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Detective comedy 2: Introducing the client

Introducing the client

Introduction

the client

As mentioned in the first lesson, The Falcon’s Malteser blends two styles - detective stories and comedy. It keeps the narrative tropes of the detective story but changes the tone (detective stories are usually dramatic, not funny).

The next detective story trope we meet is The Client—the person who offers our detective agency a case to solve.

Read the next passage.

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. He was wearing a three-piece suit, only the pieces all belonged to different suits like he’d gotten dressed in a hurry. His socks didn’t match either. A neat mustache crowned his upper lip and his black hair was slicked back with oil. A spotted bow tie and a flashy gold ring completed the picture. It was a weird picture.

“Do come in, Mr…” my brother began.

“Naples,” the dwarf, who already was in, said. His name might have come out of Italy, but he spoke with a South American accent. “Johnny Naples. You are Tim Diamond?”

“That’s me,” my brother lied. His real name was Herbert Timothy Simple, but he called himself Tim Diamond. He thought it suited his image. “And what can I do for you, Mr. Venice?”

The Falcon's MalteserAnthony HorowitzSource

The Client is often:

  • Mysterious—both the detective and the reader don’t know their whole story
  • Secretive—they actively hide their story from view
  • Attractive—this can mean a few things: sometimes they’re someone the detective could fall in love with, sometimes they’re unusual and intriguing, sometimes the detective wants to find out the secrets they’re keeping, sometimes they’re paying very well. Usually it’s a mix of some or all of these and it attracts the detective to the case.
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A note about the client in ‘The Falcon’s Malteser’

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