Monday, March 26, 2012

Nosy Neighbors

A Nosy Neighbor May Look Like Her.
(Istock version)
 Nosy Neighbors - You know the type. They seem to know everything that's going on with everyone in the neighborhood. Guess what? I'm one of them. I like to know what's going on around me. I suspect a lot of you are also, but may not want to admit it.

On our Tuesday garbage day a few weeks ago, while I was walking my dog, Rascal, I happened to notice a huge pile of garbage in front of our neighbors' house across the street. Also, I couldn't help noticing that one of the containers was marked shrink wrap. After the walk, I told the DH, "It looks like our neighbors are moving."

Well, wouldn't you know it, late Friday evening I heard a a motor rumbling. Glancing out my kitchen window, I saw a moving van in the driveway across the street. It was no surprise to me!

Sometimes I rely on exchanging information with my next door neighbor to keep me abreast of the latest happenings. I do what I have to do to know what's going on.

Okay, you may ask what any of my nosiness has to do with mysteries.

I'm suggesting, if it will fit into your plot, feel free to throw in a nosy neighbor or two to offer clues about the culprit, or maybe to provide a red herring. You can have neighbors talking to the police about what they saw or thought they saw, or one of the main characters could go over and ask. If you're in the mood, you could even have a nosy neighbor come to a bad end. There are lots of possibilities when it comes to nosy neighbors.

Have you read a book including one, or maybe written a book including one?

Morgan Mandel writes thrillers, mysteries &
romance, often combining them.
Excerpts & buy links for Morgan's books:


Roseanne Dowell said...

Love the idea. I am definitely going to include nosy neighbors in my future works. Thanks for the tip.

Maggie Toussaint said...

Whenever I think nosy neighbor I think back to Mrs. Kravitz, the nosy neighbor on an early sitcom. Now I can't remember if it was Bewitched or I dream of Jeanie.

Anyway, having a nosy neighbor is a great way to add conflict because its very likely that the nosy neighbor is party to information that the main character would like to keep private.

I'm all for conflict!

romance and mystery author

Keena Kincaid said...

Love the nosey neighbor idea. I don't write mysteries, but I like Maggie's idea to use one to add conflict.

Mary@GigglesandGuns said...

Nosey neighbors in books and life serve a purpose.

Our neighborhood nosey has even saved a life.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Nosey neighbors are often who the cops rely on for the comings and goings of criminals.


Morgan Mandel said...

By the way, before I typed up this post, I looked up how to spell Nosy and found out it could be spelled either way, Nosy or Nosey. It's no wonder the comments have both spellings.

Morgan Mandel

Paul McDermott said...

Nosy neighbours have their uses.
But Heaven preserve us from the "grinning leprechaun" Helen Hayes, who totally destroyed the character of Jane Marple in the Agatha Christie movies she made!
Jane Marple was NEVER meant to be SUCH a busybody!

About Bobbi C. said...

I'm also a nosy/nosey neighbor. And I definitely plan to put one in my next novel. I think it's just one of those "occupational hazards" of being a mystery writer.

Jean Henry Mead said...

I had a nosy neighbor in DIARY OF MURDER, who kept peeking out her window, but I can't snoop on my own neighbors unless I use binoculars. The nearest is half a mile away.

Morgan Mandel said...

It's fun to guess about what's happening in your neighborhood, and even more fun to find out you're right!

Morgan Mandel

custom term papers said...

Nice Positng and is really very informative.looking forward for your next post.

Cheryl said...

Love this post, Morgan. I think of Mrs. Kravitz from Bewitched too. I like to see nosey neighbors in cozy mysteries. They always make it more exciting. In the middle grade historical I am writing, I have a town busybody. She's fun to write.

Kate Dolan said...

Thanks for the reminder that we all can be nosy neighbors at times - it's more interesting for see what your neighbors are up to than to deal with you own stuff. I need to remember to use that trait!

Anonymous said...

I hate nosy neighbors. Get a life and mind your own business!

Morgan Mandel said...

Wow, Anonymous clearly does not know the value of knowing what goes on in a neighborhood, and is missing out on all the fun!

Morgan Mandel

Maryann Miller said...

Morgan, do you think Anonymous meant that as a joke? I can see it being funny with a twist.

Marian Allen said...

Maybe Anonymous lives in my little town. We're all up in each other's business here. lol!

Mom says we don't have a branch of Homeland Security here. If the Feds want to know anything about anybody in our town, they just call anybody ELSE in our town.

I'm capturing a little of that in the cozy mystery series I'm writing, set in a two-block neighborhood, where everybody keeps track of each other.

Good post, as always!

Marian Allen
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Patricia Stoltey said...

Watchful neighbors are pretty smart and often helpful -- that's the kind that alerted my niece that her house was on fire a few weeks ago.

But plain old nosy neighbors can be a pain in the rear end (and I've had a few of those over the years). I think Anonymous must live next door to one those annoying kind.

It's clearly the nosy ones that would make the best characters in a mystery. :D

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You're more observant than I am when it comes to neighbors!

Monti said...

Lots of plot potential. Wish I had time to watch the neighbors!

Mary Montague Sikes