Silvermeadow (Brock & Kolla Mystery)
2 journalers for this copy...
Maitland is superb at balancing plot with character development; the characters evolve from book to book, but that doesn't distract from the central mystery.
Each mystery is set in a different location, so the characters (and we) learn about some obscure subject. In previous novels it's been rare stamps, the history of mental hospitals, the relatives of Karl Marx, and so on. This one takes place in a gigantic shopping mall, the likes of which has been common in the U.S. and Canada for many years, but which is new to Britons. I learned how a mall breathes and what happens to its garbage.
I also learned about the Gruen Transfer. Here's what Wikipedia has to say about that:
In shopping mall design, the Gruen transfer refers to the moment when consumers respond to "scripted disorientation" cues in the environment. It is named for Austrian architect Victor Gruen (who disavowed such manipulative techniques) and lately popularized by Douglas Rushkoff.
Description: The consumer's decision-making consciousness subsides and he or she is more likely to make an impulse purchase because of unconscious influences of lighting, ambient sound and music, spatial choices, visual detail, mirrored and polished surfaces, climate control, and the sequence and order of interior storefronts, etc. The effect is marked by a slower walking pace and glazed eyes.
Also, I had no clue that, in the 1880s, Émile Zola wrote a novel called The Ladies' Paradise in which the main character works endless hours in a megamall.
Bringing to the Meetup Tuesday night at 7. Hope to see you there.
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