By Tracy Kiely
This week’s question was a little harder than I first imagined. There are so many mystery authors that I admire. Should some literary Genie appear before me and grant me the ability to watch the glimmer of an idea morph into a fully formed story, I would be utterly thrilled – and not just because of the wish, but because –hello! - there would be a freaking Genie in my living room! However, as I tried to narrow down my list, I began to overthink the matter. For instance, Stephen King is a master storyteller. To live a day in his head would no doubt be amazing. However, it also might result in me either ending up hiding under my desk in the fetal position or in police custody. The same could be said for Edgar Allen Poe. I quickly realized I had to choose carefully.
I finally decided on Dame Agatha Christie. A day inside her head, I was sure, would not leave permanent scars on my psyche. However, I had two caveats before I agree to this trip (I can practically see the Genie rolling his eyes in annoyance, but hey – it’s my wish.)
My first caveat is that Agatha must be aware of the technological advancements of today’s world. While Agatha was the master of the red herring and the clue dropped in plain sight, I would like to see how she would tackle a world populated with security cameras and iPhones. Our advancements in forensic science mean that you can no longer just shoot someone, drop the gun and casually trot off to afternoon tea. (Well, you can, but you’ll be in custody before you finish your cucumber sandwich.) Computers have replaced paper files. One can’t assume another’s identity merely by switching the dental records or by claiming that one’s personal papers were destroyed during the war.
My second caveat is that as Agatha is currently dead, her sudden presence in today’s world is not because she is a zombie. With my luck, I’d be in her brain on the day she ends up on the receiving end of two taps to the head.
Oh, and one more caveat. I would not be responsible for all the laundry that piled up while I was gone.