Sometimes a detective hero takes a life of its own. For instance, Agatha Christie created Miss Marple who is an elderly spinster who lives in St Mary Mead. Miss Marple has been read worldwide and the books are definitely a good read. However, sometimes, something weird and wonderful takes place when an actor takes on the part of a detective. This happened for me when four Miss Marple films were made starring the indomitable Margaret Rutherford. For me, Margaret Rutherford is Miss Marple.
What have I learned as a detective through watching Miss Marple? One of the first lessons she taught me is – do not be afraid of being a complete and utter nosy parker. In other words, eavesdropping is a valuable source of information. Of course, I would never dream of eavesdropping on your ordinary type of person – but if someone is a suspect, that is a different thing all together.
Margaret Rutherford (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If budding detectives want to learn how to go under cover, watch all the Miss Marple films starring Margaret Rutherford. She often pretends to be what she is not. As kids, it is difficult to do this sometimes as we can’t really apply for jobs in places where crimes might have taken place. Although, the better you get at disguising yourself, the more likely you are to be believed.
Marple, as she appeared in volume 20 of Case Closed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Well budding detectives, you are probably asking what have kid detectives got in common with Miss Marple. It is simple, people think because Miss Marple is an old lady, that she is stupid and so they say things they shouldn’t say in front of her. People also do that with kids. The more I think about it, like Miss Marple, we have more chance of solving crime than adults because criminals become careless in front of us.
Tintin is a teenage boy who is also a journalist. He is my hero because he constantly fights evil, that is my foremost reason for having Tintin high upon my list of detective heroes. However, there is something important about a Tintin book which must not be overlooked when you are a boy detective yourself. When boy detectives are on a case, they can sometimes find their heads are on the point of exploding – we become suspicious of everyone and as the plot thickens, it can seem as if there is no way out of the mess.
Budding detectives, this is a number one detecting tip for the exploding brain. Get yourself a bag of Bull’s Eyes and a Tintin book and focus on enjoying yourself. This tricks your brain in getting order in the mess you are detecting. Tintin books work particularly well because the drawing is superb, your eyeballs are so busy taking in its splendour that you forget about your brain pain. As you rush from situation to situation with Tintin, you are transported, for the time being you are Tintin.
Reading a Tintin book also has other beneficial uses. It is easy as a boy detective to feel that you are rubbish at your job – life can get you down. We all have weeks when we watch the man across the road, Theophile Twitcher and have him down as a dangerous criminal, later to find out that he is simply an overenthusiastic birdwatcher. It happens and we feel like someone has splattered a custard pie in our faces. At moments like that, I would recommend, budding detectives, that you pick up a Tintin comic book and read it. Thompson and Thompson are the worst detectives in the world. They aren’t simply suspicious like us, oh no – they want to arrest the wrong person constantly.
I always think it is important that budding detectives become top notch at being in disguise. It is not easy. In fact, it can be quite off putting when you are dressed as an old tramp and The Thunderous Mother passes and says “Hello Will” to you. However, we can be certain of one thing – we will never be as bad as Thompson and Thompson at disguises. They might as well wear huge signs over the tops of the heads shouting “DETECTIVES IN VERY BAD DISGUISES.” So budding detectives, if everyone recognises you in your latest disguise – read a Tintin book – you will feel much better.