Sam Smith Mystery Series Sam's Diary

Sam’s Diary #15

14th April 2008


In work today Angus told me that he was making some headway with the live-in adulterer. He suggested that maybe I could lend a hand by calling at the love nest and posing as a market researcher. I asked him if this was strictly legal and he replied, somewhat enigmatically, that it was so long as it didn’t end up in court. So, with my boss’s approval, I faked a market research form on a notepad computer and drove to the love nest. Angus had established that the couple were having an affair, that the man was living with his wife at weekends, then travelling 120 miles to work in the city during the week where he spent his spare time with his lover. But Angus suspected that there was more and it was my task to establish the truth.

I arrived at the love nest with my notebook computer and a sincere smile and asked if I could have five minutes of the lady’s time to ask some research questions. She was about to slam the door on me when two Jehovah’s Witnesses appeared at her gate. Rather than talk with them, she decided to talk with me and I asked some general questions about grocery likes, energy company preferences, favourite television programs, etc. Her answers were fairly standard, though she did drop in the phrase ‘my husband’ from time to time. I asked where her husband worked and noted that his place of employment matched the name Angus had given me. I soon realized that we’d opened a can of worms because her husband was the businessman commuter and we’d uncovered bigamy. I thanked the lady for her time then sat in my car in the shadows. I wondered what excuse the bigamist gave this lady to be free from her at weekends. I also wondered what Angus would make of my discovery. Presumably, this matter would reach the courts and my evidence would be inadmissible. Doubtless, Angus would find a way around that. It’s an example of what Angus told me at the start – when you go digging in the dirt you do discover that there are an awful lot of worms.

Private Detectives

Female Sleuths

Female sleuths are not a new thing, as this film from 1927 demonstrates.

From the film’s description: C/U of road sign at the top of a wall. “Baker Street”. The door of number 69 Baker Street is seen. Dissolve into a shot of a group of women coming out of a tobacconist shop. A man outside the shop seems to be handing them leaflets. “The first stage in the training of a detective is the prosaic one of teaching the things you may and may not do on your business round” said Mr Kersey.” M/S of a group of young women sitting and taking notes as Mr Kersey stands beside a blackboard. Closer shot of Mr Kersey and the blackboard. (There is lots of writing on the blackboard but it is too small to read on this Steenbeck.) At the top is a “Motto”, alas I can’t make it out. M/S of Mr Kersey lecturing the women.

“Disguise is, of course, a necessary acquirement.” M/S of one of the girls dressed now as a man. Another girl holds up a mirror as she makes up her face. She wears a man’s suit and flat cap. “Also the way to handle obstreperous shoplifters and crooks. (Some of these “ladies” are most “unladylike” when stopped.)” Mr Kersey demonstrates some restraining holds. One of the girls has a go – the others laugh. 

M/S of a woman looking around outside a shop (seen from inside the shop). Another woman walks out of the shop, looks around then gets into a waiting car. Our first lady then jumps into the car from the other side and arrests the second. A female store detective or private investigator at work! She grabs the shoplifter’s arm and puts her hand inside her coat, pulling out a piece of clothing she has hidden inside her coat.

“Shadowing is an art in itself, and where the person followed is ultra-suspicious, a lightening change frequently allays the suspicion.” L/S of man being followed by one of our female detectives. He turns around and notices her, she pretends to be going into a house on the corner. Another woman runs up with a suitcase. She puts it on the step and the first woman puts on a grey wig which the other has brought her. She then pulls a hat over her hair and puts on a scarf. She then continues her pursuit of the man. He looks around again but obviously does not recognise our female Sherlock Holmes. “In fact, in these days, your paper “boy” may even be a girl – the lady detective!” M/S of a man buying a newspaper from a boy on the street. C/U of the boy and the purchaser of the paper – they are both girls in drag! They take off their hats and the paper boy shakes his head to reveal her lovely head of hair. They laugh.