RogerBW's Blog

Chasing Tinsel, Ellie Ashe 05 March 2022

2014 action/mystery novella. Miranda's working at the mall to get some money together for Christmas presents for her friends while pining over her not-quite-a-boyfriend-yet. Then things happen.

Well, it's very slight. Miranda meets various unpleasant people, and one friendly person, but the plot happens to her much more than she engages with it. Someone who knows more than I about the American class system could probably have a good time picking out the ways in which Ashe tries to make it clear that Miranda is a Normal Person rather than a Snob, even though she's worked in the dreaded international finance. (For example, she prefers this place, which is the Cheap Mall in town, to the Other Mall where they have "a string quartet playing Christmas carols". Classical music, the sure signifier of snobbery in Americam popular culture.) And that's even before she focuses on the one nice person she meets and tries to make his life better at some risk and expense to herself.

But, well, that's about it. It's not a significant incident in Miranda's life, and it has the feeling of something that'll never be mentioned again in the novels.

Really this feels more like a trailer than like an independent story, and it was first published in an anthology, presumably with the hope of getting people to read the books.

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