Monday, May 11, 2009

Was It a Coincidence?

Coincidence factors heavily in mysteries. Sleuths are always wondering, “Is it coincidence or is it a clue?” And catching the murderer may hinge on knowing the difference.

Many people subscribe to the theory that there are no such thing as coincidences. Me, I’m undecided, although I have to admit, I’ve had my share that have left me pondering.

For instance, it’s almost a certainty that if one of my family members phones, another will beep in within five minutes. And these are at random times of the day, or week.

Quite often, my sister will be in the process of sending me an email, and I’ll phone her, totally negating her entire message. That happens in reverse, too.

I’ve met people in social situations who are experts in a field that I am about to research for a current work in progress. For the book I just finished, about half-way through, I needed information on K-9 search and rescue dogs, and THAT EVENING, I met a former Sheriff’s police officer who was a K-9 handler. He happened to be bartending at a party.

On my way home from a writers’ conference, I stopped at a highway rest stop, and while there, a woman told me about another route to get back to my home state. I was puzzled as to what had prompted her to mention it as we were washing our hands in the ladies’ room. But fifteen minutes later, back in my car, I turned on the radio just as the traffic report came on and heard that a terrible accident had caused a road blockage five miles ahead – and it had only just happened! Thanks to the woman, I was able to get off the highway immediately and take the alternative route. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have known about it and would have sat for hours.

Quite a coincidence. Or was it? What do you believe?

Kate