Sunday, 17 June 2007


There's an excellent series of murder mysteries which have this particular episode where two attractive young lawyers, Selina and Julia, go to a louche party as part of their investigations of the death of an heiress's cousin. On arriving they almost immediately regret it -- the music is loud, the lighting low, people in various states of undress are indulging in wild behaviour, and alcohol and even stronger intoxicants are pressed upon them. They partake, perhaps unwisely, of what our Welsh cousins call "y mwg drwg". Julia tells the story later; at this point, she says, Selina shocked her greatly by throwing off all social constraint, and giving herself over entirely to pleasure. She took from her handbag a small hardback copy of Pride and Prejudice, and sat on a sofa reading it, ignoring all conversational attempts.

I'm being a bit like this at the moment, ruthlessly not doing social things I don't want to do.

The books are by Sarah Caudwell, and are great, though you might not like them if you dislike things which are arch, like Stephen Fry's The Liar, or Kyril Bonfiglioli's Mortdecai books. Her detective, Hilary Tamar, solves crimes using the principles of textual criticism, which is quite cool if you've studied textual criticism, though I do realise that's a pretty niche market.

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