We Each of Us Protect Ourselves*


Confessions of a Mystery Novelist...

Most of us have an instinct for self-protection. People do all sorts of things to avoid being embarrassed, or to avoid getting into trouble with family members, or the law. There are other reasons, too, that people have for protecting themselves.

And there are many ways that people go about self-protection. Each of us is different, so each of us has a different way of covering ourselves, so to speak. And if you look at crime fiction, you see how characters go about it. That self-protection can add interesting character layers, tension, and even plot points, to a story.

One way people protect themselves is to lie. Sometimes, those lies aren’t very important; they’re more of a reflex action. Other times, the lies people tell to protect themselves are much more than just ‘little white lies.’ Agatha Christie’s Sheila Webb, whom we meet in The Clocks, is like that…

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