Calling Angela Lansbury.

I think I’ve read too many mystery novels. When the city of Grosse Pointe had its first homicide in over 30 years last summer, I scanned the details in the paper: Middle-aged bookkeeper gunned down outside the home of an elderly woman she worked for. The old woman was loaded, or at least had a big perk of loadedness — a house near the lake. The shooting was execution-style and had no apparent motive (purse was left behind).

I read all this and thought, The old lady’s adult kid did it. The next day, police said witnesses had seen two black men fleeing in a green Taurus. I thought, The old lady’s adult kid paid them to do it.

Well, needless to say…sometimes life really is a mystery novel.

Homicide is a strange crime. The media keep count of them, nothing makes law-abiding people feel less safe, and yet, it’s the quirkiest crime, subject to wild fluctuations from year to year. The best advice, if you don’t want to be murdered, still seems to be, don’t deal drugs, stay away from criminals and don’t keep loaded guns in your house, particularly if your domestic relationships are dicey. And yet, you can follow all those rules and still find yourself shot to death in a driveway. Statistically? Bookkeepers have the safest job in the world. Yeesh.

Let justice be done. Poor bookkeeper.

Posted at 10:28 pm in Same ol' same ol' |

8 responses to “Calling Angela Lansbury.”

  1. Michael G said on February 3, 2006 at 9:02 am

    OK but why the bookkeeper? Why not mom? I don’t get the motive although this guy has more problems than the average Joe not the least of which is he obviously ain’t too bright.

    As a mystery reader, can I assume you are a devoted fan of Detroit’s best writer — the great Elmore Leonard?

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  2. nancy said on February 3, 2006 at 9:10 am

    This is speculation, but I think he suspected the bookkeeper of advising mom to close the money faucet.

    Yep, a devoted fan. And I recently got to interview him for a story. I can die happy.

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  3. Kirk said on February 3, 2006 at 9:42 am

    My mom always thought that Paul McCartney resembled Angela Lansbury.

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  4. Laura said on February 3, 2006 at 10:09 am

    Nancy, it’s when you start thinking like this that you know you’re meant to be a crime novelist.

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  5. Michael G said on February 3, 2006 at 12:00 pm

    Sounds like a plausible motive. The idjut is in his fifties which means the mother must be somewhat elderly. I guess, given the state of his health, that he couldn’t wait any longer for her promotion to glory.

    Now I’m jealous as hell. Any chance of your posting the interview where we can see it?

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  6. Laura said on February 3, 2006 at 1:56 pm

    Way off topic, but it looks like you’ve got more than one Laura on your site. Laura #2 was likely born between 1957 and 1963 and is friends with other Lauras, as well as Lindas and Lisas.

    I’m guessing Emmas, Rachels and Hannahs (including my daughter) are surely the 1990s version of Laura et al, don’t you think?

    On point: a $3400 split for a murder? I didn’t know a life came so cheap.

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  7. Dorothy said on February 3, 2006 at 4:50 pm

    I am the mom of a Laura born in 1983 (next Saturday is her birthday!) and I named her for Laura Ingalls Wilder. Most of the “L” names in her generation, though, seem to be Lauren.

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  8. Laura said on February 4, 2006 at 12:52 pm

    Laura is a nice name for a daughter–good choice! Re: Hannah, I knew she was likely to meet other Hannahs, but I thought my son, Abram, had a pretty unique name. Wrong! He’s only 10, yet he knows two other Abrams. I guess I have my finger on the pulse of popular culture.

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