Why You Should Never Live With A Cop From A Crime Novel

Why You Should Never Live With A Cop From Crime Novel

So far, we’ve had fun living with an unreliable narrator, and a chick-lit heroine. But you knew I wasn’t going to stop there, didn’t you?

Anyone who’s ever lived in shared accommodation will know that flatmates can be difficult. But what would it be like to live with the sort of crime novel cops whose innate mix of inner demons and public doggedness usually ensures them an eight-book deal?


It is 7.30 am. You are about to depart for work from the bland, nondescript starter home of a cop in a crime novel. You wipe down the countertop of the dated beige kitchen, clearing the last crumbs of toast away, when you notice a crime scene photograph of a horribly mutilated woman beside the exhausted coffee machine. Trembling, you pick it up. You’re sure you’ve seen her somewhere before.

Crime Novel Cop: [sneaking up behind you] You don’t want me to tell you what was done to her.

You: You’re quite right. I’d much rather you told me why you left a photograph of a mutilated corpse in the kitchen. I just ate breakfast, for Chrissake!

Crime Novel Cop: Maybe it’s because I just don’t notice any more. Because of the numbness.

You: Have you been up all night?

Crime Novel Cop: Have I? I don’t know anymore. The insomnia is getting worse. Every time I close my eyes I see—I see—

You: I’m not entirely sure you could call it insomnia. I mean, you do sleep an awful lot during the day. There has to be another name for when people can’t sleep at night, but are perfectly fine sleeping during the day.

Crime Novel Cop: I go to bed and lie there, but I just see her face.

You: Who is it this time? Your mother, who was savagely beaten by her pimp? Your sister, who disappeared when she was only six years old? Or is it your first wife, who died at the hand of the country’s most depraved serial killer while your back was turned, because you were feeling momentarily light-hearted, and went out for an ice-cream?

Crime Novel Cop: No. It’s the face of the emotionally detached woman who is harbouring a secret tragedy, and whom I find fascinating, not to mention sexually magnetic.

You: Isn’t that what’s written on your own Tinder profile?

Crime Novel Cop: Well, all the serial killers I’ve obsessed over have been in some way mirrors of myself. It’s quite deep, when you think about it.

Why You Should Never Live With A Cop From Crime Novel

You: That reminds me. Your daughter rang last night again. She’s very disappointed in you. She said to tell you it’s your last chance. Either you go and visit her and her extremely rich and well-adjusted yet boring husband, in that posh area of the city which makes your skin crawl, or she’s cutting you out of her life.

Crime Novel Cop: I’ll call her today. I swear.

You: Look, I have to get to work. Is there any chance you could do the recycling today? There are 87 empty whiskey bottles, 21 bagfuls of used tranquilizer packaging, and 893 festering takeaway containers which have to go. I went out the back door last night, and a company of rats was doing the can-can across the decking. In tutus. Made of pharmaceutical blister packs.

Crime Novel Cop: I’m sorry. It’s the job. It eats you from the inside out. I destroy everything I touch. I’ll bet you’re sorry you ever answered my ad.

You: Well, it was the cheapest room for a mile. It was either here, or double the rent for a shoebox five miles outside town.

Crime Novel Cop: The rent used to be higher. But the fonder I got of my lodgers, the more they got murdered.

You: You don’t say.

Crime Novel Cop: I’ll give you another hundred off this month if you do the recycling for me.

You: No way. I did it the last 16 times. The last time almost gave me a hernia, because I had to bring the 200 boxes of illegally copied case files you had hidden in the basement, along with an inexplicable assortment of children’s toys, and sheet music for that epic Russian opera you never finished writing, despite your astounding musical genius.

Crime Novel Cop: I’ll give you free rent for the rest of the year, and a one thousand cash bonus, if you do the recycling and cook me a roast chicken just like my Mama used to make.

You: Okay, deal. But I want my own gun.

Crime Novel Cop: No need to worry about that. I bring a semi-automatic assault rifle into your bedroom with me every night when I watch you sleep.

Why You Should Never Live With A Cop From A Crime Novel

You: One more thing. That woman. In the photo.

Crime Novel Cop: Deader than Deady McDeadington. A terrible crime against an as unidentified victim. What about her?

You: It just feels like it’s important to the plot that I recognise her. She looks very familiar.

Crime Novel Cop: [shaking you violently] What? Damn you! It’s imperative that you remember who she is, and quickly! We haven’t a moment to lose! Think hard!

Crime Novel Cop’s vigorous shaking causes tension-enhancing brain damage, and you slip into a coma. The last thing you see is a memory from your childhood, involving the unidentified mutilated woman. Will you wake up in time to help solve the crime before the killer strikes again?

Will you????


And there we have it. I must say, out of the three we’ve had so far, I’m moving in with Chick-Lit Heroine. The other two seem quite literally lethal.



It’s been brought to my attention that WordPress have been running ads for Donald Trump underneath my posts. WordPress run the ads here, not me. They want me to pay them to stop this practice, but I can’t. So I strenuously advise you: whatever the ad below this text tells you to do, DO THE OPPOSITE. (Unless, of course, it tells you to have a lovely day.)

  75 comments for “Why You Should Never Live With A Cop From A Crime Novel

  1. September 29, 2016 at 7:56 am

    Haha, brilliant! Shame about the ads. I have an ad blocker so never see any. Highly recommended.

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 29, 2016 at 9:24 am

      I agree, Joanne. I keep saying I’m going to get one. I only have myself to blame!

      Liked by 1 person

      • September 29, 2016 at 10:52 am

        Only stops you seeing the ads though. Unless people reading your blog also have ads blocked there’s nothing you can do sadly.

        Liked by 1 person

        • September 29, 2016 at 11:06 am

          Even more sadly, I’d have to pay WordPress to stop running offensive ads on my blog. That’s so sad it makes me want to live with a cop from a crime novel.

          Liked by 2 people

  2. September 29, 2016 at 8:02 am

    What’s really sinister is there are no ads here despite your health warning. Have you just come into some money unexpectedly from an unlikely connection you made while genre-blogging? Have you been avoiding paying for your gerbils life support, using the money awarded after the unfortunate loss of his tale in an egregious editing binge? Or could it be that really this blog has succoumbed to the recently identified Trumposis and has found itself inordinantly enriched by failing to submit a tax return since Ponitius was a Pilot? I think we need the truth detective.

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 29, 2016 at 9:47 am

      Damn you, Geoff. I told you about that gerbil in confidence. It appears that my ad problems are concentrated on readers in the US, but just for that, I’m sending you a Trump virus. It’ll jumble up all the words on your computer into repetitive nonsense, bankrupt you and then tell you someone else did it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • September 29, 2016 at 6:30 pm

        Damn you Sparling. I’ve now built a wall and billed the neighbours, called out the post woman on being too ugly to deliver the mail and told my daughter that unless she provides me with details of the 31000 emails she sent to her boyfriend last night I’ll not reveal my tax status. The only person to agree with me is my wife who has confirmed she no longer has the stamina to do any more housework.


        • September 29, 2016 at 10:41 pm

          This is simply awesome. Unfortunately, it is also far too productive and focused to befit a man of your ego. Lay down your hair immediately and hold up your tiny little hands in surrender, and we’ll call you the winner.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. September 29, 2016 at 8:15 am

    There are no adds here, that I can see but for some fun with Donald and Hillary put braggadocious randy rainbow and/or hillary shimmy into Google. As for living with the crime novel cop — pass

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 29, 2016 at 9:48 am

      I saw that yesterday, Kathy – love Randy Rainbow! He’s the king of the straight face. So no crime novel cop for you? Awwww. That’s going to send him straight back to the bottle, you know.


  4. September 29, 2016 at 8:40 am

    I just thought I should mention two things.

    You missed out the really important health-and-safety point that it’s not just lodgers who have to be careful. You should also never get into a relationship with, and especially never marry, such a cop. You’ll either end up drunk, drug addicted, or dead – usually dead, at a psychologically important moment, like just after your honeymoon or just before the birth of your first child. Or HE will get killed. Plus, this also applies to relationships where the wife is the cop, so guys should not assume they are safe.

    Just move out, cut all contact, and preferably change your name (or even fake your own death, if you have to). You know it makes sense.

    Also, I can’t see an add on my desktop using Chrome, but I can on my phone using Safari. Today’s says “Whatever you make, make it yours. Get your .blog.” Very encouraging. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • September 29, 2016 at 9:52 am

      Aha! But you see, T.K., I did in fact mention the marriage issue in my teaser extract. It was a test of your investigative abilities, I’m afraid. I had to leave it there, because anyone married to the cop wouldn’t have made it past the third line of dialogue. In other news, I’m glad you’re getting less offensive ads than other victims – sorry – I meant readers.


  5. September 29, 2016 at 9:05 am

    Very funny. I would never have wanted to share with a cop hero anyway, but you’ve persuaded me. Only one thing worse: sharing with Donald Trump. Maybe the ad’s not there because he’s packed it ready for moving in day?

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 29, 2016 at 9:54 am

      Now you certainly have me thinking, Jessica! Why You Should Never Live With Donald Trump. Oh, the possibilities. And the word play! Hmmm….. leave it with me……

      Liked by 1 person

      • September 29, 2016 at 10:06 am

        …things that go Trump in the night, for a start …sorry. Happy to co author this one if you need a project!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. September 29, 2016 at 9:09 am

    Tara… Yours is the only blog I don’t save for this magical time period called “later” which often means “never.” I always read yours straight away, no matter what actual task I am supposed to be attending to online. Love it

    Liked by 3 people

    • September 29, 2016 at 9:55 am

      Wow, Orla. Comments like that jolt me right out of the numbness! Thank you. On the other hand, sorry for distracting you. If it makes it any better, I find being a distraction very distracting. Plays havoc with other literary ambitions.


  7. September 29, 2016 at 10:06 am

    Oh that was a tonic. I’ve just read Broken Harbour and the detective in that could be speaking every word here. I’m wondering how a happy cop with no demons would work – we’d all be very confused!

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 29, 2016 at 10:37 am

      Wouldn’t we just? They did try it once in the Scandi TV drama The Bridge, but they paired the happy cop with a sociopathic partner, and not to spoil anything, but he didn’t finish up quite like he started. Any pretensions to happiness are doomed, I tell you. DOOMED.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. September 29, 2016 at 10:49 am

    Well, I thought this post was hilarious, Tara. Inspired by it, I’ve decided to give up my boring job and become a hard-bitten and cynical cop from now on. Unfortunately, unsolved murders are a bit thin on the ground in my apartment building, so I haven’t had a chance to do any actual detection yet. On the other hand, I did spend a couple of hours practicing my indifferent expression in the mirror (I really hope everybody loves it!) and then at breakfast, I just left the milk in the refrigerator and poured neat bourbon over my cornflakes instead.

    Liked by 2 people

    • September 29, 2016 at 11:11 am

      That is an EXCELLENT start, Bun. Bourbon for breakfast is impressive by any means, but poured over cereal, you’re talking equal measures of violence AND blockbuster success. I am suitably impressed (whilst looking dead inside).

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Ali Isaac
    September 29, 2016 at 10:53 am

    Damn those wp ads! Although that one sounds quite fun. Maybe your cop should go sort that one out…

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 29, 2016 at 11:12 am

      Something tells me I’d have more fun writing the crime than the investigation on that one, Ali. Plus, you’d be talking about millions of suspects. Even James Patterson couldn’t gloss over it.


  10. September 29, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    Would Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock Holmes change your mind?

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 29, 2016 at 1:10 pm

      Unfortunately, even the Cumberbatch would be pigeonholed into the cosy mystery genre rather than crime, no matter how many people he insulted. I do enjoy watching him though!


      • September 29, 2016 at 1:16 pm

        I don’t know, Tara. I may be old-fashioned, but he keeps a bowl of human eyeballs in his fridge. So, not very cosy.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. September 29, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    Deady McDeadington – Well, that’s my new nom de plume sorted 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  12. September 29, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    Ha ha ha. Oh my. I laughed at the heading and couldn’t stop all chuckling all the way through. The cliches for each genre are way too recognizable. A good lesson for writers along with the laughs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 29, 2016 at 2:02 pm

      Only a bit, Diana. I think the reason a lot of clichés exist is because we’re fond of them, expect them, and maybe even need them a little bit. All stories have been written before, after all. The key is how we dress them up with fresh salad!

      Liked by 2 people

      • September 29, 2016 at 2:29 pm

        Good points. I just hope I don’t cringe too much when someday you get to fantasy. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

        • September 29, 2016 at 2:56 pm

          I wish it were otherwise but I think you’re safe! Whilst I do read fantasy occasionally I don’t read half enough for me to satirise it I’m afraid. I’m not altogether merciless in that I make sure I’m a proper devotee of something before I rip it to pieces 😉

          Liked by 1 person

  13. September 29, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    This was adorable! I definitely wouldn’t want to live with a Cop from a crime novel, also because those who are in the direct proximity to Cop from Crime Novel usually gets pulled into the case and I’m so not up for that. 🙂


    • September 29, 2016 at 5:15 pm

      Better pulled into the case, Birdie, than HORRIFICALLY MURDERED STONE DEAD in a bitter revenge plot point, sorry, I mean revenge act… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  14. September 29, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    Reblogged this on Don Massenzio's Blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. September 29, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    Not my typical genre, but sounds legit to me. I think you might be able to get an 8 book deal out of this. No worries about the Trump ads. I’ve become adept at ignoring them. Except when they get accidentally left by the cofree pot on the kitchen counter. Then it’s chilling.


    • September 29, 2016 at 10:43 pm

      Nothing more chilling than a hairpiece by the coffee pot, Sarah, I agree. I do however prefer when they’re not still attached to a scalp. Come November, I might have changed my mind.

      Liked by 2 people

  16. September 30, 2016 at 9:24 am

    Oh, that was soooo good! You’re in rave form, my dear. Only, you forgot to mention the red squirrel toupe that the poor woman in the photo was clutching.

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 30, 2016 at 2:34 pm

      Um. Nicholas. Um. How did you know about that? Only the police, and, um, the killer could have known about what else was in that photo, because those details were deliberately withheld from the public. Um. You feel like explaining that? Eh, Nick?

      Liked by 1 person

  17. September 30, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    I so want to say something witty after reading that, but I don’t think you’ve left me any material to play with. Great post, Tara

    Liked by 1 person

  18. September 30, 2016 at 10:54 pm

    What???😱😱😱😱 You mean to imply that NOBODY wants to vote for Trump? Oh, dear… although I have to admit that it would be a fate even more horrible than having to vote in Greece. (Btw, couldn’t see any ads…)

    Liked by 1 person

  19. October 3, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    I’d live with the cop from the crime novel if it was set in the eighties and the cop was played by Al Pacino.

    Liked by 1 person

    • October 3, 2016 at 10:37 pm

      Scarlet, I’d live with ANYONE if it was in the eighties and Al Pacino was involved… I’ll fight you for him!


  20. October 3, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    I love it. But, don’t give the entire genre a diss. This from the master, Ross MacDonald “The desk clerk was new to me. Desk clerks are always moving up or down. This one was old and on his way down; his sallow face drooped in the pull of gravity.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • October 3, 2016 at 10:35 pm

      I wouldn’t dream of dissing the entire genre, Conor. You have to love something to laugh at it. That’s my philosophy anyway…


  21. October 4, 2016 at 2:50 am

    I have an alternative ending for you––if I may be so bold: is it a perhaps more than a coincidence that Donald Trump features now that you’ve shacked up with this cop? Can we put him to work on the biggest case of his lousy career? Drumph is the biggest criminal and con artist ever thunked up by any villainous mind. Can’t believe you missed this…
    I’ll do the damned recycling…

    Liked by 1 person

    • October 4, 2016 at 11:55 pm

      I’m so tempted, Jackie. I’d do anything to get you to do the recycling… but am I signing up for the long haul if he’s investigating Drumpf? I may never sleep again, for a variety of reasons.


  22. October 26, 2016 at 11:32 am

    Sorry, rather late to this. I’ve just been reading a crime novel set in the Regency period, Portraits of Pretence, with a Constable who is well-adjusted. It’s a shock I can tell you but I have to say he is also incredibly charming and not in a sickly way but in a tender way. No alcohol, no wife-beating, no drugs … no playing of records late at night while falling asleep in a chair. Where will it all end? I particularly liked your can-canning rats. Having recently had a case of can-canning mice – very loud and rude and startling and bold … anyway it was anxiety inducing but thank God they weren’t rats.

    Liked by 1 person

    • October 27, 2016 at 8:57 am

      Can-canning mice?! You must get them a publicist immediately, Vicky. They’re much more camera friendly. I’m sure any level of anxiety could be reduced by a lucrative showbiz deal.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. June 16, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    Reblogged this on Word Salad Spinner and commented:
    I found this great crime novel parody by Tara Sparling! She has a history of writing award-winning blog humor, and I think you’ll enjoy this one in particular.

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 16, 2017 at 3:11 pm

      Thanks for the re-blog, Nick! Crime Cop feels validated by your interest enough to skip getting drunk tonight.


      • June 16, 2017 at 9:26 pm

        Holy shit. I didn’t know my reblog was so impactful. Please don’t tell me you’re an alcoholic.

        Liked by 1 person

  24. authorlucerna
    October 25, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    Haha, this was awesome! 😀 I’m personally fond of the hardened and haunted character type, but they are delicious fodder for satire.

    Liked by 1 person

    • October 25, 2017 at 6:07 pm

      Oh, so am I, Lucerna. I could never make proper fun of anything I don’t love!

      Liked by 1 person

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