Saturday, 20 April 2013

Dolls Houses and Murder Mysteries!

Dolls houses feature in a murder mystery story
Just for fun, I thought I would tell you about a book I have been reading that features dolls houses. It's a novel called The Case of the Imaginary Detective by Karen Fowler. In the book, a murder mystery writer, for each of her stories, makes a miniature scene that shows how and where the victim was murdered, 'right down to its tiny clues and tiny gore'
  The book opens with a description of a woman sitting at a kitchen table, her purse fallen on the floor with its contents spilled out. Turn the page and it is then the reader finds that 'The purse was the size of an aspirin, the lipstick slightly larger than a grain of rice, the kitchen floor about as big as a sheet of typing paper. Poor murdered Miss Time was only three inches tall.'
  All the time I was reading this book, a thought kept nagging at the back of my mind. Hadn't I read somewhere that in real life a woman made dioramas of murders that helped the police find the killers?
  I did some research and yes, there was an American woman called Frances Lee who, in the 1920s and 30s, became fascinated with crime scene and forensic analysis. She began making miniature dioramas of death scenes for police training in observation and analysis, and called them the 'Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death'.
  The actual structures and furniture were made by a craftsman and his son, but Frances Lee made all the 'murdered' dolls and dressed them, as well as the tiny accessories in the rooms. 
  If you'd like to read more about these macabre minis you can check out this website. It's a fascinating story!

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