On The Bench

Cops and sleuths— our characters dish on their relationships with the police

Describe your relationship with the local law enforcement in your town, especially the detective or officer who may be skeptical of your involvement in solving crimes.
  • Terry Ambrose:

    According to Rick Atwood of the Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mystery series, “When my daughter Alex and I moved to Seaside Cove from New York, I never expected that I’d be consulting with the local PD. And I definitely didn’t anticipate that Alex would think she knows how to solve crimes better than me, a former crime reporter, or the professionals. But it’s been an interesting journey! As much as I hate to admit it, the police chief loves Alex’s wild theories and, to my ever-growing embarrassment, keeps calling her Nancy Drew – the detective of her dreams!”

  • Nancy J. Cohen:

    My husband, Detective Dalton Vail, welcomes my (Marla’s) input on his cases as long as I don’t put myself in danger. It didn’t always used to be that way. When we first met, I was his prime suspect in a murder case. I’d given my salon client a cup of coffee with poisoned creamer, plus I had a guilty secret to hide. But once he got to know me and realized I was determined to prove my innocence, he knew warning me off his cases wouldn’t work. Now he accepts me as an unofficial part of his team. Our methods for getting suspects to talk complement each other.

  • Debra H. Goldstein:

    Sarah Blair says, I have a mixed relationship with the local law enforcement because the series has different law enforcement officers. One, I get along with; however, the other one makes me think of Barney Fife in Mayberry because he often jumps to conclusions and then gets irritated when I figure things out or as he feels, meddle in his cases. But, what else can I do when he always thinks the killer is a member or friend of my family?

  • Cheryl Hollon:

    Miranda Trent of the Paint & Shine Mysteries has an excellent rapport with the local sheriff of Wolfe County, Kentucky. She’s also a good friend with the sheriff’s wife who happens to be the coroner. I find these respectful relationships realistic with plenty of opportunity for friction and tension arising from simply doing their critical jobs. The small-town environment thrives on the cooperation of your neighbors to get difficult things done.

  • Diane A.S. Stuckart:

    Nina Fleet of the Georgia B&B Mysteries concedes that she has a respectful relationship with the local sheriff, Connie Lamb, a no-nonsense and very capable woman about her same age. Sheriff Lamb isn’t thrilled that Nina gets involved in the occasional murder but tends to turn a blind eye to it as long as Nina doesn’t interfere with the official investigation. In other circumstances, the two women would probably end up good friends…and still may.

  • Maggie Toussaint:

    Hi, I’m Tabby Winslow of Savannah from the A Magic Candle Shop Series, written by Maggie’s counterpart, Valona Jones. My relationship with Detectives Belfor and Nowry of the Savannah PD is prickly to say the least. They keep zeroing in on my family and friends as murder suspects. I have had no choice but to do some investigating on my own. My twin calls me an amateur sleuth, so it must be true. I have an edge on the cops because of my powers to read auras, exchange energy, and go invisible. After the first homicide I figured out, the cops started coming to me for answers, only none of them can be based on woo-woo. That makes everything much harder.

  • Lois Winston

    Anastasia Pollack (from the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries) says, in many cozy mysteries, there’s an adversarial relationship between the amateur sleuth and local law enforcement. My author, being the granddaughter of the former captain of a major metropolitan police force, did not want to write about bumbling cops (at least not most cops.) So she created an interesting dynamic between me and local law enforcement, where I’ve won the begrudging respect of the detectives who have made appearances in books about me.

What about you? Do you have a favorite amateur (or professional) sleuth who has an unusual relationship with law enforcement? Let us know! We'd love to hear from you.


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