Wednesday, July 12, 2017


"Monaco - a sunny place for shady people."
Inspector Jean Morel
'Murder, She Wrote'

"Miami is a sunny place for shady people."
Raylen Givens

Usually this is all I post when it comes to a Toobworld Echo.  But I felt that this deserved a bit more attention.

When Inspector Morel said the above quote to mystery novelist Jessica Fletcher, he was quoting the assessment of the French Riviera by author Somerset Maugham.  As is always the case when it came to Jessica Fletcher, there was a murder, two in fact, while she was visiting her old friend Annie Floret's Hotel Claudine.  And because Inspector Morel played a very large role in those proceedings, his roman a clef version appeared in a future novel by JB Fletcher and she gave that Maugham quote to the Inspector character.

The murders took place during the weekend of May 31, 1991.  That was a Friday and the birthday of Prince Rainier, who celebrated his 68th birthday at the Hotel Claudine.  At some point after the mystery novel about it was published*, but before March of 2010, US Marshal Raylen Givens read Jessica Fletcher's book.  And that particular phrase stuck with him.  

At the time, Marshal Givens was working drug enforcement out of Miami, until a controversial shooting (which he claimed was justified) caused him to be relocated back to his home district of Harlan, Kentucky.  But while he was in Miami, Givens saw that Somerset Maugham quote as being the perfect description of "The Magic City" he came to know.

"The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for wit."
W. Somerset Maugham


Whatever the title of Ms. Fletcher's book about the Monte Carlo murders, it was probably published on May 31, 1993, to coincide with the 70th birthday of Prince Rainier - sort of a tacky publicity stunt.  I'm sure Jessica did not approve.

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