Monday, December 16, 2013

Shakespeare References in Exhaustive Enquiries by Betty Rowlands

The mystery novel Exhaustive Enquiries by Betty Rowlands includes several references to Shakespeare. Part of the story is related to an amateur theatre production which the novel’s heroine, Melissa Craig, writes. Penelope, one of those involved, says, “And there’s Stratford just up the road from here – I do so adore Shakespeare!” (page 11).

The second reference is much later, when Melissa is on the case. Betty Rowlands writes: “Aware that she was beginning to feel hungry, she headed back into town in search of lunch. On the way, she passed the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and called in for a programme” (pages 136-137).

The third time Shakespeare is mentioned, a specific play is also mentioned. Rowlands writes: “’‘And what brings you to Stratford, Mrs. Craig?’ asked Lady Charlotte. ‘Are you going to a Shakespeare matinee? That reminds me’ – she turned back to Penelope – ‘I have reserved a block of seats for the evening performance on Saturday. Twelfth Night – I believe dear Mitch will find it most enjoyable’” (page 138).

Later, after Mitch has been to a performance, Rowlands has him tell Melissa on the phone: “‘Having supper at some bloody awful restaurant in Stratford. Pen organized a theatre party. Shakespeare’” (page 177).

The final reference comes right at the end of the novel. Detective Ken Harris asks Melissa Craig, “‘So all’s well that ends well?’” (page 236).

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