Monday, August 12, 2013

The Amateur Detective List

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In honor of Storydam's blog post on writing list posts, and to commemorate the next Heather Wells mystery coming out in September, I'm writing a list on what to do if you plan to become the next Sherlock Holmes or Miss Marple. The Evil Overlord List inspired this, as well as notes on how Nancy Drew always got in over her head. 

Note: this list does not apply to fictional detectives. Also, do read the Evil Overlord List so you get an idea of what to expect. 

1. I will always carry a Taser, cellphone with police on speed dial, Swiss Army knife, and mace when investigating dangerous suspects. 

2. I will take a course in lockpicking and untying knots and stay updated on the newest bolts.

3. I will exercise ever day and study a form of martial arts. Reduces the stress associated with detective work and keeps me safe in case of emergency.

3a. Martial arts will not protect against guns one hundred percent of the time. 

4. Policemen are my friends, except when they are corrupt. I will not antagonizea policeman.

4a. If a policeman is corrupt, inept, or unable to ask the right questions, I will not insult their intelligence or willingness to take bribes. Instead, I will search for a reliable cop or detective on the police payroll and seek his or her assistance.

5.  When interrogating a suspect, I will not accuse him of murder, burglary, or the crime for which I suspect them. Not only do I lack the law degree and lawyer's stamina to do so, if the person is a suspect then he will probably threaten me or my loved ones.

6. I will take acting classes at my local community college in case the situation arises to go undercover or snoop into a forbidden territory. If I am an overweight resident hall assistant, I will know how to fake being a drunk sorority freshman.

7. I am not above using legal firearms. The key word is LEGAL. Guns kill, but legal adults can apply for a license and shooting lessons. I will teach myself how to aim or how to disarm my opponent.

8. Detectives don't let friends become damsels or dudes in distress. Only take a friend along who is versed in martial arts or LEGAL firearms. 

9. Drugs are dangerous. Drug dealers and drug lords are dangerous no matter what their age. I will treat them the way you would treat a rabid raccoon. I will not confront them head on unless a loved one is in danger.

10. If I suspect someone of being a stalker, or stalking a suspect, I will not underestimate them like Heather Wells did.

11. I will not take bribes, or weaken in the face of temptation.

12. I will always trust my instincts.

12a. I will only voice my instincts with evidence.

13. Sometimes there is no evidence. I will keep looking until there is.

14. I will act within the law to the best of my abilities.

15. If I love being a detective, I will temp for a real private investigator and learn the ropes of the business. And I will not ask questions, only learn from the best. 

16. I will not appear like an idiot or the detective who cried wolf.

17. I will always fight for justice. Even if it means putting away a good friend for a crime he has committed. Even if it means turning away a good job offer.

18. Once more, I will trust my instincts

18a. No matter what.


Patricia Lynne said...

Great list. I love #18 and how you ended it.

Matt Anderson said...

"18." repeated "12."; you wrote "antagonist" instead of "antagonize" & there's some kind of formatting error with the post (check your "span" tags, it's given the words a highlighted effect).
But the content was good, and very true.

Matt Anderson said...

Oh, and feel free to not publish my comments - since you're moderating them - I recommend you just fix the issues and pretend it was always perfect (that's what I do!).

Priya Sridhar said...

Patricia Lynne: Thanks! #18 is also my favorite.

Matt: All errors have been corrected. :D

Marj Rishel said...

Are you Batman? (except for #5, #7, #14, #15, and, possibly #3a.)

Priya Sridhar said...

Marj: If I were Batman, I wouldn't be an Amateur Detective. he is a professional. ;)

Nicole Rivera said...

I love this list. It is fun for detective story writers AND readers! So many LOL moments. :)

Morgan Dragonwillow said...

I enjoyed reading the comments almost as much as reading the post! Very entertaining list!