I’m a bit early this week with the update on Painted Ladies as the weekend is somewhat hectic. The news is that I’ve approved the final version of the cover (thanks James), and the text is being converted for e-book publication. We’re getting ever closer to getting our hands and eyes on the published version.
While we’re waiting let’s consider the Boss in crime fiction. They usually appear in police procedurals where they are the senior officer, for example Chief Superintendant Strange in Morse. Sometimes they’re bumbling oafs promoted beyond their competence – such as Strange, sometimes they are dismissive or even anti the “hero”, like the boss in Endeavour, or they might be supportive if occasionally petulant as in Lewis (this is a bit Morse heavy isn’t it). Whatever the character of the boss, the detective usually has to go against their instructions in order to solve the case. In this way the boss provides a bit of extra conflict and opportunity for the hero to show his or her qualities.
Painted Ladies isn’t a police procedural although the Kintbridge police figure prominently in the story. The focus is on Jasmine Frame, once a detective constable but now a private eye. The reasons why she left the force are described in the story. As an outsider she doesn’t have to follow all the procedures and rules that a police officer must but she stil has relationships with former colleagues such as DS Shepherd and her ex-boss, DCI Sloane. Sloane is old-school, approaching retirement, formal, stiff, somewhat impatient with the new way of doing things and struggling to keep up with policing in the digital age. Diversity training was something he suffered rather than welcomed but he knows he has to put up with it in the 21st century world. On the other hand he is proud of his team and whie he pushes them to the limit of their abilities he’ll stand by them as far as he can. Is there a flicker of regret that Jasmine is no longer one of his men?