Building a Mystery (Show)


As I'm pretty sure I mentioned somewhere in the long-distant past, I wanted to be Encyclopedia Brown when I was a kid.  Starlee Kine has found a way to do that as an adult and I have to admit I'm jealous.

Kine has a new podcast called Mystery Show, which I suppose you could say is a bit like Serial but less life-and-death serious and more whimsically mundane (in that good way).  Basically, someone approaches her with a mystery they've encountered in life and she seeks out the solution via good, old-fashioned, shoe-leather investigation and this-could-easily-be-your-quirky-friend charm.  And as is the way of life, no one mystery is ever just one mystery, and each investigation leads to more questions to be answered and numerous rabbit holes to explore (as when a simple informational call to a Ticketmaster rep leads to a deep conversation about how we all deserve love and compassion).

Kine, like Serial's Sarah Koenig, is a This American Life alumna so that vibe and propensity for finding gripping narrative in everyday things is all over this show, but this is definitely more Donald J. Sobol than James Patterson, more Scooby Doo than CSI... though admittedly she's not likely to stumble across anything that involves unmasking an embittered amusement park owner (but it would be outstanding if she did).  I think we all have that one unanswered question in our lives that bugs us... not a thing that ruins us, but just something that frustratingly, tantalizingly makes us wonder "Yeah, what was up with that?"

Maybe if we're really lucky, Starlee will help us figure that out.  In the meantime, I'm happy to listen to her reconnect someone with their long-lost belt buckle or find out what happened to this one video store.  Just because it's mundane doesn't mean it also can't be endlessly fascinating.

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