Friday, August 21, 2015

Save yourself! Tips for not getting bumped off in a British mystery

As you all know, I am a bit of an Anglophile, and particularly love BBC mysteries, as well as several of the "Golden Age" British mystery novelists. I have posted several times about what to expect from said BBC mysteries, but realized recently that I have neglected to forewarn about how to prevent yourself from getting bumped off on such a series.

Consider this a public service announcement, should you consider becoming a character in such a series.
1. Don't blackmail anyone. This is a universal truth: the blackmailer always gets killed. Period. End. Of. Story. (Or end of blackmailer.)

2. Especially don't blackmail the person you believe to be the murderer! Characters do this all the time. Do they think the suspected killer will suddenly have a change of heart, or a religious conversion, as well as an inclination to lighten their wallet? I'm pretty sure no one has ever had this thought: "Hmm. Mary is blackmailing me because she knows I killed Beth. I'll pay up and hope she doesn't say anything, and ignore the gun that I used to shoot Beth."

3. For that matter, don't confront the person you suspect to be the murderer on your own, without the police.  Because duh.

4. Don't arrange to meet anyone in person with a clue that's going to reveal who the murderer is, or one that's central to the case. For the love of God, tell them over the phone! Text them! Email them! Because if you arrange a meeting, you'll always get bumped off on the way there. We know this to be true.

5. If you are dealing with monsters or aliens (e.g. Dr. Who, which is essentially sci-fi mystery), DO NOT assume they are friendly. That assumption means they will eat you. The people who assume the aliens or monsters are unfriendly have a 50/50 chance of being accurate, and they are much more likely to live than the people who assume otherwise (who have a zero percent chance.)

6. This applies even if it's a cute monster or alien. Remember Adipose?
7. Get backup. You know the characters who venture out on their own, even whilst others say, "No, don't!" ? They all end up as toast.

8.  If you are working with the killer, don't double cross them. Because, once again, duh.

9. If you find out about the family secret of some old artistocratic family, just keep it to yourself. These characters tend to get rather touchy about out questionable parentage, and death is usually preferable being caught with the wrong trousers down.

10. Don't drink the scotch! If you suspect someone is a murderer, don't accept their offer of alcohol. Questions? refer to points #3 and #8.

16 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

Truth.
And I will add a hint for real life. Have you ever noticed that the media always, but always, says of a murder victim 'No-one can understand it. He/she was such a wonderful person'? So if you think you are in danger of becoming a murder victim, let your inner psycho bitch/bastard run free. Say what you think. Stop playing the nice card....

Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar! said...

Hey there, Riot Kitty,

Pawhaps, most weirdly, the BBC has decided that all cats in all BBC mystery shows shall become the prime suspect. The dogs shall prove that the cat did it.

Now then, over here, we need a licence to watch the BBC. My human has told me he hasn't passed his TV licence test.

Pawsitive wishes and doggy kisses,

Penny! xx

OldLady Of The Hills said...

LOL,LOL....All very good advice, my dear! I am hooked on a lot of British Mystery series---Have you seen "SCOTT AND BAILEY"? It is superb! Wonderfully written; Beautifully acted and directed....A Gem of a series!

Abby said...

Ooh, I do like a good BBC series. Usually much better than bloody American rubbish! (Did you hear my English accent?)

HBF said...

Elephant's Child that is hilarious and so true! I don't think I've ever heard it said, "Well, Dave was a bastard, no wonder he got knocked off."

This post makes me want to read Wilkie Collins all night!!

LL Cool Joe said...

I'm a Brit and I don't think I've ever watched a British mystery series! Actually, I don't watch TV at all. I know I'm a bore but I just have too much real life drama to cope with any more on telly.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

#9 works for the Game of Thrones, too.

agg79 said...

Excellent advice but I think it could apply to a lot of other genres. Like many of the classic horror movies (Halloween, Friday the 13th, The Evil Dead, etc.). And never trust the smiling caretaker.

Charles Gramlich said...

Finally, a blog with some truly useful advice. I'm going to make a laminated card with all this wisdom on it to carry with me constantly. :)

Lee said...

I always wonder why there are so many glass front doors...or doors with lots of glass in them...solid, heavy doors, you idiots!

And there are always so many chases...on foot...I'm exhausted from watching them...so I fast-forward...to save my energy....puff!!!!

Ileana said...

Omg, your "ignore the gun I used to shoot Beth" comment made me laugh out loud. You are too much, amiga! I learned a new word, too. My daughter is such an Anglophile and she doesn't even know it yet!

Blue Grumpster said...

What! Don't drink the scotch?! But I've got to draw the line somewhere. You know that, right?

Claire said...

Ha! My mum loves shows like this - I'm totally sharing this with her!

Rock Chef said...

Excellent advice!

Also, every quaint English village has at least one Village Murderer, as well as the Village Idiot.

Have you seen Partners in Crime yet? We are loving it.

Blue Grumpster said...

Hi! Don't be a slave like me. It's Caturday! Meow!

A Beer For The Shower said...

Hilarious and 100% true. And you know what? I don't care if Adipose isn't friendly. He/she/it is so damn cute.