Room 101 by Elly Griffiths

I don’t know if I hate them enough to put them in Room 101 but Room 102 certainly….

  1.  Eating

This is really for television and (especially) radio drama but excessive eating is irritating in books too. What I really hate is when someone’s constant eating is shorthand for ‘they’re such a cute, kooky character’. A prime example is Caroline Quentin in Jonathan Creek, there’s hardly a scene when she’s not wrapped around an apple or demolishing crisps. Noomi Rapace does it in Sherlock Holmes too. On the radio it’s even worse, teenage characters crunching through dialogue to show that they are young and hip. It isn’t so bad in books but the words ‘she said, munching an apple’ are enough to bring me out in hives. You can be sure the apple muncher is meant to be just adorable


  1. Jazz

See above. When a character loves jazz they are always a goodie. If they love jazz and keep munching apples they are beyond reproach. Just for the record I loathe jazz and I haven’t murdered anyone yet.


  1. Twins.

OK, I admit to some bias here. I’m the mother of twins and honestly I despair of them reaching sane adulthood when all twins in film and literature are either murderous or incestuous. The trouble is, in detective fiction especially, no-one is ever just a twin. If they mention in chapter 1 that they’re a twin you can bet that Twinnie 2 turns up in chapter 20 brandishing a knife. Ditto adoption. No-one is ever just adopted, it’s always a clue. And as for boy/girl twins being identical, it’s simply not genetically possible even though Shakespeare does it. And Shakespeare should have known better, seeing as he was the father of boy/girl twins. Please let’s have some normal twin relationships in books. One of the best things about Gone Girl was that Nick had a twin sister and – spoiler alert – he wasn’t sleeping with her. I loved The Secret History but the identical, incestuous boy/girl twins really got me down. It was funny that they were called Charles and Camilla though…


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