Ask Lydia: Love Can Be Murder



Dear Ma’am,

There are two kinds of folks who sit around thinking about how to kill people: psychopaths and mystery writers. I’m the kind that pays better. I figured as a fellow writer you would understand the need of every writer for a muse. I found the perfect one in a gorgeous, smart homicide detective I’m basing the protagonist of my bestselling novels on. She was hesitant at first to let me examine her process, but after a little persuasion from some friends of mine in high places, she let me follow her around. That was four years ago, and even after writing four smash hit novels about her and a full length film in the works (expected to be next summer’s blockbuster), I still haven’t run out of words. She’s smart, talented and a relentless, brilliant cop, loyal friend and has a beautiful serenity about her, as well as really stunning hair. We’re a superb team; her no nonsense procedural police work with my off the wall theories and literary experience in the life of crime and murder merge to form an unstoppable duo of crime stoppers fueled by the coffee I bring her every morning. We get along fabulously and my mother and daughter adore her. I can honestly see myself fighting crime with her for the rest of my life. I used to be okay with keeping a romantic distance (she had a boyfriend and there are other “walls” separating us) but I’m not sure anymore. It’s not about the books anymore and hasn’t been for awhile.

After saving her life for the ninth time (yes, I keep track, I don’t see what’s wrong with that) I was holding her in my arms as the life blood was drained out of her. I thought she was going to die and as the wind gathered her hair I realized how much her being in my life is the best part of me feeling alive and I told her that I love her. It was at once both the best and worst moment of my life. When she woke up I was elated to finally be able to talk to her about a future together, but she doesn’t remember anything: me being with her when she passed out, when I told her how I felt, nothing! I lost my nerve and now I’m stuck. What if she actually remembers and hates me? My fame and fortune don’t matter to me anymore, I just want to be with her because, for the first time in my life, all the songs make sense.


Dear Structure in Which Royalty Traditionally Live,

For a man with a life overrun by females you seem to be blissfully unaware of three very important facts about half the world’s population.

  1. Women are emotional
  2. Women lie.
  3. Women lie about their emotions.

In other words, she probably does remember it all. Now before you pump the air in excitement, think of this: if she’s lying about it she may be uncomfortable with it, and not sure how she feels about you in return. Thankfully, she seems the type to not toy with a man’s feelings. If she loves you, when she’s ready, she’ll tell you, and if you love her, you’ll wait. Even if she honestly doesn’t remember, I would not be surprised if she knew anyway. I’m a writer, and while I find four years of research admirable, it’s obviously superfluous. More people than you realize know exactly how you feel. A woman would have to be blind not to notice you longingly staring at her all this time. Besides, nothing is secret when publicized on the front page of the New York Times’ Bestsellers List. She’s probably always known, to some extent. Take heart in the fact that if she didn’t like you at all she wouldn’t still be letting you follow her around like a lost puppy after all this time, friends in high places or not.

I find it commendable that you’ve waited this long to tell her while consistently showing your love through subtle actions that I find sweet and adorable. I wish someone would bring me coffee every morning…

While I find your writing style a tad pretentious, you are obviously very much in love and I’m rooting for you; don’t give up. The walls will come down. I promise.

Oh, and a quick question: “gathered her hair” How does wind “gather”?


Dear Madam,

I seem to have gotten myself into a bit of a jam: I fell in love. With my vaguely foolish face I thought I was a confirmed bachelor for life. I was very happy with my London flat, my fascinating collection of antique books and circle of acquaintances and occasionally helping my brother-in-law in a purely professional capacity. I find myself drawn into mysteries that I must solve and damn the consequences! My man B— is an invaluable confidante in those times of mystery but this particular case has gotten itself into such a muddle in my head that… well, I don’t know how to deal with it so in my hour of need, I am turning to you, Maid of Mystery.

The long and short of it is this: a beautiful, famous authoress was on trial for the murder of her lover when I met her in prison (believe me, it wasn’t my first choice for the start of a romance either) and fell head over heels in love. I was a goner. After handily proving she actually hadn’t murdered anyone, I realized what a predicament I was in. How exactly does one save a independent girl from the gallows, yet assure her that one doesn’t expect anything in return whilst knowing one can not live without her? It’s quite hopeless.

About a year later, lovely, adventurous girl that she is, she called on me to assist in solving another murder. It seems a habit of ours. On this case I realized how utterly witty and perfect she is for me and just in general beyond perfection. I will never love another. My dream is a happy home with my brilliant wife. For the moment, I am resolute in my resolve to just be her friend, but I’m not sure how long I can put myself through this torment and keep my emotions in check. Oh no. I’m talking of my emotions. I think I may have drunk more of B—’s good brandy than is good for me. What shall I do with myself?


“Sir Death Bredon”

Dear Death—never thought I’d write that, I feel for you, I really do. Save a girl you’re madly in love with from the gallows, but you’re not allowing yourself to love her because she’s indebted to you. That’s just rough. I’d like to meet your girl and have a nice long talk with her, she must have an arsenal of stories to tell.

First off, I know it’s hard, and cliché to boot but you’ve got to continue to be her friend. It’s your only hope. You must give her time to work through realizing that she loves you (because of course she does, you’ve got an awesome library!) and is not just grateful for saving her life. She’s not spending time with you just for her constitution! You seem a well matched pair since she’s apparently often connected to death, and death is your middle name. I see her asking you for help with the second murder as a very positive happening (if it’s not too morbid to cast murder in a positive light). If she can’t stand the sight of you because of any guilt she feels for causing you distress that would be a problem, but that guilt is outweighed by the desire to spend time with you—jolly good show, old chap, there is hope! This is a lifetime commitment that she’s facing. She needs to be sure of her choice because she’s been in bad situations before, remember? Don’t worry, I see wedded bliss in your future. Listen to B—’s advice, he sounds like a first class fellow!

Oh and if she by any chance is ever in need of help in say Oxford (lovely place) I would go.

Best of Luck, Lydia ■



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