Naked Prey (Lucas Davenport, #14) Naked Prey discussion

Question about Del and the pinking shears

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message 1: by Larry (new)

Larry Schroeder I started reading the Lucas Davenport series awhile back and just finished book 14. I noticed in this one and a few before it there's mention of Del having an incident with pinking shears yet I don't remember reading anything about that in any of the previous books.
Does anyone know what that incident was and which book it was in?

Linda Krueger-Armstrong The Pinking Shears Incident

There are two distant background sub-plots in this book. One involves an opium ring made up entirely of old ladies. They grow opium poppies themselves, to mix into their tea. It's played for laughs, a recurring joke.
The other is that there are a few references to Del and the pinking shears. Few facts are known, but it gets mentioned a few times. Other than the fact that a woman evidently did something to him and pinking shears were involved, we know nothing about it. The rest of the cops, who know the whole story, think it's the most hilarious and crazy thing ever. Del is mostly just pissed off [12].
It's not a true literary mystery — it's too small, and most of the people involved know exactly what happened — so it's more like a joke/surprise sort of mystery. When someone tells a joke, the punchline is the mystery. So it's just a matter of waiting for the punchline.
It never arrived.
The author never explained the pinking shears incident. It was never meant to be a big deal. It was a small bit of idle cop banter about something mildly embarrassing that happened between Sudden Prey and this novel.
The fans would not — could not — accept that. They demanded an explanation. What happened with Del and the pinking shears?
So he inserted another reference to it into the next book. And the next one. And the next. The fans anticipated this, but wanted the punchline. They wanted to know what had happened. Some assumed that they must have missed a book, the one with the pinking shears incident. They hadn't. There was no such book, and there was no punchline.
And there never will be.
Decades ago, in the comic strip Calvin & Hobbes there are occasional references to "the noodle incident". We, the audience, never learn what it was about, except that evidently it was horrible, was entirely Calvin's fault, and (presumably) involved noodles. Whenever it is mentioned, Calvin's immediate response is to yell "That wasn't my fault!"
The noodle incident was never explained. It doesn't need to be. It's funnier without the explanation. Similarly, the pinking shears incident never has been explained, and it never will be. It's funnier that way.
And, honestly, the theories the fans come up with are way more interesting than any mundane reality the author could set as canon.

I alway wondered that as well so I found this article. Apparently you and I are not the only ones. I sincerely hope this helps!

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