Novelists beware or you might be sued

This story is a bit scary and designed to send shudders up and down the spines of many authors.

Lalie Walker wrote her latest thriller as a tribute to a Montmarte fabric store, but the store's owners say the book is defamatory, so now they're suing her. After reading her tale of a crazed killer who sews fear and loathing among the rolls of taffeta, the owners of the fabric store argue that certain passages in the novel are defamatory, and tarnishes its image.  They are demanding £1.8m in damages.

Strange then that the Louvre did not attempt to sue Dan Brown when The Da Vinci Code portrayed murders taking place in the museum.

The author says, 'I think this is serious. It means that every time you want to write a fiction you have to ask the permission of the owners or the place,' she said. 'Potentially it represents a big threat to our liberty.' She added, gloomily: 'We will all have to end up writing science fiction instead.'"