The Shocking Truth About Sleuths! ;-)

We’ve all seen them. Maybe you even glance at the stories as a guilty pleasure. Yes, I’m talking about tabloids. They may not get the story right, but they can be fun. That is, until they twist the truth about you. It’s all got me wondering what it would be like if a tabloid started getting interested in our best-known fictional sleuths. Hmmmm….

If you’ll send your disbelief out for a film and some popcorn, here’s …


The Shocking Truth About Sleuths!


Who do you call when you need to solve a mystery? We depend on our sleuths to solve crimes, but what do we really know about them?  We at The Weekly Messenger have the shocking story in this exclusive article.


‘For all we know, he could be running a brothel or something.’


On the outside, the New York City brownstone occupied by Nero Wolfe seems like a quiet, pleasant building. But inside, it’s a completely different story. Wolfe has spent years living in the building, rarely appearing in public. ‘Who knows what goes on in there?’ said the owner of the building next door. ‘It’s always seemed quiet, but that guy is a little weird. For all we know, he could be running a brothel or something.’ Wolfe himself has dismissed that allegation as ‘flummery,’ but did not invite our reporter into the house. Wolfe’s business partner, Archie Goodwin, says everything’s strictly legal. He claims that Wolfe runs his detective agency from his home. But Goodwin has had more than one brush with the law. And we’ve learned that Goodwin handles a great deal of money, and has been seen letting people into the house at all hours. When we asked the police whether the brownstone might actually be a brothel, Inspector Cramer refused to discuss the situation. And that leads to an interesting question: why aren’t the police investigating this?


‘A moustache like that couldn’t be real!’


Whitehaven Mansions, London, is home to one of the world’s most famous detectives, Hercule Poirot. He’s been solving crimes for years, but we’ve found some shocking evidence that there may be no such person. We spoke to the doorman at Whitehaven Mansions, who had this to say. ‘I’ve always wondered about M. Poirot. A moustache like that couldn’t be real. Why’s he wear a fake moustache? It’s not for me to say, but you can’t help but wonder.’ Other residents of the building have mentioned Poirot’s habit of going outdoors carefully muffled up, no matter what the weather. M. Poirot claims to be from Belgium, but our sources haven’t been able to find out much information about his career there. The Belgian authorities say that a great deal of that sort of information was lost in the war. So who is the person who lives at Whitehaven Mansions and calls himself Hercule Poirot? We contacted Poirot’s valet, Georges, but he has not responded to telephone calls or emails.


‘Who knows what she could be capable of doing?’


One of the most respected police detectives in Venice is Commissario Guido Brunetti. He’s been responsible for bringing a number of criminals to justice, and has a reputation for being incorruptible. But a closer look at his life and career calls that shiny exterior into question. Brunetti’s wife, Paola Falier, is the daughter of some very powerful people, Count Orazio Falier and his wife, Donatella. Through her, Brunetti has access to the highest levels of society. And that almost always means the chance to line one’s pockets. What’s more, Paola Falier has her own history. She’s on record as having committed vandalism at a local travel agency (for which she didn’t serve a long prison sentence, as she should have). And in one case Brunetti investigated, she was heard to say that she would give the murderer a medal. She’s known as a political leftist with a very strong sense of independence. We talked to her colleagues, who admitted she has strong opinions. As one put it, ‘She isn’t one to do as she’s told without what she sees as a good reason. Who knows what she could be capable of doing?’ With such a strong connection to such a questionable person, it’s debatable whether Brunetti can really be as law-abiding as he seems to be. In fact, The Weekly Messenger is pursuing this case further. We’ll be reporting on Brunetti’s relationship with his questura colleague, Elettra Zorzi, soon.


‘Those boys are always getting into mischief! And she knows it!’


Almost everyone in Botswana’s capital, Gabarone, has heard of Mma Precious Ramotswe, the famous detective. She has a solid reputation for getting cases solved, and for restoring order and peace. But The Weekly Messenger has uncovered some disturbing things about Mma Ramotswe. She has a close association with Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors. And that company employs two assistant mechanics who’ve caused plenty of trouble for their boss and for the area. According to Mma Ramotswe’s associate, Mma Grace Makutsi, the two assistants do not typically work with Mma Ramotswe. But interviews with some of the people who have nearby businesses suggest a troubling possibility: that Mma Ramotswe actually encourages these young men in their destructive pranks. One nearby resident said this: ‘It is true. Mma Ramotswe is married to Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, who runs that garage. She knows those assistants very well and sees them every day. Those boys are always getting into mischief! And she knows it!’ If it’s true that Mma Ramotswe is corrupting minors in this way, she could be in serious violation of the law.


‘Holmes has to be running that gang.’


Our last stop was at crime solving’s most famous address, 221B Baker Street, in London.  Sherlock Holmes has quite a reputation for being eccentric. But The Weekly Messenger has uncovered evidence that Holmes’ lifestyle may be a lot more than just eccentric. Sources say that Holmes is a regular drug user, of both morphine and cocaine. As if that’s not troubling enough, there are reports that he runs a street gang who traffic those drugs. The owner of the house next door, who asked not to be identified, said, ‘I see these boys going in and out of there. His landlady calls them the Baker Street Irregulars. They’re irregular all right! The big one goes up to see Holmes, then he tells the others what they’re supposed to do. Holmes has to be running that gang.’  If that proves to be true, then Holmes could be responsible for distributing drugs all over the city. This is an ongoing investigation, and we’ll have more for you as it develops.


Filed under Agatha Christie, Alexander McCall Smith, Arthur Conan Doyle, Donna Leon, Rex Stout

33 responses to “The Shocking Truth About Sleuths! ;-)

  1. Wonderful, Margot! Isn’t it amazing how different things can look when seen through the distorting lens of the tabloids! 🙂

    • Thank you, KBR 🙂 – I’m so glad you enjoyed this post. And you’re right; things look so very different when the tabloids get hold of something! It’s one reason I’m glad I’m not famous…

  2. Col

    Great post, Margot. Has me wondering what Mr Williams gets up to at Tilton University!

  3. Heck, I’ve known all that info for years. And no, I won’t reveal my sources! 🙂

  4. Simply superb – I think you should start the Margot Express 😉

  5. A delightful collection of fake news and alternative facts! Unless of course it’s all true… I’ve always had my doubts about M Poirot, and that Holmes man has been known to wander around in disguise – highly suspicious! No smoke without fire… 😉

    • Well, that’s what I say, FictionFan! You certainly have to wonder about a man who goes around in disguise as much as Holmes does. And Poirot…well…anyway, you can count on The Weekly Messenger to give you the story (true or otherwise… 😉 )

  6. mudpuddle

    wonderfully inventive and funny!! i’ll never look at these assorted detectors the same, again!!

    • Thank you, Mudpuddle! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. And you’re right; tabloids do give one a very (very!) different perspective on people, don’t they?

  7. Very informative, but I wish someone would take a closer look at Lord Peter Wimsey’s valet, Mervyn Bunter! First, that name can’t be real and second, he’s just a little too good at his job. Very suspicious!

    • You know, Eatierney, I agree that he’s quite suspicious. And you’re right about that name! The Weekly Messenger may just have to do a little search into his background, and perhaps talk to people who know him. Hmmm….*busily makes notes.* We appreciate the tip!

  8. kathy d.

    This is a very funny post — and given how tabloid newspapers and ezines grasp at any tidbit to make headlines, quite possible. Now I’m thinking what could V.I. Warshawski be accused of doing, racing all over Chicago, getting into trouble.
    This reminds me of a late, aging friend who used to sit in the nearby automat and talk to people. He had a lot of friends who would stop by and chat as he got older, and in the day pre-cell phone, he’d used the pay phone to call his spouse and friends. The automat manager decided he was a bookie and banned him. He was so honest it shocked him but he couldn’t convince the manager he was innocent of any wrongdoing.
    I suppose every private detective or anyone doing detecting could be accused of wrongdoing when, in fact, they are gathering clues, asking questions, talking to people.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Kathy. And I’m sure the tabloids could think of any number of ways to twist the truth about V.I. Warshawski. The story you tell about your friend shows that even the most innocent of people can seem suspicious if people don’t understand what’s really going on. It’s sad that the automat manager didn’t believe him.

  9. kathy d.

    Yes, it’s sad but one thing is that he lived in a wonderful building complex that has beautiful grassy laws and benches. So he moved over there when the weather allowed.

  10. Love it, Margot. And as for Miss Marple, that fluffy, bootee-knitting persona is just too good to be true and she does seem to know a suspicious amount about wrong-doing . . .

    • Thank you, Christine. And thank you for the mention of Miss Marple. She couldn’t possibly be as innocent as she seems, could she? And all that talk of hers about ‘human nature?’ There’s no way she could be that well-informed, just living in a small village all her life. I say there’s got to be something nefarious going on…

  11. Bill Selnes

    Margot: “What is it with polite Saskatchewan sleuths?”

    How can Joanne Kilbourn (Gail Bowen), Russell Quant (Anthony Bidulka) and Bart Barkowski (Nelson Brunanski) be so polite all the time. They are always thanking people and saying they’re sorry and execusing themselves. It is unnerving to those of us from the big city.

    We sent ace reporter, Moira, to Saskatchewan to conduct an undercover investigation. She said she was instantly unmasked as an outsider by her designer clothing and fabulous shoes.

    Moira said it was incredible. Everywhere she went everyone was so polite. There was no dirt to be found on any of Joanne, Russell and Bart.

    How do they ever solve a crime? No one beats anyone up or threatens everyone or uses vulgar language constantly.

    We are concerned Moira has been co-opted. A crack team of investigators is being assembled to rescue her.

    • Thanks for that update, Bill. It’s good to have some reliable on-the-scene reporting from Saskatchewan. That politeness that those sleuths exhibit is most definitely suspicious! No-one can be that considerate all the time. I’m sorry to hear that Moira hasn’t checked in lately; that’s a real source of concern, and we’ll be glad to make all of our human and other resources available to you and your team as needed. This is worrisome. When Moira is found, I’ll be very interested in what she’s learned. I’m certain she’s got to have found something!

      [Thanks, Bill, for a very welcome laugh! Trust you to ‘get’ exactly what I had in mind here, and to add so much wit to it! This is fabulous!]

      • That’s hilarious! Brilliant, Bill, and I am so honoured to be featured. I have always enjoyed my visits to Canada, and have indeed found everyone suspiciously polite – and very well-dressed too!

        • Very glad to hear from you, Moira, and to know you’re safe. And you’re right; Bill did an absolutely brilliant job here! I loved it. Good to know, too, that you’ve had good experiences with the Canadian people you’ve met.

  12. Thanks for the kind words Margot and Moira.

    I meant to add before Margot that the post was both clever and “tabloid” credible.

  13. LOL! Margot, you killed me!!! That’s absolutely fantastic!!!!
    I mean, no doubt the worst are Wolfe and Homes. That’s absolutely obvious. I dont’ see how the police can let them do their dirty business undisturbed.
    Can’t wait for the next report of the The Weekly Messenger 😉

    • I promise you, Jazzfeathers, this next edition will contain bombshells you won’t believe! 😉 – And you’re right; I can’t imagine what the police are doing, letting Wolfe and Holmes (and the rest) get away with so much. That’s a report in itself, if you ask me.

      So glad you enjoyed the post! 🙂

  14. Very clever, Margot! This was fun.

  15. Pingback: Writing Links 7/31/17 – Where Genres Collide

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