Mobileread
Is this a Mystery Trope?
#11  4691mls 01-08-2019, 12:00 PM
One thing I always liked about the Alpine/Emma Lord cozy series is that Emma and Vida are the local newspaper editor and columnist so they actually have a reason to go around asking questions.
Reply 

#12  sufue 01-11-2019, 02:00 PM
And there are also some mysteries where the protagonist's lack of formal authority to ask questions is clearly part of the story line - where the protagonist has to cajole or finagle others into answering, or find info out in other ways, like by surveillance. And in some cases, characters will start out talking to the protagonist, but then balk at some point and quit talking, which actually seems to me like something that might happen a lot.

In general, though, I agree with @issybird that I think a lot of people are a lot more willing to say a lot more than one might expect.

I once participated in a workshop for entrepreneurs that put a big emphasis on getting primary marketing input, just by talking to potential customers. The workshop instructors told us that if you just ask, a lot of the time you get answers, and then they sent us out to do that. I was amazed, but it was really true, if you frame yourself as asking for help, and indicate the value that you are going to put on someone's input, and really listen, lots of people will try to help you out. Granted, we were trying to find out if people would like a product, and not gather info about a crime , but still, I was truly amazed by the amount of time people would spend with us, and how much they would tell us.

So, I guess every now and then, I have to suspend disbelief, but a lot less than I used to .
Reply 

#13  Demingy 01-17-2019, 04:30 PM
One reason why I like the Miss Marple series is because Agatha Christie explains this (quite often, arguably a bit too often) when Miss Marple is planning how she's going to set up her questioning. Of course that series is filled with the mystery tropes mentioned in this thread.
Reply 

#14  Catlady 01-21-2019, 01:43 PM
What annoys me more than the willingness of people to answer questions is the motive of the amateur sleuth to ask them--to become involved in the investigation. I used to read a lot of cozy series that tended to begin with the amateur having a plausible reason to become involved--as a suspect, a relative or friend of the victim, etc.--but in later books the reason wouldn't make much sense.
Reply 

#15  Sirtel 01-21-2019, 03:14 PM
Quote Catlady
What annoys me more than the willingness of people to answer questions is the motive of the amateur sleuth to ask them--to become involved in the investigation. I used to read a lot of cozy series that tended to begin with the amateur having a plausible reason to become involved--as a suspect, a relative or friend of the victim, etc.--but in later books the reason wouldn't make much sense.
Hmmm... why did miss Marple get involved in her cases? Just from curiosity? I don't really remember anymore, it's been a while since I read Christie.
Reply 

#16  Demingy 01-21-2019, 05:49 PM
Quote Sirtel
Hmmm... why did miss Marple get involved in her cases? Just from curiosity? I don't really remember anymore, it's been a while since I read Christie.
Some times she got pulled in because the suspect was a friend or a friend would ask her to because it was their friend. Once in a while a friend who was just curious would drag her in. A lot of the time she will happen to be where a crime takes place, and usually that is most likely just curiosity. 😂
Reply 

#17  Sirtel 01-21-2019, 06:05 PM
Quote Demingy
Some times she got pulled in because the suspect was a friend or a friend would ask her to because it was their friend. Once in a while a friend who was just curious would drag her in. A lot of the time she will happen to be where a crime takes place, and usually that is most likely just curiosity. 😂
Thank you.
Reply 

#18  arjaybe 01-21-2019, 06:49 PM
Then there was Jason Rafiel, who manipulated her into it.
Reply 

#19  pendragginp 01-22-2019, 12:36 AM
And then of course once it was established that Miss Marple was good at it sometimes people would turn to her - even official people who either had a family connection with her or who had been told she was in the area and was, as one Scotland Yard man put it, "the finest detective God ever made."
Reply 

#20  latepaul 01-22-2019, 07:29 AM
Quote Catlady
What annoys me more than the willingness of people to answer questions is the motive of the amateur sleuth to ask them--to become involved in the investigation. I used to read a lot of cozy series that tended to begin with the amateur having a plausible reason to become involved--as a suspect, a relative or friend of the victim, etc.--but in later books the reason wouldn't make much sense.
In the case of the book that inspired this thread, which is the 3rd in the series, the amateur, a professional actor, is deliberately cast in a play where they suspect someone of trying to sabotage it. So he's actually sent in as an investigator.

Which is why it's irritating that everyone answers his obvious digging with such lack of suspicion.
Reply 

 « First  « Prev Next »  Last »  (2/4)
Today's Posts | Search this Thread | Login | Register