Saturday, December 14, 2013

Environment for Murder

There are so many wonderful books in which weather is almost an additional character. Think of the tornado in The Wizard of Oz. (Yes, it was a book before a movie.) If there were no snowstorm, The Shining (Stephen King) would have simply been attempted murder with a fairly easy escape.

For years I have carried the memory of one of the Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie books. Winter is one storm after another, and they sit numbly by the fire. Near the end a train is able to make it to town and it has a barrel of Christmas presents from relatives back east. They can even eat the turkey, because it stayed frozen.

Then there are the books that would not have been written except for a weather event. The best example may be The Perfect Storm (Sebastian Junger). It's a fictionalized account of a massive Nor'easter that swallows a Gloucester fishing vessel. I didn't see the movie because my mind still sees the men trying to lash down whatever they can on the deck of the boat.

Why am I thinking of this today? Because we finally had substantial snow in my part of Illinois, and I'm thinking about how to create a murder that takes place in a snow storm. A devious mind is always at work.

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