Fear, joy, grief, love, hate, pride, shame. We all have emotions, and we recognize emotions in others. But do we really understand what emotions are and what they signify? It is remarkable how often we are wrong about our own emotions and misread the emotions of others. We also deceive ourselves about their meaning. The more we puzzle over the nature of emotions, the deeper the mystery becomes. It is a mystery that is by no means solved, but one that repays careful, philosophical analysis.
Certain settings have long been a common element in British mystery and detective fiction: the quaint village; the country manor; the seaside resort; the streets of London. More than simply providing background, physical setting–in particular the city of London and the British seashore–takes on an added dimension, in a sense becoming a player in the mysteries, one that symbolizes, intensifies, and illuminates aspects of the British mystery novel.