I don’t know the true protocol for this, having only been a blogger for just under three weeks, but I’d like to re-post some of the comments that I’ve received on my checklist of Real Estate Detectives. If I don’t do it this way, I have a feeling that they’ll fall through the cracks, and people who’d enjoy reading them might not otherwise. (From my own personal experience, I read the comments when I read someone’s blog entry, but I never go back and see if anyone’s commented later.)

First, from author Lou Allin:

My realtor sleuth Belle Palmer lives in the Nickel Capital, Sudbury, Ontario, and specializes in cottage properties, which lets her roam around the bush at will. As mentioned earlier, there are four books in the series, Murder, Eh? being the latest. In that novel, I finally got around to letting Belle find a body at a house showing. For that, I earned a mention on a strange website called “Bathtub murders in Toronto.” The next entry in the series may be titled Dial Belle for Murder. Selling houses is an ideal job for an amateur sleuth because she’s always coming in contact with new people…often with secrets to hide.

Lou Allin

My reply:

Hi Lou. It’s good to hear from you. It’s also good news that Belle will soon have another case to solve. I don’t fully understand the premise of the website you mention, but you’re right, there you are at http://torontoseeker.com/torontobathtubmurderers.htm

Then from author Nina Wright:

Hi, Steve. Thanks for mentioning Whiskey Mattimoe, my Realtor turned amateur sleuth. I agree with Lou Allin; a career in real estate offers our protagonists access to the private lives of many fascinating strangers. Moreover, since choosing a place to live is an expensive and emotional decision, high stakes are already in place.

My humorous series is set in Magnet Springs, Michigan, a fictional tourist town across the Lake from Chicago. In addition to a cast of artistic and eccentric regulars, Whiskey encounters affluent vacationers who pack their dark sides when they leave home.

Another perk of the Realtor protagonist is her legitimate excuse to snoop (a little). Since I’m personally fascinated by architecture and home design, one of the promises I make to my readers is that Whiskey will find herself inside at least one uniquely fascinating property per book. I enjoy concocting those details as much as the gourmet mystery writers probably savor their recipes.

Nina Wright

My reply, which is now the last one posted, but it also contains a short response from Lou Allin:

To both Lou and Nina,

I believe that you’ve pointed out something essential in each of your posts. The biggest problem in maintaining an amateur detective as a continuing character is how do you (believably) make sure that your detective keeps coming across murders to solve?

At first I was surprised at the large number of realtor-sleuths that turned up. Now I’m wondering why there aren’t more of them!

>>> Lou’s email reply to me:

Hi, Steve

One cliche I avoid (selective memory privilege) is having people comment to the sleuth, “Oh so you’re the one who keeps finding bodies. Any luck lately?” or some such. We all know that even police detectives don’t normally work on murder after murder (well, maybe in New Orleans or L.A.).

If readers want amateur sleuth mysteries, they’ll agree with the willing suspension of disbelief.