A short, dark stranger

As this is a first person narrative, the description of the client is very subjective and judgmental. We get the narrator’s impression of them, starting with an overall physical description.

He was in his midforties, I guessed. It was hard to say with someone that size. A short, dark stranger with brown eyes and a snub nose.

It’s a detective’s job (or, in this case, the detective assistant’s job) to judge! It’s all about reading people and finding clues in looks and behaviour. If those judgment calls are based on years of rough experience, we’re looking at a classic detective story trope. If their assessments are wrong, even better! It could mean that the case is unusual and a challenge for the hero, or it could mean the detective is flawed or a fool (especially if it’s a comedy).

How are the clients described in these examples?

She was nervous I thought, though the Obama mask covering her face made it hard to tell for sure. A small woman hunched in the chair, fidgeting with her rings and darting looks around the room.

He was a big guy, maybe 350lbs. It was hard to say with the baggy clothes. Heavyset, with bullish shoulders and sagging eyes.

Write your own variation.