, gets some very different treatments depending on the perspective of a given book or series. You’ll probably already know that the Met is not a national police force per se. But the agency does include expert special branches and services that other regional police forces tap. And in series such as Jane Casey’s Maeve Kerrigan novels, Elizabeth George’s Lynley/Havers novels, or James Craig’s John Carlyle novels, Met police are treated sympathetically. In all of those cases, we have a protagonist who’s a member of that police force, so that makes sense. It’s not that there are no unpleasant Met characters in those novels. But the agency itself is viewed as competent and, overall, a positive force. Not so, though, if one reads, for instance, Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories. Fans of those novels will know that Holmes has little patience with Scotland Yard. There are other novels too where there’s friction between Met branches and regional police.

We see a similar sort of disparity when it comes to the way the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Canada’s national police force, is treated. In L.R. Wright’s The Suspect for instance, we meet RCMP Staff Sergeant Karl Alberg, who investigates the murder of eighty-five-year-old Carlyle Burke. It’s a very puzzling case; soon enough, Alberg begins to suspect eighty-year-old George Wilcox, but he can’t find a motive. Readers know from the beginning of the novel that Wilcox is, indeed, guilty. The suspense in the story really comes from the slow reveal of the motive and from Alberg’s dogged pursuit of the truth about the case. In this novel, the RCMP is not portrayed as perfect in the least. But it’s presented as an overall solid agency with competent law enforcers. Scott Young’s novels featuring Matthew ‘Matteesie’ Kitologitak are also more sympathetic than unsympathetic towards Matteesie’s employer, the RCMP. But we get a very different picture through reading the work of Inger Ash Wolfe/Michael Redhill, Giles Blunt or Robert Rotenberg. Those series feature police protagonists who are in local or provincial police forces, and their perceptions of RCMP involvement are not exactly positive. At best, RCMP involvement is irritating. At worst, RCMP ‘players’ are slow, incompetent and counterproductive.

There’s an interesting ‘inside’ look at the Australian Federal Police (AFP) in Kel Robertson’s novels featuring Bradman ‘Brad’ Chen. As a member of the AFP, Chen participates in investigations that have federal (and sometimes international) implications. He works with competent and dependable team members, too. They aren’t always perfect, and they like a night off work as much as the next person. But they do their jobs well and they are committed to their work. What’s more, they form an important support network for Chen. They’re as much his mates as they are his colleagues.

There’s a less positive portrayal of the AFP in Angela Savage’s Behind the Night Bazaar, which introduces her Bangkok-based PI sleuth Jayne Keeney. In this novel, Keeney travels north to Chiang Mai to visit her friend, Didier ‘Didi’ de Montpasse. When his partner Nou is murdered, Didi is devastated. The police visit him, supposedly because he was considered a suspect. During their visit he’s shot, and the police report is that he was in fact guilty, and tried to resist arrest. The report alleges that he represented an immediate threat to the arresting officers. But Keeney is sure that her friend was innocent, and works to clear his name. In the process of looking into the case, she crosses paths with AFP agent Mark D’Angelo. He’s in Thailand on special assignment with a group that’s looking into human trafficking and the child sex trade. D’Angelo is not portrayed as stupid, incompetent or corrupt. But Keeney does find him unwilling to really consider all the implications of what he’s doing. And without spoiling the story, I can say that for Keeney, it’s very difficult to reconcile herself to the perceptions he and his task force represent.

Talking of Bangkok, the Royal Thai Police have jurisdiction in Thailand. There are several novels (Andrew Grant’s Death in the Kingdom is one of them) in which this agency is depicted as corrupt and greedy at best. But other novels (including Savage’s work) show things differently. Savage’s Jayne Keeney knows that doing her job successfully depends on a rapport with the police. So she’s worked to get to know them. She finds some of the Royal Thai Police to be just as venal as their reputation suggests. But most do their jobs the best they can. And the hard-working police Keeney knows have encountered at least as many problems caused by farangs (foreigners) as those caused by the police. We also see a generally positive portrayal of the Royal Thai Police in John Burdett’s Sonchai Jitpleecheep series. Sonchai is a member of the police force and a very observant Buddhist. As he investigates cases, readers get an ‘inside look’ at some of the challenges the police face and some of the ways in which they make a very positive impact. That’s not to say of course that there are no corrupt or even dangerous police in those novels. And even the ‘good guys’ have their faults. But we do see a more or less sympathetic depiction of this national police force, and one that shows readers what goes on ‘behind the scenes.’

Fred Vargas’ Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg is a member of the Police Nationale, one of France’s two national police forces. The Police Nationale have jurisdiction in large cities, and Vargas’ novels portray at least Adamsberg’s team as competent, if eccentric (to say the very least). They do their jobs and they care about their work in their way. The Gendarmerie has jurisdiction in smaller towns, rural areas and borderlands. This group gets a less positive treatment from Vargas, although she doesn’t portray each member in a terribly negative way. Martin Walker’s Benoît ‘Bruno’ Courrèges series isn’t very flattering to the Gendarmerie either. In fact. Bruno, who is Chief of Police of the village of St. Denis, very often finds himself at odds with Captain Duroc of the local gendarmerie. In fact, he works better with the Police Nationale. As an aside, you’ll probably know that the Police Nationale used to be known as the Sûreté. Fans of Agatha Christie’s The Murder on the Links will know that her Hercule Poirot is no big fan of that group…

You’ll notice that until now, I’ve not mentioned the US’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). That’s because there are dozens and dozens of crime novels and series that mention that agency, either in a positive or negative light. P.D. Martin’s Sophie Anderson is an FBI agent, and as you can imagine, the agency is portrayed more or less positively in those novels. There are many others too that depict the FBI in a sympathetic way. But if you read Tony Hillerman’s work or some of James Lee Burke’s novels, you soon see that it’s not at all that simple. There are dozens of novels and series in which the FBI is portrayed as officious, heavy-handed, and sometimes corrupt.

So what can we say about national police agencies (or those that provide national-level services)? They’re large, sometimes complicated, and therefore, complex. As with many groups, the answer depends on whom you ask.


*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from Bruce Springsteen’s Blinded by the Light.


Filed under Agatha Christie, Andrew Grant, Angela Savage, Arthur Conan Doyle, Elizabeth George, Fred Vargas, Giles Blunt, Inger Ash Wolfe, James Craig, James Lee Burke, Jane Casey, John Burdett, Kel Robertson, L.R. Wright, Martin Walker, Michael Redhill, P.D. Martin, Robert Rotenberg, Scott Young, Tony Hillerman

Thursday Night Your Stockings Needed Mending*

StockingsNot very long ago, Moira at Clothes in Books posted an interesting discussion of giving stockings as gifts. And that’s not her first post on stockings in literature. The whole thing has me thinking of how often stockings do figure in books; certainly they do in crime fiction. You might not really think about it, because they’ve been such an ordinary, everyday part of dressing for a lot of people for a long time. But they certainly play a role in crime novels.

For example, Anthony Berkeley’s The Silk Stocking Murders begins with a letter sent to Roger Sheringham at the offices of The Daily Courier, where he is a contributing columnist. The letter is from a rural parson, A.E. Manners, who is concerned about his daughter Janet. Janet had left home to try to ‘seek her fortune’ as the saying goes, and for some time, she’d been writing more or less regularly, mostly from London. But now her letters have stopped, and her father is worried about her. He doesn’t want the police involved, so he asks Sheringham to investigate. Sheringham’s curious about it, and happens to mention the matter to a colleague. His colleague identifies the ‘photo of Janet that Sheringham shows him as that of a chorus girl who recently died. She was strangled with her own silk stockings, and the police theory is that it was suicide. But Sheringham isn’t sure that’s the case, so he looks into the matter more deeply. Then, other, similar murders occur. Now it’s clear that Janet’s death was not suicide, so Sheringham works with Inspector Moresby and with Janet’s older sister Anne to find out the truth.

In Agatha Christie’s A Pocket Full of Rye, wealthy Rex Fortescue is poisoned, and Inspector Neele is assigned to investigate. He begins, as is logical, with the members of Fortescue’s family, and it’s not long before he discovers plenty of motives. To say the least, the family has not been a loving, united one. But if it’s a family member, what’s the meaning of the bunch of grains of rye that were found in Fortescue’s pocket? Neele tries to keep an open mind, but he doesn’t get very far along. Then, the family maid Gladys Martin is killed – strangled with a stocking. Miss Marple is especially upset at this, since she knows Gladys well. In fact, she prepared her for domestic service. So she gets involved in the investigation, and works to find out who the murderer is. The case isn’t solved in time to prevent more death, but in the end, Miss Marple gets to the truth. I know, I know, fans of Cards on the Table and of The ABC Murders.

In P.D. Martin’s Fan Mail, best-selling crime novelist Loretta Black pays a visit to the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit, where Sophie Anderson works. Soon afterwards, Anderson transfers to the Los Angeles FBI office. Then, she learns that Loretta Black has been killed. What’s especially eerie about this murder is that it exactly resembles a series of murders Black wrote about in a novel. Part of the fictional killer’s ‘signature’ was strangling with torn-off stockings, and that’s how Black’s been murdered. Then, another writer is killed; again, the real murder mimics the writer’s fiction. And another writer disappears. Now, Anderson has to work with the LAPD as well as her fellow field agents to find out who the killer is before there are more murders.

Tony Black’s Murder Mile also has stockings as a main ingredient. Edinburgh DI Rob Brennan and his team investigate when the body of Lindsay Sloan is discovered in a field. She’s been strangled with her own stockings, and the body mutilated. As Brennan works on the case, he learns that this murder is eerily similar to the five-year-old murder of Fiona McGow, whose killer was never caught. When the media gets wind of this possible connection, the press begin to dub the killer ‘The Edinburgh Ripper.’ Pressure builds to catch this murderer before there are any more victims. It’s not going to be an easy case though, because the one witness who may have valuable information is not willing to give it up.

There’s also Kate Flora’s Death in Paradise. Boston education consultant Thea Kozak attends an education conference on Maui (trust me; that is a beautiful place for a conference!). The director of the conference is Martina Pullman, who heads the National Association of Girls’ Schools. One morning, Pullman doesn’t appear for a conference session. Since it’s very unlike her, the other people in the session begin to get worried. A search is made, and her body is found in her hotel room, strangled with a stocking. What’s more, she’s dressed more like a ‘call girl’ than an education executive. The association isn’t exactly a united group, so there are plenty of suspects. In the end though, Kozak finds out who’s responsible and what the motive is.

See what I mean? Stockings may be very useful, but they can be extremely dangerous, too. Little wonder I like trousers as well as I do…. 😉

Thanks, Moira, for the inspiration. Now may I suggest your next blog round stop be at Clothes in Books, which is the source for fictional fashion and popular culture and what it all says about us.

*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from The Beatles’ Lady Madonna.


Filed under Agatha Christie, Anthony Berkeley, Kate Flora, P.D. Martin, Tony Black