Literature: Point of Honour
Point of Honour
by Madeleine Robins is a detective novel which transplants the tropes of Dashiell Hammett
and Raymond Chandler
into an Alternate History
version of Regency England
, in which George III
went insane somewhat earlier in life than he did in reality and as a result his wife rather than his eldest son became his regent. Sarah Tolerance is a disgraced noblewoman who ran away with her brother's fencing instructor. She now works as a private investigator, while living in a cottage behind her aunt's expensive brothel. She's hired by a nobleman to look for a fan; naturally, complications (and mayhem, and death) ensue.
Tropes of Honour:
- Always Murder: Miss Tolerance is hired to look for a fan. It doesn't take too long before people start dying around her, though...
- I Have This Friend: Subverted. Lord Trux hires her to find the fan on behalf of his friend; she naturally assumes that he's being evasive. It turns out that he does have this friend.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Lord Versellion is actually illegitimate—his real mother is Miss Virtue.
- Kick the Dog: Lord Versellion's eventual downfall is foreshadowed when we learn that he was responsible for spreading ruinous gossip about Lord Trux.
- MacGuffin: The fan Miss Tolerance is hired to look for. In fact, it's the result of a misunderstanding—while there is an actual fan out there, it turns out that "the Italian Fan" was Miss Virtue's nickname in her youth.
- Meaningful Rename: Several fallen noblewomen take these, usually ironically. (Miss Virtue—who is the madam of a low-class brothel—is probably the most blatant example.)
- Star-Crossed Lovers: Miss Tolerance and Lord Versellion.
- Stock Shout-Outs: The novel begins "It is a truth universally acknowledged..."
- Sweet Polly Oliver: Miss Tolerance spends much of the novel disguised as a boy. It helps her get around without attracting attention.