The Beauty, the Beast, and the Buboes

Let me preface my remarks by saying that this post will be utterly replete with spoilers for the film Beauty and the Beast. The 2017 live-action version, that is, inasmuch as any film largely populated by a big hairy creature and his ambulatory furniture can be considered as live-action.

So you’ve had four years, but if you still haven’t seen it, and still want to – without benefit of spoilers – then stop right here and step away from the Continue & Comment. (It is possible that this post will also contain spoilers for films yet to be made, but I can’t help that and neither can you.)

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Four Great Literary Detective Spinsters

The spinster, I fear, is as underappreciated in this day and age as ever she was. Far too many assume that the state of singleness in a woman is a reflection of some failing or flaw in her person, and can by no means comprehend that it might be an intentional choice on the lady’s part, or even an eventuality with which she is perfectly content.

But in fiction the spinster comes into her own. Most specifically, consider the great spinsters of detective fiction. I am sure this is not an exhaustive list, but here are four to whet your appetite.

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A Mysterious Moonlit Meeting

At length the moon shone out faintly, when suddenly by its beams I beheld a figure moving before me at a slight distance. I quickened the pace of the burra and was soon close at its side….

man with donkey on mountain road

There was something peculiarly strange about the figure, but what struck me the most was the tranquility with which it moved along, taking no heed of me, though of course aware of my proximity, but looking straight forward along the road, save when it occasionally raised a huge face and large eyes toward the moon, which was now shining forth in the eastern quarter.

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