By Tracy Kiely
Many characters have already made the leap from one genre into another. Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy (nee Bennett) now romp through merry England solving murders under Carrie Bebris’s expert hand, and Jasper Fforde turned Miss Havisham into a tough operative who regularly kicks ass in her high tops and takes names.
Like Josh, I thought of bringing Hamlet over into the world of crime as a kind of modern day New York District Attorney. But then I realized that he would be a public relation’s nightmare. Let’s face it, Hamlet was not known for his strong decision making skills or conviction of purpose. I can just see him dithering about muttering, “To convict or not convict, that is the question,” as the criminals scattered taking vital evidence with them. Besides, his indecisiveness and tendency to inadvertently kill innocents as he sought out evildoers would no doubt result in massive litigation that could potentially cripple New York’s economy.
Next I thought about Bertie Wooster and Jeeves. Then I had to sit down, because that is a BRILLIANT IDEA. Think about it. They get invited practically anywhere – on both sides of the pond – and therefore have all sorts of access to places the police don’t. And BONUS, everyone already thinks Bertie is a nitwit – which he is – Jeeves is the brains behind the duo. But, thanks to the inherent snobbery of the day, no one will pay attention to Jeeves because they will think him below their station. He can observe people and events practically unnoticed and…. You know what? I’m so using this idea. I’m declaring copyrights on this.
There. That should take care of any legal issues.
Okay – moving on. Since it’s bad form to break off mid blog to pursue an idea you just had – even if it is the best one you’ve had all day – I will continue. Therefore, my genre hopping detective is:
(And quick question – why is it Mrs. Danvers? She never married. Why were servants given such “honorary” titles? As a sign of respect? Well, then where is Mr. Danvers? Dead probably; and probably at Mrs. Danvers’ hands. And is that respectable? I think not.)
Anyway. Despite the fact that she probably killed her husband and buried him under Manderley’s famous blood red rhododendrons, I love Mrs. Danvers. Well, she’s horrible, but I still love her. Just not as a housekeeper. She’d scare the crap out of me as a housekeeper. That spooky way she sneaks up on people without making any noise, and then before you know it, her pale skull-like face is in yours peering into your quivering soul – who does that? I’ll tell you who. THE BEST DETECTIVE EVER!
She might be despicable, but she can size up a person’s character in a minute flat. She totally sized up “Miss I Have No Printable First Name” with in 2.1 seconds of meeting her. That’s a skill, people. Granted, it’s a skill that would be annoying as hell in a housekeeper who chose to use those skills against you – but it would be freaking awesome in a detective. She’d just turn her fish eye on the suspect and then would just KNOW.
Of course, then, she’d probably set fire to his house, but that’s not my problem. The point is; you don’t mess with Mrs. Danvers.