Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Is For Alibi and....

A is for Alibi or Antique Armor 

Agatha Christie was very good at sorting through the alibis of the suspects in her murder mysteries. Was it the Antique Armor's curse or Alice DuPont's poisoned muffins…Agatha could ferret it all out.

What constitutes an alibi? According to the Oxford English Dictionary; a claim or piece of evidence that one was elsewhere when an alleged act took place.  In our case, of course, that act would be a crime, and in modern mystery usually a murder.  An Excuse is also defined as an alibi, but not really in my view. An excuse means I can't because… An alibi means I couldn't have and offers proof or at least purported evidence to substantiate that claim of innocence.

It is up to the sleuth, the detective to track down the truth of each of the suspect's alibis. For lack of an eye witness to corroborate a suspect's  whereabouts, to confirm or refute his alibi, other methods of proving or disproving the suspect's alibi include verifying mileage, place and time last seen, possible motive, opportunity and access to the method, be that gun, knife, poison. Whatever constitutes solid evidence or proof. It isn't always easy, in fact, it seldom is, but a good detective, even an amateur sleuth will use every avenue possible to insure the guilty party is punished, not some innocent fall guy.


Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Ah, alibis. We all have them. :)

Great post, Billie.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Alibi's. Intriguing when good. So annoying to the reader when they are bad! Roland

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Important in a mystery!

Damyanti said...

A well-done alibi is a crime-writer's best asset :)

Thanks for your comment on my blog.

---Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2012

Twitter: @AprilA2Z

Shannon Lawrence said...

I agree that an excuse is not the same as an alibi. Entirely different, actually.

Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z