Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Cliché Play: Fletcher's Syndrome

I’m writing today to tell you about a very serious disease that affects hundreds of main characters.   Fictional sleuths everywhere succumb to it's influence.  For where there is mystery series, there is Fletcher’s Syndrome.

Fletcher’s Syndrome is a dangerous and potentially fatal disorder that affects main characters who are detectives or otherwise investigators of crime.  Symptoms of Fletcher’s Syndrome include, but are not limited to, someone being murdered while at a friend's dinner party, someone being murdered while on that weekend getaway that has been in planning for months, someone being murdered while at a class reunion or extracurricular club reunion, a long-estranged (or at least hasn’t been seen an a few years) relative being murdered and the affected being the main suspect, a celebrity who the affected either idolizes or is seeing live being murdered or suspected of murder, and pretty much any leisure or professional situation the affected may find him- or herself in resulting in or involving murder.  Often, the sidekick, partner, family, or friends of those with Fletcher’s Syndrome show symptoms as well.    Those affected by Fletcher’s Syndrome are more often than not plagued by an incompetent police force and/or forensics team and an overzealous arresting officer or prosecuting attorney that is willing to base his or her entire case on circumstantial evidence.  Faced with these obstacles, the detective or investigator will usually try to solve the case him- or herself, and is often the only one who can. 

The only known remedy for those with Fletcher’s Syndrome is to clear the name of the accused party by coercing the guilty party into a confession.  This task does not necessarily need to be overly complicated due to the tendency of guilty parties involved in crimes in the general vicinity of those affected with Fletcher’s Syndrome to leave a plethora of evidence in their wake, overlooked by the aforementioned inept police and/or forensics force.  Guilty parties that are confronted by those with Fletcher’s Syndrome will nearly always admit to their crime once told the sequence of events conjectured by the clue gathering of affected.

There is no known cure for Fletcher’s Syndrome.  Those who have this dread disease cannot go about their daily lives without someone being murdered wherever they go.  Even if they take on cases that do not involve murder, the case will eventually involve murder or attempted murder or a death that is suspected murder but is actually accidental or natural.

Fletcher’s Syndrome is sometimes, but not always, contagious.  The disease will usually only spread to another character if said character becomes a partner of the original, takes over cases of the original, or has a spin off series.

Well-known sleuths with Fletcher's Syndrome include:

Author Jessica Fletcher.  Has a knack for turning her disorder into profit by turning her experiences into best-selling novels.  For this, Fletcher’s Syndrome was named for her.

Defense Attorney Phoenix Wright.  No less than half his cases were a result of Fletcher’s Syndrome, often with him, his sidekick Maya Fay, or his friend Larry Butz as the suspect.  He eventually passed the disease to both his successor Apollo Justice and his rival prosecutor Miles Edgeworth.

Shinichi “Jimmy” Kudo, aka Conan Edogawa.  Displays the worst case of Fletcher’s Syndrome on file.   Is really a seventeen year old sleuth whose Fletcher's Syndrome resulted in his age reversal to the body of a six year old boy.

"Psychic" and rather handsome detective Shawn Spencer.  Shows early signs of Fletcher's Syndrome in his first two seasons.  Progression of the disease can be observed in later seasons.

If you know someone with Fletcher’s Syndrome, add their name to the comments.  The more voices we have, the more we may someday find a cure.

[Yes, I am working on a full book/movie post.  It’s been a hectic week. All the reading and watching is done, I just have to do the writing.  I should have the new one up by Thursday.]

Just a note: All the series I referenced are series that I like and geek out about.  They are generally good, but I am kind of getting sick of seeing the main detective have murder follow him/her wherever he/she goes.  In the line of duty, sure if the client comes to him/her with a murder case or something with high potential of becoming one.  But out on a social call to a friend's house, in the middle of a roller coaster ride, or at a spelling bee?  It's a bit much, doncha think?


  1. LOL great post! I can think of LOTS of people with Fletcher's Syndrome, such as Miss Marple, Hercule Poirot, The Hardy Boys, and Nancy Drew. However, those last two must have an early version, or perhaps only a light case of the syndrome, since they simply have a crime of some sort committed everywhere they go, such as kidnapping or robbery, not necessarily murder. Perhaps it is because The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew are not yet adults? Perhaps minors with Fletcher's Syndrome are surrounded by miscellaneous smaller crimes, and then when they become adults it changes to people being murdered everywhere they go? I can think of many more examples of that disorder, which could perhaps be called pre-Fletcher's Syndrome, including Encyclopedia Brown, Trixie Belden, and Mandie Shaw.

  2. in halo fall of reach one of the possible side effects of the augmentation process is fletchers syndrome


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