why was the bra cut off the body? Were Knox and Sollecito on hard drugs? What were the couple up to at six in the morning the day after the murder? What was the mop for? (Sollecito mentioned the spill in a phone call to his dad at 8.40 on the night of the murder – it must have dried out by the morning.) What kind of man covers the body of the woman he’s just murdered with a sheet, then goes and takes a shit and forgets to use the flush?

    Nothing fits is a long and thorough piece by Nick Richardson for the London Review of Books about the murder of Meredith Kercher by, supposedly, Amanda Knox and her Italian boyfriend. Read it, and you’ll know everything about this story. 

    This story is quite literally amazing—because of the youth of the people involved in it and the mysteries that still linger on—and is surprisingly more complex than fiction thrillers. Where are you Sherlock? 

    Is monarchy a suitable institution for a grown-up nation? I don’t know. I have described how my own sympathies were activated and my simple ideas altered. The debate is not high on our agenda. We are happy to allow monarchy to be an entertainment, in the same way that we license strip joints and lap-dancing clubs. Adulation can swing to persecution, within hours, within the same press report: this is what happened to Prince Harry recently. You can understand that anybody treated this way can be destabilised, and that Harry doesn’t know which he is, a person or a prince.

    Royal Bodies, a thought-provoking piece on British monarchy by Hilary Mantel in the London Review of Books. Another good excerpt would be:

    I used to think that the interesting issue was whether we should have a monarchy or not. But now I think that question is rather like, should we have pandas or not? Our current royal family doesn’t have the difficulties in breeding that pandas do, but pandas and royal persons alike are expensive to conserve and ill-adapted to any modern environment. But aren’t they interesting? Aren’t they nice to look at? Some people find them endearing; some pity them for their precarious situation; everybody stares at them, and however airy the enclosure they inhabit, it’s still a cage.