Slick Bracer, PI: A Four Star Murder

A lot of people didn’t like this, based on what I’ve seen on the comments section at Decoder Ring Theater. While I can see where there coming from, it is all a matter of perspective. If people thought it was trying to be serious, then they would feel that the jokes were forced–and unfunny. The contrapositive is also true, obviously. I thought the tone was humorous and a good breaking the forth wall joke is alright, one in a while.

What bothered me was the ending. Knowing who the culprit was required the listener to not be given information: the last name of the culprit. On top of that, the last name is used as a joke. I can forgive a lot of things, but when a joke gets in the way of telling a good story, you’ve lost me. In prose fiction, if the author withholds information from the reader in a third person limited story, then it’s cheating. The same principle applies to audio drama. If you the punch of your plot twist requires withholding information from the reader, it’s going to feel unsatisfying.

I think the writer had a golden opportunity to twist the whodunit story on its head. 2-3 times we here the line: “you’re wasting your time.” If the culprit actually had been the person already in police custody, that would have been a nice twist. But, the writer goes for the twist that’s not foreshadowed and feels like a dirty trick.