The subject of today’s Proust Questionnaire is Mel Anastasiou’s wily octogenarian detective, Stella Ryman, who is trapped in a down-at-the-heels care home. Here’s what the sleuth of Fairmount Manor has to say:
- What is your idea of perfect happiness? Making myself a cup of tea, unsupervised.
- On what occasion do you lie? For my dignity, or Thelma Hu’s.
- What do you most dislike about your appearance? These darned fleece tracksuits.
- When and where were you happiest? Thirty years back, when I was in a love affair with my no-good lodger.
- What do you consider your greatest achievement? My daughter Junie. I wish we were still speaking.
- What is your most marked characteristic? Two: I am intrepid, and I’ve read everything.
- What is your greatest regret? Selling up and assigning every penny to come to Fairmount Manor care home.
- How would you like to die? With my hands folded on my breast, like the Lady of Shalott.
- What is your motto? Soldier on, Stella.
Not only is Mel our talent in-house illustrator and co-editor, she has also written many fabulous novels and novellas. The Extra (aka Frankie Goes to Hollywood) is due out soon, and you can follow Mel on her blog. You can find the first two Stella Novellas, ‘The Case of the Third Option’ and ‘The Poison Pen Affair’ in the Winter and Summer 2014 issues of Pulp Literature. The third and fourth novellas, ‘The Four-Digit Puzzle’ and ‘The Case of the Vanishing Resident’ will appear in issues 5 and 7 respectively. You can order back issues and one- or two-year subscriptions on our Kickstarter page: