Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Creating a little Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Terry Griggs pens the Tuesday Globe & Mail essay, offering up her thoughts on Musca Domestica. Read the whole thing here. A taste below...

Anyone familiar with my earlier work might be thinking, A mystery? Genre fiction? This isn't her usual thing. Can we trust her? Does she play by the rules?

You can trust me ... implicitly (pick a card, any card). I not only play by the rules, but I play with them as well, and I play in the wild area out behind the school of orthodoxy. Besides, the distinctions matter less than the execution, and literary categories have been getting softer of late. Transgression is in the air and on the page. Who was it that said there is really only one main plot in all fiction, which is: Nothing is as it seems? Somebody, I forget. But if that isn't a dead fly position, I don't know what is.

Musca domestica. In the soup, in the ointment, on the wall, devil's embodiment, associate of death and decay, bearer of much weighty negative symbolism — no wonder the little guy is pretending to be dead. Who wants to work with the regimental efficiency of an ant anyway, or the tireless industry of a bee? Hey, shake a leg if the mood strikes, snack on a glob of jam, check out that dead body wedged behind the sofa. Flies are often the first detectives at the scene of a crime, after all, and perhaps would be less eager if they knew how forensically useful they are in determining the time of its occurrence.

It's fitting, then, that this compound-eyed sleuth is the first bug one encounters in Thought You Were Dead, a book in which the motives are mostly ulterior, spider-to-the-fly situations abound, and the main character, Chellis Beith, has a severe aversion to housework.

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