I draw upon my many hours of watching TV mysteries such as Murder She Wrote and Midsomer Murders to give you my tips on solving the show’s murderer. Here they are:
1) The show will heavily suggest a murdered in the first few minutes after the murder. This person is never ever the murderer. Just isn’t. Nope, not ever. Filing for taxes will become easy and pleasurable before this happens.
2) Clues for the actual murderer usually takes place 60% of the way through the show.
3) You really have to be alert at this stage of the show. While in the first part of the program the detectives will say, “My gosh, this man has got to be the murderer,” they will never say anything like that when the real clue comes up.
4) The real clue will usually be in the form of the dastardly perpetrator saying something bizarre, not true, or out of character. This clue will not be picked up by the detective until the 80%-to-90% of the show.
5) The murderer will not be a short woman. A tall woman can pass for a man if seen in a coat at night and from a large distance. This is why I married a short woman.
6) The murderer NEVER EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER leaves town. They just wait for the law to pick them up at the 90% mark of the show. Oh sure, they might, in rare cases, get tickets to fly away. But they are singularly incapable of getting to the airport. Most of the time, however, people who buy airline tickets are the ones who get killed. So travel by train.
7) Here’s a drinking game guaranteed to get your drunk. You have to drink something every time someone says, “But I didn’t kill him.” Unfortunately, this utterance doesn’t provide any clues to the identity of the killer. Sorry.
8) The murderer is usually a neat type. While the actual murder itself might be gory and chaotic, his home will be neat, be it ever so humble.
9) The murderer is often rich. This is argument for raising taxes on the wealthy.
10) If someone in the show has an ancestor that was wronged a long time ago, perhaps even centuries, then he is a likely murderer.
11) If someone remotely suspicious has her name changed, then she is the murderer. So let your bride to be, keep her last name. Don’t even ask her to change it.
Happy solving, you TV detective, you.
– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.