Study Guide

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Prologue

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A Friday in November

  • It's an unnamed man's 82nd birthday. (Happy birthday, unnamed man!)
  • Look, he just got his birthday present, same present he gets every year. A flower.
  • He calls Detective Superintendant Morell. It's his birthday, too, and the men happen to be the same age.
  • The unnamed man tells the Detective that the flower arrived.
  • It's a white flower, pressed and framed in a regular looking frame.
  • Later, they will learn that the Latin name for the flower is Leptospermum (Myrtaceae) rubinette. The flower is native to Australia, where it's called Desert Snow.
  • It's rare, like most of the flowers that come to him each year on November 1st. Unfortunately, though, this rareness doesn't make them any easier to trace.
  • The media missed out on the mystery of the flowers, but the police used to be interested in it.
  • Now, nobody cares, except for the birthday men, and whoever's sending the flowers.
  • The Detective has had a successful career, has dealt with terrible criminals, and helped solve several murders. But "The Case of the Pressed Flowers" remains unsolved.
  • After calling the Detective, the unnamed man looks at the other framed flowers he's received over the years. There are 43 other frames.
  • For the first time in almost 40 years, the unnamed man gets emotional and cries.

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