SHANNON MUIR’S THURDSAY THOUGHTS – What Defines an Amateur Sleuth?
SHANNON MUIR’S THURSDAY THOUGHTS on THE PULP AND MYSTERY SHELF are observations from the site administrator on her writing life, or the industry at large. Anything Shannon Muir thinks about goes – check the blog on Thursdays!
When I wrote my early stories about news reporters uncovering crimes, I never made the connection that they were amateur sleuths. In my mind, I’d relegated the amateur sleuth to the stereotypical baker or someone in a knitting or book club. However, the more I thought about it, the reporters are doing similar things. Having a job that requires the finding of clues, doesn’t necessarily make one a professional sleuth, at least in the sense of being licensed.
The licensing aspect – such as a police officer or private investigator – is the distinction I personally make. It also allows for the casting of a pretty wide net for what an amateur sleuth can be. I’ve done one story, for example, where the daughter of a murdered private investigator wants to solve her father’s murder; though her father was licensed, she isn’t simply by virtue of being his daughter, so that would still be an amateur sleuth story.
I wonder how many people don’t cast nearly as wide a net when they think of an amateur sleuth, and if so, how they perceive these types of characters. Feel free to comment and get the conversation going, but note all comments are moderated.
Until next time…