Gumdrop Lane

5 Things I Learned From Murder, She Wrote

I have a great affinity for lady detectives, so it was inevitable that the day would come when I realized I had never watched Murder, She Wrote.  We all know that this series starred the incomparable Angela Lansbury as sassy and mature mystery writer Jessica Fletcher, who somehow always had murders to solve.  I dream I will one day meet a similar fate, so it seemed like I should start watching Murder, She Wrote in order to observe the master.  And after just a few episodes, boy, have I learned tons!

1) Get a bicycle.

This is key.  This allows for maximum speed in reaching a crime scene and looks adorable.  Imagine how willing people would be to talk to you if you rolled up to a murder being all cute on your bright blue bike with the white woven basket and a little bell dingalinging.  You wouldn’t even have to ask what was happening, people would just assume you were a smart and authoritative figure.  The cops would immediately and completely defer to you for your expert opinion.  I mean, if you can ride a bike, you can solve a homicide case – am I right??  I’m right.

2) Always wear pants.

I know, this is kind of a downer for those of us who love dresses and skorts, but it is essential to wear pants as an older lady on the go.  You need to be able to go jogging at a moment’s notice.  By jogging you maintain peak physical health and also, quite literally, run into people you have to talk to.  This is because pants are great at causing coincidences.  Pants are also important because sometimes you have to quickly jump off your bike while it’s still moving and start jogging immediately in order to swiftly and stylishly go from the beach to the morgue.

3) Talk to suspected murderers only when you’re alone and only at night.

This is obvious: murderers will only confess their guilt when nobody is around, and they include the sun as a person.  It’s not dangerous because, as Jessica Fletcher shows us, the murderer will realize threatening you is just one town too far to travel on the Bad Idea Express.  They might seem like they’re about to kill you but they’re totally not!  They just won’t.  It’s bad manners.  In fact, they’ll probably apologize for the whole thing and you two will get to share a nice “moment” and possibly a good cry.

4) You don’t need money for cabs in New York.

I know you’re thinking this seems crazy, but trust me.  Trust Jessica, actually.  All you need to pay for your taxi ride is some good conversation and a killer recipe to get rid of bunions.  Not only will this be satisfactory, but will be so welcomed that the cab driver will think it ridiculous if you try to insist on paying and will thank you profusely for curing what ails him.

5) Be a writer!

This is a great thing to be.  Jessica wouldn’t be half as good as she is at solving murders if she didn’t write best-selling mystery books.  Also, once you have one hit book you get to go to New York, be on TV and get recognized all the time.  This allows you to enter into locked buildings, bust into the police chief’s office whenever you please and make friends wherever you go!   Basically, being a fiction writer is the most essential building block to any career, as it makes you an expert at the real-life versions of what you write about AND it gets you respect.

Case closed.

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