Sunday, October 9, 2011

Jane Shaw Guide: Rock Carlisle

Rock Carlisle is a famous writer of thrillers with tough characters who use tough American slang. In Susan and the Spae Wife, Susan and the Carmichaels are delighted that he will be a special guest at the church fĂȘte on the isle of Arran. Susan expects that he will turn up “with a gun under each arm and a switch-knife between his teeth”. But Mr. Carlisle actually turns out to be a short, fat bald man. After a robbery at the local bank, the teller can only remember one detail about the hold-up man: the scar on his hand. When Susan sees a scar on Mr. Carlisle’s hand while she is telling his fortune, she attacks him, giving him a black eye, and accuses him of being the thief. Lady Alison and the minister are shocked and Susan is forced to apologize. However, the day before he leaves the island, Rock Carlisle visits Susan and confesses that he is indeed the bank robber, explaining that he needs to experience events for himself before including them in his stories. He gives the stolen money to Susan and asks her to return it to the bank once he has got safely of the island. Susan and the Spae Wife is Mr. Carlisle’s only appearance in a Jane Shaw story.