THE DETECTIVE STORY WRITER AND THE HISTORIANS. I think that writing detective stories provides more useful expertise in a historical murder mystery than do years of training in historical research. Note that Tey’s approach changes the time line of the disappearance of the princes. In many mystery stories, the time of death is crucial, and a change in the time of death can be a dispositive clue. For example, was it a slow acting poison? How slow? In the case of the princes, Tey fixes on the absence of historical evidence of when the boys disappeared. If the boys were still alive when Richard died, Richard has what can be thought of as a perfect alibi. Henry loses his alibi. And Henry’s motive for killing and ruthlessness toward others with possible claims to the throne stand in sharp relief.

Note also that the absence of what would be expected in a bill of attainder is analogous to the dog that did nothing in the night time in Sherlock Holmes.

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