Some of my regular readers may recall my mentioning Margaret Yorke, and her comment about writing a book rather along the lines of La Ronde. This led to mention of the long-deceased short story specialist, Stacy Aumonier, and his tale ‘The Octave of Jealousy’ – of which I’d never heard.
Well, thanks to the generosity of Fiona B, I’ve received a splendid Penguin paperback, containing the story, and I’ve just read it with much pleasure: what a nice thing it is to be a blogger, connecting with people such as Fiona, whom I’ve never actually met. I should say that although Aumonier wrote some well-regarded crime stories, this is not a mystery. It’s simply a rather neat and vivid comment on human nature.
There are eight sections in the book. It begins with a tramp feeling a pang of jealousy when he spots someone with a more settled domestic life. We then see that someone in close-up, and find that he envies someone else, who in turn,... well, you get the picture.
It’s a nice idea, and nicely done. I’m surprised, on reflection, that this type of story has not been done in the crime genre more often. Perhaps the nature of crime writing militates against it. All the same, I’m tempted to have a go myself. One of these fine days...