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Book Talk

‘A famous London bookshop recently held a discussion with two writers of detective novels. Me, Frank Forthright, with Inspector Periwinkle, and Jeanne du Lally and her Superintendent Maestroso. We discussed characterisation, atmosphere and knowledge of police procedurals in our respective countries. Among the largely female audience was an elderly man who, when we asked for questions, confessed he was perplexed by our works. “I can never find the line of clues to follow to the denouement. I can rarely find whodunnit!” An embarrassed silence followed. Here was a voice from the past treating us as if we were authors of Agatha Christie-like English cosies. “We don’t deal in clues,” said Jeanne. “Maestro battles with the machinations of corrupt government in which murder plays only a minor role.”

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