June 17, 2011

The Others - Jessica Fletcher

Ah, the quiet life in good old Cabot Cove, Maine. Perfect for bringing all those suspenseful novels to paper. Unfortunatelly for Jessica Fletcher, also known as J.B. Fletcher, this little town supplies her not only with tranquility but also with lots of murderous incidents that should rather be found in one of her books and not in her neighborhood. Being a best-selling author of mystery novels as well as an amateur detective she juggles both quite successfully. It only goes to show that all those research on crimes and plotting in her books pays off in real life too.

Murder She Wrote was one of the series I loved to watch back in the 80ies. Maybe not as religiously as I watched other things on TV, but I saw most episodes. As much as I love Castle today, I always had a thing for writers having adventurous lives and not being personifications of a recluse in their solitary work. And seeing how many dead bodies Jessica has tripped over in her career, well, it almost makes me want to get out my magnifying glass and trench coat, head over to the local police station and ask whether they need some advice from a gal who knows how to plot. On second thought, this might seem suspicious in itself, so maybe I just keep up the writerly (does that word even exist?) hermit life after all.

You could almost get the impression that most murders on the East Coast happen in Maine. Oddly enough I didn't witness any killers lurking when I visited New England several years ago. Maybe I wasn't looking hard enough. Maybe it's the talent to be at the right place at the wrong time that makes you the perfect detective, who knows? Another thing I have in common with Jessica (I refer to the writing part, not the part where she ends up finding dead bodies wherever she goes) is that we both love to travel. Too bad that murder does not happen in rural New England alone, so obviously she happens to stumble into crime scences regularily when she's abroad too.

One of the things I really loved about the series is the old typewriter Jessica's always working on. Next to it, a huge stack of paper that always made me fear that an open window would lead to hundreds of pages flying through the room. I honestly don't remember whether that ever happend in one of the episodes though. And in the later episodes she upgrades to a, at the time popular, computer with Windows 3.1 ... ah, nostalgia ... my first computer worked on Windows 3.1 too. My oh my, does that make me feel old now or what?

Time for a fun fact! About 40 of her crime novels are being mentioned throughout the series. Mos of them had rather, uhm, fancy titles, such as The Corpse Danced At Midnight or The Mystery Of The Mutilated Minion.

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