seemed a good time to start. Since Eva posted a link for "Quail Seeds" along with her review, I printed it out and began reading. The story is about a small grocer lamenting the fact that shoppers seem to need more than just food. They need a shopping 'experience'... and he decides to give them one! This fun, light-hearted story was a delight to read. Other Saki stories will certainly be featured in future Short Story Monday posts!
Susan Glaspell's story "A Jury of Her Peers" really got me thinking! This is a story BookPsmith rewieved a couple weeks ago. It would be too simplistic to say it's a murder mystery, although that's what it appears to be. A woman awakens to find her husband strangled in their bed. She is put in jail as the prime suspect. The county attorney, sheriff, and a neighbor who discovered the crime scene visit the home to search for clues. The sheriff's wife and neighbor's wife also go along.
The story, published in 1917, shows quite a bit about the relationship between men and women at the time.
As the group enters the kitchen:
"Nothing here but kitchen things," he said, with a little laugh for the insignificance of kitchen things....
"Well, can you beat the woman! Held for murder and worrying about her preserves!"
"Oh, well," said Mrs. Hale's husband, with good-natured superiority, "women are used to worrying over trifles."
The men leave the women in the kitchen with instructions to 'keep your eye out...for anything that might be of use' as they continue on with their search:
"But would the women know a clue if they did come upon it?" he said.
From the objects in the kitchen, the women are able to deduce the details of the murder....details that continue to elude the men. What happens in that kitchen is, in effect, a trial by a jury of the woman's peers.
After reading this story, I was curious to learn more about it. Susan Glaspell (1876-1948) was a Pulitzer Prize winning playwright and bestselling novelist. The story "A Jury of Her Peers" is a short story adaptation of her one act play "Trifles". It was inspired by events witnessed during her years as a court reporter. A very similar murder actually did occur. At the time, women were not allowed to be jurors, so Glaspell created a jury of those female peers in her short story.