My Secret Life as a Sleuth

Written by PushingUpRoses on July 9th, 2010

I have a secret.

Well, it’s not actually a secret.  It’s more of a fantasy.  Ever since I was a little girl…I’ve always wanted to be…

(insert really really long awkward pause, and a cymbal crash)

A detective.

….What!?!? Don’t you ridicule, now!  Everyone has fantasies about being someone else, after all.  Some people want to be famous athletes, some people want to be actors and actresses, some people want to be a transvestite…it’s all good!  *I* have always wanted to be a detective.

I can’t really offer a great explanation as to why, except I think being obsessed with Law and Order as a tyke had some effect on me.  I used do, and still do actually, adore that show.  Even though the original seemed to spawn a million carbon copies of itself, like “Criminal Intent” and “Special Victims Unit”, I will always be a fan girl of the original series.

I even started writing my own mystery short stories as a preteen:   The Adventures of Mrs. Maple.  Which is clearly in no way, shape or form, a complete rip-off of Miss Marple by famed mystery writer, Agatha Christie.  Obviously.

How I fantasized about being a great detective, always going on adventures with my sidekick (gotta have a sidekick) and my neat detective hat and fashionable trench coat.    I would be the most famous detective, traveling around the world, working for Scotland Yard, and eating bagels.  Cops eat donuts.  Detectives eat bagels.  I would even have my very own detective lamp!:

I am very certain Eddie, the main character in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”, had this exact lamp on his desk.  I will always equate lamps of this style to crime fighting.  Thus, I must have one.  I am currently accepting lamp donations.  Please see my contact page.

Alas, my career in crime was not going anywhere, so I needed to find other ways of stimulating my affection for mystery.   I was about to abandon hope, until I found this:

Eagle Eye Mysteries for the PC!!!

There seemed to be a certain time when mystery games for the PC became really popular.  Eagle Eye Mysteries, published by EA Kids, was an educational game that allowed the player to be an amateur detective, solving simple (and possibly harmless) crimes.  The simulation was amazing to me, being only nine or ten at the time I played.  The game kept me occupied for years and really fulfilled my lust for mystery games.  As I got older though, these child games no longer suited me.

When I hit my awkward teenage years, I found other, more mature games to satisfy my hunger.  I started playing Laura Bow 2: The Dagger of Amon Ra.

Now, hear me when I tell you how deceptive this game actually is.  The graphics are very cartoony, friendly, and fun.  During the first part of the game, I was having a ball picking up clues, talking to people, and progressing in the game.  And then…



I was so freaked out, especially after playing through the very very sugary sweet first act.  Maybe I was not ready to be a super sleuth after all.  Not only could I not eat anything red for months after this game, but my love for mystery in general dwindled for MONTHS!

I did end up going back to the game a couple years later, and got through it.  Barely.  This game pretty much proved to me that I would make the least successful detective on the planet.  At the end of the game, there is this test you have to take to see how well you payed attention.  Not only did I get every question wrong, but my character got murdered at the end because I let the killer get away!  RATS.

Okay, so I admit it.  I’m the worst detective ever.  But it doesn’t detract my love for a great mystery, and sometimes I still fantasize about being a gumshoe.  Even if it means I have to go play some Carmen Sandiego to feed my need for crime solving.  At twenty five years old, I wonder if it is too late to hone my sleuthing skills.  I am pretty sure if I just had that detective lamp, I would be the best there is.

Or I would get killed for letting a vicious serial killer away.

Maybe some day.

  • Micah C

    You're a Law and Order fan? You just got considerably more awesome, which I thought was impossible.

  • pushinguproses

    I've always been a fan. I like CSI too, but nothing compares to Law and Order.

  • LotusPrince

    Woah, what a hardcore game. Who knew Roberta Williams could be so grim?

    Also, I love the concept of being a detective for a murder case, and yet not being able to handle the sight of a dead body. 😀

    One thing's for sure, though, even if you did end up being a successful detective:


  • thatdoucheandrew

    I actually do have that lamp! It's awesome to have when doing all-nighters for papers, it makes me feel like a detective. (Jealous? :P)

  • NeoScriptor

    I never wanted to be detective, but I still think Laura Bow 2 is awesome.

    I thought Harriet the Spy was hot. Does that count?

  • Chris H

    And Jeff Goldblum is awesome in the new Criminal Intent (I'm not sure about Saffron Burrows though).

  • Paw

    I think we should doll you up as Laura Bow for Halloween this year. I wonder how many people would get it? How's your southern accent?

  • pushinguproses

    Ugh, a select few would get it. But it'd be worth it to the few who would.

  • pushinguproses

    Hahaha, YES actually. I think I would be more prone to buy one if I only had money. Maybe I can get people to donate a lamp?

  • Khadeja Merenkov

    I always felt like point and click adventure games, with all of their puzzle solving and rich stories, were a lot like mysteries. Usually your main character is trying to figure something out about themselves/their situation anyway, so that's kind of like a mystery.
    Honestly, though, I love mysteries in general. I especially love reading mystery novels. Perry Mason is my MAN. So is Hercule Poirot!

  • thatdoucheandrew

    I see what you're trying to do! You can't have my awesome lamp! Never! It's mine! Mine! All mine! 😛

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  • Emily Dalrymple

    Oh I totally wanted to be a detective when I was a kidlet too. I think it's one of the reasons I love procedural shows – everything from Poirot to Bones to NCIS. I love a good mystery and trying to work it out – my Dad can always guess the murderer after 10 mins, very annoying. I don't think I'd be very good at it, but I can dream :) Sounds like we share it *hugs*.

  • Viktor13036

    I remember Eagle Eye's!!!! though the only case I ever played was the one with “Mark”… Damn Mark

  • Jason Willard

    Y'see…I wanted to be a Power Ranger when I was a young boy. Buuuut…that dream didn't pan out so well (clearly, seeing as how I'm NOT battling evil forces), but we all dream when we're young.

    The point of my insane rambling of yester-years is that I believe everyone has that on profession they dreamed of as a kid that still holds a place in their heart. Even if that profession is far beyond their abilities or, in your case, interests (what with the corpses and rats and inability to find proper lamps).

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  • Proxeruse

    I compared the film “Dangerous Adventures Adele” the game “Laura Bow 2 The Dagger of Amon Ra” and realized: the movie copied the game clean sweep!

    In his evidence I cite a lot of screenshots!

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  • MiuGu

    Even though this post makes almost no mention of books, I'm going to go ahead anyways and recommend one. Two reasons:

    #1: It's short and good

    #2: It's interesting and funny

    #3: It's got a female main character but has to do detecting and some *cough* other things

    #4: It's a great introduction into the wonderful, weird world of Thomas Pynchon and it'll do funny things inside your head

    Read it, you have no reason not to.

  • MiuGu

    #3: It's got a female main character who's “normal” but has to do detecting*

  • MiuGu

    XD… either I'm going senile or I'm very distracted these days, the book is Crying of lot 49, by Thomas Pynchon

  • Catutie

    i can see it now SHERLOCK SARAH rofl. just rolls of the tongue. if you like detective type games and trying to figure out who done it and all that then i suggest the Phoenix Wright games on the DS. One of the best series i have played. the first part is only in court but once you get past that you have to find the clues and question people. its very very fun and pretty hard. and yes…you will see dead bodies…but not like all up in your face mostly face down from a gun shot wound or what ever.

  • Altoman5

    I always wanted to be a detective, but I didn't want to be a cop. So I did the next best thing. Become a private investigator. Let me know, I could use a sidekick. :)

  • Derek

    I feel the same way. It isn’t too late. Check out inquirocracy . org and perhaps you can be a part of it.

  • Nathan

    You have just given me an idea for something to run for the next convention my friends run. A murder, a mystery, and only one person can solve it. Do you have the detective skills to solve the murder? Oooh, I’m going to have fun with this! By the way I loved the Lara Bow series. If they would add to an old Sierra Series that would be one I would like to see another of. Leslie Balfour did a wonderful job with the second one in my opinion.