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Chapter 42
9 Posts
10/22/2018 - 6:46 pm

"Shut Up, Rattenbury!!"

I have it on good authority (Mary from Canada) that the top line is from Chapter 42. Louise Freeman, writing on the Hogwarts Professor website had some interesting ideas about how the Lethal White author came up with the dog's name Rattenbury'

Louise writes..
"On my latest re-read through Lethal White, I was struck by the rather elite-sounding name of Rattenbury, the smaller and more aggressive Chiswell dog...., it is the little Norfolk terrier that is truly yapping for attention, eager to alert us to a more interesting story behind its own name. Recall Rattenbury’s persistent interruptions as Strike and Robin try to interview the family at the manor house."

Extract from Lethal White...
The Norfolk terrier that had been shut out of the house suddenly popped up at one of the long windows and began barking at them again.
“Bloody dog,” said Torquil.
“He misses Jasper,’ said Kinvara. “He was Jasper’s d-dog—”

Louise then continues...
"And indeed, in a way, the dog tells Jasper’s story.
Rattenbury appears to be named for Francis Mawson Rattenbury, a British architect whose murder inspired a “trial of the century” in 1935. Rattenbury had left his Yorkshire birthplace as a young man and achieved wealth and fame as an architect in British Columbia; however, his idyllic life took a downturn after a series of poor financial and personal choices. He lost much of his fortune and turned to alcohol after investing in a railroad business that went bankrupt. "

I was fascinated by all this information that Louise uncovered. It begs so many questions, not least her assumption that the murder of Jasper Chiswell is based on research done by Robert Galbraith on the real life murder mystery of Francis Rattenbury?

In Louise's conclusion she writes...
"Norfolk Terriers are supposed to be good guard dogs. Given how long and often Rattenbury yaps and barks at our heroes, we ought to have picked up on the fact that the pooch’s name was a clue to the type of mystery we were reading. It’s not a stretch to imagining Robin grabbing her boss by the shoulder and exclaiming, “Say, Cormoran! I think Rin Tin Rattenbury is trying to tell us something!”

What fascinated me the most about Louise's summing up was that she somehow inferred that Hergé's Adventures of Tintin and Snowy the dog could have played a (hidden) cameo role part in Lethal White, without anybody even realising it. I know Tintin and his creator are not politically correct these days and some of his antics would certainly not be condoned by any Strike fans on here but I can foresee a time when the shadowy image of a Norfolk Terrier (or even a white Wire Fox Terrier like Snowy) could join Robin and Strike's silhouettes on the front cover of a book in the future Cormoran Strike series. Perhaps even Book 5.

P.S. Does anybody know what happens to Rattenbury the Wonder Dog in the end? I'd love Robin and Strike to adopt him!!

122 Posts
09/22/2018 - 3:55 am

Discuss chapter 42.

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