Notes - Lilies at the Funeral by A.J. Hall
Originally inspired by (but, of course, far too late for) the Renault Fic Exchange 2014 and the chapter-by-chapter read-through of Return to Night hosted at naraht.dreamwidth.org.
Ben Carley and the firm of Blair, Hayward and Bennett come out of Josephine Tey’s The Franchise Affair.
The end of Return to Night contains a few pages where Renault essentially breaks genre, and goes into the melodrama/sensation mode. Which was when I concluded that actually the events of Return to Night looked much more sensible when viewed through an Agatha Christie lens.
Of course, if it had been an actual Miss Marple mystery, the murderer wouldn’t have been nearly so obvious. Agnes Fleming would either have turned out to be Mrs Lamington’s grown-up daughter in disguise or would have been killed herself, having rashly attempted to blackmail the real murderer (possibly both). The inept potter sister in Fiesole would turn out to have been in Gloucestershire all along. Alternatively, she would turn out to have been murdered many years ago by her companion, who had been pretending to be her ever since, and who was terrified that the three-line-whip from Elaine Fleming to the wedding would expose her secret.
But, given constraints of time and space, I preferred not to look on the herrings when they were red. Apologies for the omission.