Love them or hate them, the use of the old ‘red herring’ in crime and mystery novels has a long tradition. But, have you ever wondered why we refer to these deliberately inserted misdirections as being like a herring? And a red one specifically?
This has origins (most likely) in training hunting dogs. They used smoked herrings, which tend to be red from the smoking process and rather pungent, to lay false trails that a good hunter needed to learn to ignore.