Outlander Book Club: Lord John and the Private Matter Chapter 13 breakdown

There's another murder in Lord John and the Private Matter Chapter 13. Here's our breakdown of the chapter.
Outlander Season 4 -- Courtesy of Aimee Spinks/STARZ
Outlander Season 4 -- Courtesy of Aimee Spinks/STARZ /

Just as you think there is nothing more that can happen, we get another event in Lord John and the Private Matter Chapter 13. This time, it’s another murder.

It looks like there is nothing to help further the investigation of O’Connell’s murder. While getting the information he stole back is important, the constable needs to bring someone in for questioning. Of course, it’s O’Connell’s widow and her new husband.

However, there is another murder. This is woman (or not) in a green dress. There’s a new connection back to the brothel John visited earlier in the book.

Breaking down Lord John and the Private Matter Chapter 13

John starts the chapter trying to figure out how to bring a stop to the wedding of Olivia and Trevelyan. He knows that Trevelyan needs to call off the wedding in a way that doesn’t ruin Olivia’s reputation, but the man isn’t going to want to do that just yet.

John is pulled out of his thoughts when the constable shares that there is nothing more about O’Connell’s murder. The constable needs to arrest Scanlon and his now-wife. However, there’s another murder.

Tom Byrd and Lord John look into the murder of a woman in a green dress. Her face has been heavily beaten to disguise her, and at first, John fears that she is Nessie. She’s not. In fact, she is not a she. Tom points out that the person has whiskers. This is a man dressed as a woman and likely disfigured to hide that.

The green dress is important, as well. It belonged to Magda, the madame at the brothel. Magda is of German heritage. Doesn’t this connect to the German wine? Oh, that’s something that John connects to Fraser et Cie. The wine is a Schiller. Everything seems to be connecting together for both O’Connell and Trevelyan, and it’s still not all that clear why.

Could this chapter be used in an adaptation?

This is another chapter that I see being used in a potential TV series. I don’t think we’ll see him learn about the German wine, except that coming up in conversation. The same applies to finding out that Scanlon and his wife need to be arrested.

The part of the chapter that is necessary is the murder victim. We need to see John and Tom figure out that this woman isn’t a woman at all. We need to see the connection to Magda. All of this links to the fact that both of John’s investigations continue to combine together. The question is why. Can John figure it out before it’s too late?

There is a bit in the chapter where John realizes that some teens are trying to jump him and he fights them off. I think we could do with seeing that just to see that side of John. We need that look of how he is an officer, and he can fight. That’s easy to forget sometimes with how delicate he can look.

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