With email and texting, to say nothing of other social media, it’s easier than ever for people to communicate with one another. It all happens instantly, and it’s possible now to include documents, photographs, and much more.
I wonder what it would be like for fictional sleuths to use that sort of technology. Sometimes texts and other social media can give real insight into the way sleuths communicate. So, if you’ll ask your disbelief to go walk the dog, let’s take a look at what happens….
When Fictional Sleuths Text
I Nero Wolfe (Rex Stout)
Wolfe: Where are you? It is 11:00am.
Goodwin: @Lily’s. Taking her to lunch. C U later.
Wolfe: Flummery! I need you here now.
Goodwin: It’s all jake. Our meeting w/ new client isn’t until 2. C U then.
II Inspector Morse (Colin Dexter)
Morse: Are you finished with that interview?
Lewis: Yeah, should be back in the office in a bit.
Morse: Not the office. Opening time is in twenty minutes. Meet me at the Crown and Feather.
Lewis: Right. Could you give me address?
Morse: It’s ‘could you give the address to me!’
III Phryne Fisher (Kerry Greenwood)
Inspector Jack Robinson: Stopped by your house, but you’re not here. Where are you?
Phryne: I’m at a tea this afternoon. Very big do.
Robinson: Not likely. You’re not nosing into that case again are you?
Phryne: Certainly not! Smiles, puts her telephone back in her handbag and goes back to searching a suspect’s rooms.
IV Sherlock Holmes (Arthur Conan Doyle)
Holmes: Watson, are you free to join me on a case?
Watson: Most certainly.
Holmes: Excellent. Once you’ve seen to that patient you’re expecting, we’ll get started.
Watson: How did you know I was about to see a patient?
Holmes:. It took you ten minutes to respond to my text. At this time of day, you were no doubt consulting your notes before your patient arrives. Colonel Smitherington, isn’t it?
Watson But how did you know that?
Holmes: Smitherington had an appointment with you last week, which you told me he cancelled. He would be likely to reschedule.
V Commissario Guido Brunetti (Donna Leon)
Paola Falier (Brunetti’s wife): You’ll be home soon, right?
Brunetti: Not sure – about to interview a witness and I don’t know how long it’ll take.
Paola: My Women in Writing meeting is tonight.
Brunetti: I’ll do the best I can.
Paola: I’m cooking risi e bisi…
Brunetti: Home in 15 minutes.
VI Jane Marple (Agatha Christie)
Raymond West: How are you, Aunt Jane?
Miss Marple: Very well, thank you, dear.
West: Excellent. Thought I’d pop by and look in on you. That all right?
Miss Marple: Lovely. When?
West: This afternoon.
Miss Marple: Em, perhaps tomorrow? There’s a meeting of the Ladies’ Church Group today.
West: Tomorrow, then.
Miss Marple puts on her hat, picks up her handbag, and goes off to follow a murder suspect.
Got any you’d like to add?