Alexander McCall Smith

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What three key events in "No Place to Park" are important to the overall plot?

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This short story starts out at a literary festival in Perth. At the festival, a book critic has challenged a panel of murder mystery writers to write a book about a more commonplace crime. Although his idea is met with derisive laughter by the attendees, George Harris decides to take...

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up the challenge and write a novel about illegal parking.

Another key event would be a description of the book that George had been considering writing. In addition to writing, George is an avid surfer. He had been considering combining these passions by writing a murder story about one surfer who kills his rival. The killer would cover his tracks by making the murder appear to be a shark attack. George still is not too keen on this idea. While he initially thought it would make a good story, it no longer seems exciting to him. George has actually come to like the idea of writing about something other than murder for once.

A third key event is George's ride-along with a parking enforcer from the Perth Police Department. George has decided to write his book about illegal parking and is conducting research by spending the day learning how parking laws are enforced. As they go around issuing citations, they end up stumbling upon an actual murder.

These three events round out the whole plot of this story. This story begins with a challenge to write an interesting story about a mundane crime. George is tired of writing about murder anyway and decides to abandon his idea of writing about one in favor of a book about parking crimes. Yet, it turns out that he can't escape the genre after all. While trying to write about parking laws, an actual gruesome murder lands in his lap.

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