Hello, and welcome to my 2022 A to Z Challenge! For a detailed explanation of my theme this year, see my theme reveal. But basically, I am exploring classic mystery novel murder motives, by making up a victim (Sir Adam Bracegirdle Clutterbuck) and then coming up with 26 characters who wanted to kill him. It is part genre exploration and part world-building exercise.
Today’s suspect is Sir Adam’s niece Hattie.
Hattie’s House of Hats. It has, Hattie feels, a ring to it. And there is, Hattie feels further, a destiny about the thing, an inevitability. Hattie should open a hat shop. The stars themselves cry out for this. And Hattie is very eager to do so– if only her lousy old uncle Adam would come across with the money she needs to start her business.
Hattie knows hats. She knows exactly what hats are wanted. Whenever she sees a new face, she has a vision of that face with its ideally suitable hat. She is an artist, and her medium is the humble hat. But when she came to Sir Adam for a loan—not a gift, just a loan, mind you—he started by talking about Hat Shops He Had Known That Had Failed, moved on to say some insupportable things about women in business, and ended by saying that he didn’t want any niece of his engaged in Trade.
If I were Hattie, I would positively loathe Sir Adam after that little chat. And, just possibly, I would loathe him enough to kill him…
And that’s it for Hattie! Not perhaps the most likely killer, you say? I agree with you, but just possibly there could be more going on under the surface. What kind of personality would Hattie have to have for you to believe that she would kill for her hat shop? Could a writer sell you this motive at all, and, if so, under what circumstances?
I confess I do not, personally, see Hattie as Victim Number Two in this mystery story. Do you? If so, why?