The Plot Thickens

Laura from Pasadena, Ca listens to Says You! on KAZU. She’s also not afraid to let anyone know she’s well read in pulpy mystery novels.

I was surprised none of the panelists knew the meaning of secateurs. I first saw the word in Ruth Rendell’s mystery “Deadhead,” in which deadheading roses is part of the plot. Since then, I’ve seen it several times in British novels and have begun to use it myself as more elegant than pruning shears.

Dear reader, we have a mystery of our own. Ruth Rendell, nor her pseudonym Barbara Vine, ever published a novel titled “Deadhead.” A case of mistaken identity? Misattributed title? Or something far more sinister… If you have the answers we seek, please, do tell us in the comments.

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