Strangers in Paradise, vol. 16: Molly & Poo

Writer(s): Terry Moore
Artist(s): Terry Moore
Publisher: Abstract Studio
ISBN: 978-1892597328
Price: $8.95
Page count: 80
Year Released: 2005
Status: in print
Original Source: Strangers in Paradise (vol. 2) 14,
(vol. 3) 46, 73
Other Collected Edition(s): Strangers in Paradise Pocket Book, vol. 5
Genres: historical fiction; mystery/crime; romance/relationships
Recommended for Fans Of: trashy Victorian romance novels
Possible Objectionable Material: nudity; violence; sexual situations
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Also in This Series: preceded by Strangers in Paradise, vol. 15: Tomorrow Now; followed by Strangers in Paradise, vol. 17: Tattoo

Plot Summary
Molly & Poo is a tale told in two parts. The first is a Victorian romance-turned-horror story that takes place in London circa 1908 and is told entirely in the correspondence between Molly, the reserved wife of Dr. Fleming, and Poo, a spirited and independent woman who seeks to set Molly free. What begins as a strong friendship soon transforms into a forbidden romance--with dire consequences. The second part of the story takes place in the present and follows Molly Lane, a perennially rejected author who is writing the tale of Molly & Poo. She stands accused of murdering her husband, Dr. Fleming, in a manner that eerily echoes her own fiction.

My Own 2 Cents
As you might guess from the the plot summary above, Molly & Poo has very little to do with the main Strangers in Paradise story. In fact, Francine and Katchoo make only the briefest of appearances, as youngsters, in a scene from Molly's childhood. Molly had appeared (also briefly) in volume 10, as Moore's way of connecting Molly & Poo (albeit tenuously) to his main story. I appreciate Moore's desire to create something different with Molly & Poo, and his use of the Victorian convention of creating a novel through letters is interesting, but ultimately the story lacks narrative sophistication. Moore's prose style, sometimes used effectively in SiP when Moore wants to convey a lot of information in a small amount of space, is weak when it's all the reader has to draw upon. And although the twists and turns of the story are sometimes unexpected, the "surprise" ending is telegraphed pages ahead of time. I would recommend this book only for the most diehard SiP fans, and even so it should be noted that this volume can be read out of order, since it has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the SiP story.