Saturday, June 28, 2008

Mystery and Romance

I came upon a most magnificent realization yesterday. I was reading a book of short stories by Dame Agatha Christie. They were detective stories that did not include her great set of detectives. Rather, they were tales of ordinary people who get enmeshed in the most extraordinary circumstances. However, reading her stories you would hardly think that the circumstances were extraordinary at all. In fact, it appears that danger, mystery and mayhem abounded on every street corner in her day, and that any unsuspecting passer-by could at any moment get embroiled in a spine-chilling murder or kidnapping. I also notice that every single one of those stories includes a rather klutzy young man who is often clueless about almost everything, but is called to exude machismo, charm and courage at the sight of a ravishingly beautiful damsel who is almost always extremely clever, but also extremely mixed up in some form of sinister trouble. Anyway, ten pages later, all is gas and gaiters again – the mystery is most satisfactorily solved with all the villains (usually jewel thieves, mysterious foreign spies or wicked relatives eager to usurp noble titles) securely handed over to the capable denizens of Scotland Yard, and our klutzy, clueless hero inevitably proposes to the gorgeous and grateful heroine.

That’s when the realization hit me – what one needs to do in order to find one’s soulmate is not to go in search of him, but rather to embark on a journey filled with danger, drama and scandal with a fair measure of good, old-fashioned crime thrown in. Sooner or later, usually on a train or in a tea-shop, one is bound to run into one’s dreamy hero. A few murders, a variety of poisons (cyanide, strychnine and arsenic are usually the best), some secret documents, a case of stolen diamonds, and half-a-dozen butlers are also extremely conducive to expediting matters in the romance department. You might think I am poking fun at one of my favorite authors, but that is not so – romance and danger go hand in hand in all famous detective fiction – Tommy and Tuppence Beresford came together joining forces against the 'Secret Adversary' in the Jane Finn mystery, had Harriet Vane never been accused of poisoning her fiancĂ©, she and Lord Peter Wimsey would never have got together for an exciting domestic and detective partnership, both Dr. Watson and Captain Hastings would still be old bachelors had Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot never solved mysteries that plagued the fair ladies who were eventually to become the Mistresses Watson and Hastings. And Miss. Marple and Mr. Parker Pyne are also constantly called on to deliver their clients out of danger and into the arms of their waiting beloveds.

It is settled then – I plan on embarking on a most perilous journey forthwith. Know of any mysteries that need solving?


Beautiful Mind said...

That was a big disaster that you have stated.
In this manner you cannot solve many mysteries.
One mystery , romance ,solve it and the end! Or Worse still may be you may end up as a Lady JamesBond !

Its good that you have something in your mind!
Whatever this week you have your birthday

Have a happy funfilled and colourful Birthday!

Azalea said...

Hehe... I don't actually find romantic heroes lurking about street corners. Mysteries seem equally hard to come by. However, I don't stop looking. One can but hope. :-)

Thanks for remembering my birthday. I do plan on celebrating - exactly how, who knows. Will post all about it soon.