Are Characters with Manners Weak? by Jacqueline Vick

Are Characters with Manners Weak?

Who remembers the witty dialogue and impossible social situations of old movies like My Man Godfrey and Bringing Up Baby

 Bringing Up Baby (1938)

"Now it isn't that I don't like you, Susan, because, after all, in moments of quiet, I'm strangely drawn toward you, but - well, there haven't been any quiet moments."  Bringing Up Baby

 My Man Godfrey (1936)

"If you're going to be rude to my daughter, you might as well at least take your hat off!" My Man Godfrey

The movies poked fun at social conventions, but they did it with style.  Being blatantly rude to another person was unthinkable, but that didn't mean one had to remain silent.  It was all in the phrasing.

Rude Response:  "You are so stupid." 
Mannered Response: "I was prepared for a battle of the wits, but you appear to be unarmed."

Which person would you vote for as the winner of that confrontation?  The clever one, of course, and unless emotions were running high, both parties could get a laugh from that zinger, which could diffuse the situation.

I recently read a review of my book, A Bird's Eye View of Murder. The person accused my character, Frankie Chandler, of being another weak female. The reason cited? Because Frankie put up with her quirky Aunt Gertrude's antics.

The reviewer assumed that Frankie doesn't respect her elders. She also assumed that my main character lacks self-control. The Jerry Springer show ushered in an era where people turned off the impulse control and uttered whatever came to mind, however hurtful or rude.

It's easy to blurt out a cynical comment. It's more difficult to keep it in, or if conversation is necessary, to keep it on topic and avoid making it personal.  

Having good manners isn't always easy, something Edward Harlow, author of the Aunt Civility etiquette books, discovers when he's exposed to murder. Edward and his younger brother, Nicholas, are the leads in my latest mystery, Civility Rules.

In fact, that's the point of the title. Will the rules of civility rule in the end, or fall victim to a stressful situation like murder?   The book is available for Kindle, Nook and other ebook fomats, and the paperback will be out in July.


Amazon author page:




Twitter:   @JacquelineMVick

Goodreads Author Page: Goodreads Author Page:


Jacqueline Vick is the author of over twenty short stories, novelettes and mystery novels. Her April 2010 article for Fido Friendly Magazine, “Calling Canine Clairvoyants”, led to the first Frankie Chandler Pet Psychic mystery, Barking Mad At Murder, followed by A Bird's Eye View of Murder. Her first Harlow Brothers' mystery, Civility Rules, will be out in June 2016. To find out more, visit her website at



Jacqueline Vick said…
Thank you again for having me on, Marilyn.
GBPool said…
To keep one's cool and maintain class seems impossible in today's society. I love it when I see that trait in a character, whether he or she is in a book or a movie. It is too bad the only movies to utilize that method are black and white flicks from the 40s. And to tell the truth, it takes brains and some of that class I mentioned earlier to pull it off. You and the Harlow boys have done it. Can't wait for the paperback to hit the bookstore shelves.
Jacqueline Vick said…
Classy IS tough, as anyone who knows you, Gayle, is aware of!
Jackie Houchin said…
I love puns and plays on words -- Is it CIVILITY Rules (to live by), or Civility RULES (and uncouth is defeated)! A list of how to be polite, or the most polite person wins the day?

Your book has both these aspects in it and I love it for that. The brothers are quirky and don't always see eye to eye, but when the white glove is thrown down, and the little finger on the tea cup slumps beside its fellow, they join forces and.... (bow and say, "After YOU, my good man.") Just kidding. It becomes a swashbuckling rollick of good fun, mystery, suspicious clues, and... who can that masked man be???

I'm writing tongue-in-cheek, of course. Having and displaying manners, even if it's for looks, does NOT a weak character make. At least not in Jacqueline Vick's book.
Jacqueline Vick said…
I love your description of the brothers, especially the bit about the little finger slumping. You have such a way with words! And I do like titles that have double meanings, such as FAMILY MATTERS. I've been having cover difficulties, but the paperback should be out by the beginning of August. Not TOO late for the party.
Blogger said…
Did you know that you can create short links with AdFly and get money for every click on your short urls.

Popular posts from this blog

it's Not a Cozy! by Mar Preston


The Power of Identity by Donna Urbikas