Darkus Knightley's 5 top tips on being a detective:
1. Always keep your eyes and ears open. When you walk into a room try to make a mental note of every object in the room, and every face. You never know when some small detail might be essential to solving the case.
2. When you sit in a cafe or restaurant, always sit at the back of the room, facing the entrance. That way, no one can get in or out without you observing them. (NOTE: This tip unfortunately also applies to criminals when they're spotting detectives - so beware of anyone else sitting alone at the back of the room.)
3. Try to carry a magnifying glass, a jewellers loupe (a lens for observing fine detail), or a well equipped phone camera to examine any clues.
4. When following a suspect, always keep plenty of obstacles nearby to hide behind if they turn around. Preferably use shop windows, lamp posts or parked cars. Burying your head in a newspaper is a bit obvious, but a Kindle may suffice.
5. Always carry plenty of small ziploc bags for collecting evidence. They may also come in handy if a dog walker forgets to bring their own and walks away from the scene of their pet's crime.
Darkus Knightley's top crime-solving playlist:
The same way Sherlock enjoyed playing the violin, Darkus finds a well-stocked iPod helps him solve any number of tricky criminal cases. Here are a few of his favourites:
1. It's A New Day - James Brown
Darkus likes the driving groove of the JBs’ rhythm section, led by legendary bassist Bootsy Collins and the original “funky drummer” Clyde Stubblefield. And of course there's the very fitting refrain: "Can I get a witness?"
2. We Can Work It Out - The Beatles
Darkus likes this upbeat Lennon & McCartney refrain, cut with a certain air of melancholy in the lyrics: "Life is very short and there's no time for fussing and fighting my friend. I have always thought that it's a crime. So I will ask you once again."
3. Murder By Numbers - The Police
Darkus is a big Police fan and this darker entry in the canon was originally the B-side of Every Breath You Take--of course that was in the day of "vinyl singles". Darkus has seen photographic evidence to confirm that these small plastic records did once exist.
4. Necessary Evil - Hans Zimmer
Sometimes film music can bring just the right mood needed to solve a plot. This track from Batman: The Dark Knight does just that.
5. A Fistful of Dynamite (also known as Duck You Sucker!) - Ennio Morricone
This movie theme is from a rare film by Sergio Leone who directed the classic "spaghetti westerns" with Clint Eastwood. Darkus can almost imagine lolloping through the desert saddled to a black Mustang with a six-shooter at his side.
6. The Professionals theme - Laurie Johnson & the London Studio Orchestra
One of the great TV themes, and Darkus's dad Alan's favourite TV show of all time. Ever. (Magnum P.I. is a close second.)
7. Look No Further - Dido
This sweet songbird knew Darkus when he was first becoming a detective, and he's had a soft spot for her ever since.
8. The 007 Theme - Monty Norman
When Darkus has cracked a case, he may not be able to have a Martini, but he can blast the classic Bond theme. He has also been known to imitate the James Bond walk in his bedroom mirror.
K-9 (Knightley and Son #2) by Rohan Gavin is released today