27 November 2023

The Man with a Butler Did It

This month I read two British murder mysteries, published twenty years apart, in which the culprit turned out to be the local bigwig killing someone who was blackmailing him.

(I’m withholding the names of those books to protect the dénouements.)

Now I’m trying to figure out if that trope suggests an ingrained suspicion of privilege, showing that the local wealthy squire is not to be trusted.

Or do those books reinforce social hierarchies, since both these murderers had risen from the lower classes to their high places in society through blackmailable methods?

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