adventures in dysthymia

Thursday, February 01, 2018

The Amateur Detective

One of the problems with a continuing series of mystery/crime novels is that, eventually, it becomes unbelievable that our protagonist would become involved in so many crimes. It’s workable, of course, if he or she is in law enforcement or a private detective; then, it becomes a part of their job description. Not so much if we are working with an amateur as our main protagonist. That is, we would expect Poirot to keep solving mysteries, but it is a bit odd that Miss Marple gets involved in them over and over.

I am already feeling this with my two Cully Beach novels. Ted ‘Shaper’ Carrol is not a detective, nor is the little ocean-side town of Cully Beach a beehive of criminal activity. I have Ted being part of two investigations over about a six month period in SHAPER and WAVES. Yes, the events in the first book lead the police chief to confide (and even trust) in him in the second novel, so I’m okay with what I have written so far. Maybe not with a third Cully novel, however.

But I do want to continue Ted’s story, aside from the crime elements. I should be able to wrap up most of that satisfactorily in a third novel. Having him stumble immediately into another crime (and probably a murder, for the first time) does raise questions. I mean, just how unlucky is this guy? One of the premises all along has been that he doesn’t want to get involved in any of these investigations and kind of gets pulled in. That would be true in book three, as well.

Then maybe he can go back to his uneventful life and I won’t inflict any more troubles on poor Ted. However, his adopted daughter, Charlie, has her eyes on going into law enforcement, so maybe a few years later...

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