A detective detects. To detect is to discover, discern, identify, and investigate. A detective deduces, infers, draws conclusions, and pieces together the puzzle pieces revealed while crime solving. The detective detects patterns and anomalies.
Whether with a big D as in Detective Jones, law enforcement personnel, or with a little d as in Alli, my amateur detective in Mission Impastable, the detective is critical to solving the crime as is having a criminal to unmask. They are two sides of the same coin with precisely opposite motives. Yin to the other’s yang.
I can’t think of a single mystery without either or both a professional and amateur detective. If you can, please list in below in the comments. Detectives are central to the story line. All other characters circle around the detective and the detective’s thinking. Designing your detective’s quirks, peccadilloes, traits, and mannerisms are key to having a personality uniquely qualified to solve your crimes.
Due Process is a law term meaning that the rights of an individual are protected and honored during the investigation of a crime. Due process was created to provide fair treatment as a citizen progresses through the judicial process and system.
At its root, due process is a safeguard against arbitrarily denying a citizen of life, liberty, and/or property. There is a due process clause in the Fifth Amendment and in the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. The Fifth Amendment due process clause refers only to actions by the federal government. The Fourteenth Amendment due process clause broadened the scope to states.
Stemming from English Common Law, due process is divided into two categories, Substantive Due Process and Procedural Due Process. Substantive Law creates, defines and regulates rights; Procedural Law enforces the rights or seeks redress for violations of rights.
For mystery and crime writers, you’ll likely be dealing more with Procedural Due Process around the arrests and trials of suspects. These include, but are not limited to: unreasonable searches, self-incrimination, cruel and unusual punishment, double jeopardy, the right to have an attorney, and proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
Ready for the letter Aunt Fran is going to answer in her column? Read on for part four of the short story:
Dear Aunt Fran,
I have been trying to decide whether or not to leave my husband of three months.
“Dan” and I had a sort of prenuptial agreement, not official or written down or
anything, that I would quit work as soon as we paid off our credit card bills from
the wedding. He keeps on charging things, which, of course, keeps the bills high.
Admittedly, those things are furnishings for our house, but I kept track of our
wedding expenses, and I know that I am within $1500 of paying them off. The
credit card bill which just came today shows we owe $6792.36! Don’t you think I
am justified in leaving him? “Dan” obviously wants me to keep working to
support his habit!
Leaving on a Jet Plane to LA
“Should the twit leave Dan?" She shook her Magic 8 Ball.
“Not at this time” floated into view.