Ill-Conceived Stories

There have been a whole slew woman characters over the years who were amateur detectives. In many of them, the amateur was smarter than the whole police force put together, and she managed to find out the truth while they were still bumbling along. In others, the amateur had a cop boyfriend or a reporter or someone who could feed her information while she made fools of them all. Some put a twist on the story, and make the woman character the detective — private or otherwise — and she still finds out the truth before the professionals with all their equipment and resources.

I’ve recently come across still another version of this same archetype, a variation on the cop boyfriend theme. In this version, the amateur and the cop are not in a relationship but are merely best friends. (Even though it’s obvious to everyone but them that they really are in a relationship, just haven’t gotten to the sex part yet.) What makes this version so appalling is that the girlfriend, whether an ex-cop or merely a know-it-all, is allowed to accompany the cop on his investigations, as if she were her partner, and no one has any complaints about this — not the other cops, the police higherups, or the victims. They all just go along with that. Despite the ridiculousness of this, and the ridiculousness of the girlfriend showing up the cop, the worst is that the cop is a doofus and lets the girlfriend tell him how to do his job and even does her bidding when she sends him on assignments. For example, in once case, the amateur tells the cop, “I’ll go talk to the guy. You go find out what the woman has to say.”

How did these books get published? I suppose stories like this made sense before women became street cops and detectives, but it doesn’t make sense that such inane novels would be published now.

Luckily, not all books are as poorly conceived and written. There are plenty out there for me to choose from.

Even luckier, at this time of year, I don’t need to hunker down with a good book quite as often as I do in the winter.


What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

A fun book for not-so-fun times.

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God.

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