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I have an idea

For a series of whodunnits, in which a very elderly Cottia investigates mysteries around the South Downs, with young Servius Placidus from the Horses of the Chalk story that I wrote, as her sidekick.  Because, I love genteel whodunnits. And I love Roman whodunnits. And elderly ladies investigating crimes.  So, surely the best thing of all would be a Genteel Roman Whodunnit with an ancient lady detective!

Whether this will actually get written is another matter, but I felt the idea was so pleasing I would at least make a note of it here.


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
13th Sep, 2013 19:35 (UTC)
I approve! Is it too early for Cottia to have a cane? I feel like elderly Cottia would rock out with a cane.

On the other hand, I'm not sure even elderly Cottia would be all that good at genteel. Genteel seems like more of an Aunt Valaria thing. Maybe Aunt Valaria has a secret investigative sideline? Vapid Roman matron by day, genteel detective of awesome by night?
14th Sep, 2013 08:07 (UTC)
Cottia is 72 in Horses of the Chalk, and has had to give up riding, so she would definitely have a stick of some sort, I reckon.

I was thinking that an elderly lady detective needs to have something of a core of steel. Everyone assumed Miss Marple is genteel because of her age and sex, but her actual behaviour can be quite a long way from genteel...

That said, I love the idea of Aunt Valaria having a secret life! There has to be more to her than the dismissive comments of Uncle Aquila and Marcus would suggest. :-D
14th Sep, 2013 12:56 (UTC)
Everyone underestimates Aunt Valaria. That is why she is such a crack investigator.
13th Sep, 2013 19:50 (UTC)
Oh, yes, yes, yes! Please.

(And if there was the odd mention of an elderly Esca and Aristous living happily somewhere nearby, that would be even better!)
14th Sep, 2013 08:05 (UTC)
You know, I thought I'd killed off Esca in Horses of the Chalk, but actually it looks like I only explicitly killed off Marcus.

However, Esca would be in his 80's in anything set after that story - which seems like pushing it a bit for the period, so I think Esca and Aristous will have to wait for another story. Unless they are in a flashback? They could be in a flashback!
14th Sep, 2013 22:37 (UTC)
Please write a story with Cottia and Servius Placidus. I loved both characters and they have astounishing courage and different enough perspectavies that they would have a nuanced view of people's actions.
Miss Marple always seemed "genteel" as in upper class, polite and courteous but she was not necessarily gentle. I remember one story where she sent a young sidekick into danger and explained that duty does not consist in keeping yourself safe. She wasn't Dumbledore and didn't send anyone unknowing into danger or without purpose, but she was willing to take risks for herself and others.
15th Sep, 2013 10:21 (UTC)
A genteel Roman whodunnit! I look forward to seeing that! (And I'll be able to read it, 'cos you sorted out my browser issues!!)
16th Sep, 2013 20:56 (UTC)
Oh, yes please, this sounds wonderful - I love a good whodunnit, and if it features an elderly lady detective, so much the better!
18th Sep, 2013 08:08 (UTC)
*grabbyhands* YES PLEASE.
28th Sep, 2013 11:12 (UTC)
Ooh, brilliant idea. I'm right with you in the love for apparently-genteel elderly ladies investigating crime; I think my favourite is Peter Wimsey's Miss Climpson, though obviously Miss Marple is awesome too :-)

My 'would-like-to-write' detective stories would feature Sokrates' wife Xanthippe as a fab investigator. She gets a bad rap in the sources as something of a shrew, but I can't help feeling that with Sokrates as a husband she has an excuse! While Sokrates waffles around trying to get people to examine themselves and the nature of the universe, Xanthippe just gets on with the more practical uncovering of answers that really matter :-)
28th Sep, 2013 11:14 (UTC)
(hmm, I'm now wondering whether it's already been done! I've certainly seen a short story with Sokrates as the detective person, in a historical detectives collection somewhere.)
28th Sep, 2013 12:28 (UTC)
Oh - I never know if that is a lose or a win - on the one hand, you can read the story without doing any work! On the other hand, original idea is unoriginal. :-(

I'm inclined to count it a win though.

Miss Climpson! Miss Climpson is great, I always wish there were more stories with her in.
28th Sep, 2013 12:54 (UTC)
I have seen at least one good fanfic with Miss Climpson, probably at AO3, possibly coming out of Yuletide. May well have been recced by Sally-Maria?
28th Sep, 2013 12:57 (UTC)
Yes, it was! It's this one: The Conscience of the Queen.
28th Sep, 2013 12:58 (UTC)
Excellent! Will add to 'to read' - thank you.
28th Sep, 2013 13:00 (UTC)
And following the 'Miss Climpson' tag gives 5 other stories, which I will now be working my through... (I'm working on the, hopefully not unjustified, belief that anyone who would include Miss Climpson in a story is likely to have written something decent!)
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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