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Q&A with Elizabeth George on Dogs and Mysteries
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B: In This Body of Death, we learn a lot about one of the characters (Gordon Jossie) through the ways he interacts with his dog. What lay behind your decision to use this device?
EG: Gosh, it just seemed to me that a man with the number of secrets he was carrying would have a dog. It also seemed to me that he would need one “person” in his life who loved him and accepted him, despite who he was in his past.

B: Can you imagine Lynley with a dog? Or is he perhaps more of a cat person?
EG: I’ve never actually thought of Lynley as a dog person or a cat person. Poor man has so much on his plate. But now that you mention it, I think I see an animal on his horizon…

B: We’ve read that you didn’t have pets as a child. When and how did you acquire your first, and was it a dog?
EG: My first pet that I got to choose was a cat, but it wasn’t well and didn’t live long. I was quite young and I don’t remember what it died of. My mom wasn’t a lover of animals, so it was very difficult to persuade her to allow that cat into our lives, and when it died, she was definitely against any other animals; it was years before she allowed another cat. She was afraid of dogs and unfortunately passed this fear on to me for a number of years.

B: Have you ever written anything for your dogs?
EG: Only love letters.

B: Has your dog ever accompanied you to a reading or book signing?
EG: Oh sure. Both dogs have been to book signings. I’d love to say they sit obediently. But then, they’re Dachshunds…

B: In Write Away, you mentioned that a photo of your dog is one of the items you keep on your desk as inspiration and to cheer you up. What do you think of, or feel, when you look at that photo?
EG: I have two pictures of Lucy as a puppy on my desk, one of me holding her and one of my husband holding her. She was an adorable puppy, as you can imagine, and whose heart wouldn’t be filled with love to look at that little face? Mostly, when I look at the pictures, I have to go find her and kiss her little cheekie.

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This article first appeared in The Bark,
Issue 61: Sept/Oct 2010

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