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View Diary: Bookflurries-Bookchat: Songs of Life (130 comments)

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  •  This bothered me, too, in a mystery (12+ / 0-)

    I recently read.  

    I think sometimes Doyle doesn't play entirely fair
    The hero took one look at a paycheck and knew everything.

    Later it was explained what he saw, but I searched the book to see if there was any clue that would explain how seeing the check would tell him anything and I couldn't find it.  It was an early work of a popular author so I cut some slack, too, but it bugged me no end.

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    by cfk on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 05:21:12 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  There's a fine line (6+ / 0-)

      between giving us enough information and putting in a blinking Dan-Brown-style neon arrow pointing to the clue.

      There's an Agatha Christie novel (sorry, I forget which one) where the murder victim left a handwritten note:

      possession
      I am posessed
      He is possessed
      Hastings wonders if the woman had some notion of demonic possession.  Poirot later reveals that he noted the variant spellings, surmised that she was using it in a sentence to figure out which spelling was right, and got from there to the likelihood that she was revising her will.  

      That's the right amount of clue.  Telling us the victim left a note, but never divulging the contents, would not have been playing fair.

      I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his payroll. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

      by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 07:15:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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