About Miss A. Liddell, Private InvestigatorPlease do forgive me if I am doing this incorrectly. This is my first time using such technology, and I am unsure what the proper protocol is. I am Miss A. Liddell, Private Investigator. You may call me Miss Liddell until such time as a more informal means of address becomes appropriate.
My partner, a Mr. J. White, is currently out of the country on personal business, and as I am between clientele at the moment, I thought it might be entertaining to see just what exactly (my, that is easier to write than pronounce at times, isn't it?) this "internet" is that seems so popular these days. I must say, it is a curious place. One almost suspects one could find anything here.
I suppose I might say a little bit more about the business of being a private investigator. Well, it should be made clear that Mr. Dashiell Hammett, when he created my good friend Samuel, did it as a wish-fulfillment fantasy for those in our profession that he knew. The public image of private investigations, particularly in books, moving pictures, and tele-vision, has been largely based on the one book in which Samuel featured, The Maltese Falcon.
By and large, a Private Investigator's job involves following someone around with a camera, hoping to take a photograph - legally, one must presume - of, for example, a man with a supposed back injury lifting a heavy box.
Mr. White and I specialize in missing persons cases. Particularly, I should say, we specialize in missing children. Our success rate in finding them has been high, but, sadly, not high enough. Still, one mustn't be discouraged, must one?
Curiouser and Curiouser
The work is of the X Meets Y variety, in which X would be Miss Liddell herself - essentially the titular "Alice" of the novels Alices Adventures In Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass with some aspects of her real-life namesake thrown in for versimilitude (last name and hair color among other things) - and Y being noir.
Among the premises of the book-to-hopefully-be is the Literary Agent Hypothesis. The presumption is that Mr. Charles Dodgson (better known as Lewis Carroll) and Alice collaborated not only on the factual account of her adventures, but on the fictional life that followed them. At the point that Alice's adventures took place (when Dodgson was telling the real Alice the stories that would become the books), her history diverges from real-life Alice Hargreaves (nee Liddell). Everything afterwards is a complicated fabrication meant to conceal the veracity of the novels.
The photograph, in case you're wondering, is of Marlene Dietrich, albeit with her hair darkened to match real-life Alice's dark brown hair color.
Also, the events of the books take place a few years after the death of real-life Alice Liddell.