A Gentleman’s Occupations: Detective

Good day,

It has been a while since I last wrote here. This is because I have been focusing on a new endeavour of mine, a detective agency. Having just closed the books on The Incident of the Mechanics Forefinger, I thought I should update you about two things. Firstly, how I figured out the murderer was Colonel Strak, and secondly (and more importantly), how the occupation of detective has long been associated with gentlemen.

I solved The Incident of the Mechanics Forefinger by using my extensive knowledge of Sherlock Holmes. I realised the case was almost identical to The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb and immediately new Colonel Strak was the murderer.

I will introduce you to some of history’s most notable detective gentlemen, and in the process giving you the recipe to become a successful detective yourself. The first thing you’re going to need is a magnifying glass.

Once you have a magnifying glass, the next thing you'll need to do is not be Steve Martin.

You will use your magnifying glass primarily for looking for clues, but you will also need it to pose for photos and portraits.

Now, before you start bothering with things like ‘evidence’ and ‘clues’,  you must ask yourself one question: “Was Barbara Stanwyck involved?”. If she was, the murderer was probably Fred MacMurray and you can close the case (cases are rarely, if ever, anything other than murders).

Fred MacMurray dances Barbara Stanwyck into a corner.

The next thing you need is a calabash pipe. This will not only mean you can smoke while deliberating upon the mystery, but you can also strike quite a silhouette.

For the best silhouettes, try to position yourself between your observer and a source of light - a fireplace, the Sun or a window.

Another thing you should consider is referring to yourself in the third person. It will bring an air of mystery to your investigations and also confuse most of the people you question.

"Hand Poirot his monocular, he sees something suspicious in the distance" - Hercule Poirot.

Now that you should have the basics of detective work down, it’s time to set up your own agency. Before you bother registering your business, getting clients or advertising, you are going to want a sign to hang on your door saying your name followed by “P.I.” or “Detective Agency”.

Paul Newman in The Case of the Incorrect Name on His Sign.

Once you begin questioning people you will notice something. Most of the people will have some motive to murder the victim. There are two things that could happen at this point. It could turn out to be none of these people, but the person who hired you in the first place. Or it could be all of them. Either way, you are going to have to develop an excellent suspicious gaze.

If you're not entirely confident in your suspicious gaze, hold up this picture of Philo Vance.

And finally, you should name all your cases. They should all begin with either “The Case of the”, “The Adventure of” or “The Man With the”.

So now you should have the basics of one of the most gentlemanly professions known to gentleman: detective.

Bogart combines three aspects of today's post into one snapshot: smoking, a suspicious gaze and not being Steve Martin.

Until next time,

H.L. Griffith