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Detective story from: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/159456/detective-story/159456yblinks/Year-in-Review-Links



Detective story, type of popular literature in which a crime is introduced and investigated and the culprit is revealed.

The traditional elements of the detective story are: (1) the seemingly perfect crime; (2) the wrongly accused suspect at whom circumstantial evidence points; (3) the bungling of dim-witted police; (4) the greater powers of observation and superior mind of the detective; and (5) the startling and unexpected denouement, in which the detective reveals how the identity of the culprit was ascertained. Detective stories frequently operate on the principle that superficially convincing evidence is ultimately irrelevant. Usually it is also axiomatic that the clues from which a logical solution to the problem can be reached be fairly presented to the reader at exactly the same time that the sleuth receives them and that the sleuth deduce the solution to the puzzle from a logical interpretation of these clues.

The first detective story was “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” by Edgar Allan Poe, published in April 1841. The profession of detective had come into being only a few decades earlier, and Poe is generally thought to have been influenced by the Mémoires (1828–29) of François-Eugène Vidocq, who in 1817 founded the world’s first detective bureau, in Paris. Poe’s fictional French detective, C. Auguste Dupin, appeared in two other stories, “The Mystery of Marie Roget” (1845) and “The Purloined Letter” (1845). The detective story soon expanded to novel length.

The French author Émile Gaboriau’s L’Affaire Lerouge (1866) was an enormously successful novel that had several sequels. Wilkie Collins’ The Moonstone (1868) remains one of the finest English detective novels. Anna Katharine Green became one of the first American detective novelists with The Leavenworth Case (1878). The Mystery of a Hansom Cab (1886) by the Australian Fergus Hume was a phenomenal commercial success.



The greatest of all fictional detectives, Sherlock Holmes, along with his loyal, somewhat obtuse companion Dr. Watson, made his first appearance in Arthur (later Sir Arthur) Conan Doyle’s novel A Study in Scarlet (1887) and continued into the 20th century in such collections of stories as The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1894) and the longer Hound of the Baskervilles (1902). So great was the appeal of Sherlock Holmes’s detecting style that the death of Conan Doyle did little to end Holmes’s career; several writers, often expanding upon circumstances mentioned in the original works, have attempted to carry on the Holmesian tradition.

The early years of the 20th century produced a number of distinguished detective novels, among them Mary Roberts Rinehart’s The Circular Staircase (1908) and G.K. Chesterton’s The Innocence of Father Brown (1911) and other novels with the clerical detective. From 1920 on, the names of many fictional detectives became household words: Inspector French, introduced in Freeman Wills Crofts’s The Cask (1920); Hercule Poirot, in Agatha Christie’s The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920), and Miss Marple, in Murder at the Vicarage (1930); Lord Peter Wimsey, in Dorothy L. Sayers’ Whose Body? (1923); Philo Vance, in S.S. Van Dine’s The Benson Murder Case (1926); Albert Campion, in Margery Allingham’s The Crime at Black Dudley (1929; also published as The Black Dudley Murder); and Ellery Queen, conceived by Frederic Dannay and Manfred B. Lee, in The Roman Hat Mystery (1929).



In a sense, the 1930s was the golden age of the detective story, with the detectives named above continuing in new novels. The decade was also marked by the books of Dashiell Hammett, who drew upon his own experience as a private detective to produce both stories and novels, notably The Maltese Falcon (1930) featuring Sam Spade. In Hammett’s work, the character of the detective became as important as the “whodunit” aspect of ratiocination was earlier. The Thin Man (1934), with Nick and Nora Charles, was more in the conventional vein, with the added fillip of detection by a witty married couple. Successors to Hammett included Raymond Chandler and Ross Macdonald, who also emphasized the characters of their tough but humane detectives Philip Marlowe and Lew Archer, respectively. At the end of the 1940s, Mickey Spillane preserved the hard-boiled crime fiction approach of Hammett and others, but his emphasis on sex and sadism became a formula that brought him amazing commercial success beginning with I, the Jury (1947).

The introduction of the mass-produced paperback book in the late 1930s made detective-story writers wealthy, among them the Americans Erle Stanley Gardner, whose criminal lawyer Perry Mason unraveled crimes in court; Rex Stout, with his fat, orchid-raising detective Nero Wolfe and his urbane assistant Archie Goodwin; and Frances and Richard Lockridge, with another bright married couple, Mr. and Mrs. North. In France, Georges Simenon produced novel after novel at a rapid-fire pace, making his hero, Inspector Maigret, one of the best-known detectives since Sherlock Holmes. Other writers who carried out the tradition of Holmes or broke new ground included Nicholas Blake (pseudonym of the poet C. Day-Lewis), Michael Innes, Dame Ngaio Marsh, Josephine Tey, Carter Dickson (John Dickson Carr), and P.D. James. After 1945, writers such as John le Carré adapted the detective-story format to the spy novel, in which he addressed the mysteries and character of the Cold War.

The Mystery Writers of America, a professional organization founded in 1945 to elevate the standards of mystery writing, including the detective story, has exerted an important influence through its annual Edgar Allan Poe Awards for excellence.




The Murders in the Rue Morgue, short story by Edgar Allan Poe, first published in Graham’s magazine in 1841. It is considered one of the first detective stories.

The story opens with the discovery of the violent murder of an old woman and her daughter. No grisly detail is spared in the description of the crime scene as it is discovered by neighbours responding to the women’s screams. The police are baffled by the fact that the murderer has managed to escape even though the women’s apartment appears to have been completely sealed from the inside. The genteel but impoverished C. Auguste Dupin and his nameless friend—who narrates the story—offer their services to the police and, through a brilliant interpretation of the clues at the scene, identify the murderer—an escaped orangutan.



In its presentation of an amateur detective who uses “ratiocination” to solve an apparently inexplicable mystery, the story shaped a new genre of fiction, and Dupin’s stamp can be seen on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, Dame Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot, and the protagonists of dozens of others.


Edgar Allan Poe, (born January 19, 1809,Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.—died October 7, 1849, Baltimore, Maryland), American short-story writer, poet, critic, and editor who is famous for his cultivation of mystery and the macabre. His tale The Murders in the Rue Morgue (1841) initiated the modern detective story, and the atmosphere in his tales of horror is unrivaled in American fiction. His The Raven (1845) numbers among the best-known poems in the national literature.

Life

Poe was the son of the English-born actress Elizabeth Arnold Poe and David Poe, Jr., an actor from Baltimore. After his mother died in Richmond, Virginia, in 1811, he was taken into the home of John Allan, a Richmond merchant (presumably his godfather), and of his childless wife. He was later taken to Scotland and England (1815–20), where he was given a classical education that was continued in Richmond. For 11 months in 1826 he attended the University of Virginia, but his gambling losses at the university so incensed his guardian that he refused to let him continue, and Poe returned to Richmond to find his sweetheart, (Sarah) Elmira Royster, engaged. He went to Boston, where in 1827 he published a pamphlet of youthful Byronic poems, Tamerlane, and Other Poems. Poverty forced him to join the army under the name of Edgar A. Perry, but, on the death of Poe’s foster mother, John Allan purchased his release from the army and helped him get an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Before going, Poe published a new volume at Baltimore, Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane, and Minor Poems (1829). He successfully sought expulsion from the academy, where he was absent from all drills and classes for a week. He proceeded to New York City and brought out a volume of Poems, containing several masterpieces, some showing the influence of John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. He then returned to Baltimore, where he began to write stories. In 1833 his MS. Found in a Bottle won $50 from a Baltimore weekly, and by 1835 he was in Richmond as editor of the Southern Literary Messenger. There he made a name as a critical reviewer and married his young cousin Virginia Clemm, who was only 13. Poe seems to have been an affectionate husband and son-in-law.

Poe was dismissed from his job in Richmond, apparently for drinking, and went to New York City. Drinking was in fact to be the bane of his life. To talk well in a large company he needed a slight stimulant, but a glass of sherry might start him on a spree; and, although he rarely succumbed to intoxication, he was often seen in public when he did. This gave rise to the conjecture that Poe was a drug addict, but according to medical testimony he had a brain lesion. While in New York City in 1838 he published a long prose narrative, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, combining (as so often in his tales) much factual material with the wildest fancies. It is considered one inspiration of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. In 1839 he became coeditor of Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine in Philadelphia. There a contract for a monthly feature stimulated him to write William Wilson and The Fall of the House of Usher, stories of supernatural horror. The latter contains a study of a neurotic now known to have been an acquaintance of Poe, not Poe himself.

Later in 1839 Poe’s Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque appeared (dated 1840). He resigned from Burton’s about June 1840 but returned in 1841 to edit its successor, Graham’s Lady’s and Gentleman’s Magazine, in which he printed the first detective story, The Murders in the Rue Morgue. In 1843 his The Gold-Bug won a prize of $100 from the Philadelphia Dollar Newspaper, which gave him great publicity. In 1844 he returned to New York, wrote The Balloon-Hoax for the Sun, and became subeditor of the New York Mirror under N.P. Willis, thereafter a lifelong friend. In the New York Mirror of January 29, 1845, appeared, from advance sheets of the American Review, his most famous poem, The Raven, which gave him national fame at once. Poe then became editor of the Broadway Journal, a short-lived weekly, in which he republished most of his short stories, in 1845. During this last year the now-forgotten poet Frances Sargent Locke Osgood pursued Poe. Virginia did not object, but “Fanny’s” indiscreet writings about her literary love caused great scandal. His The Raven and Other Poems and a selection of his Tales came out in 1845, and in 1846 Poe moved to a cottage at Fordham (now part of New York City), where he wrote for Godey’s Lady’s Book (May–October 1846) The Literati of New York City—gossipy sketches on personalities of the day, which led to a libel suit.

Poe’s wife, Virginia, died in January 1847. The following year he went to Providence, Rhode Island, to woo Sarah Helen Whitman, a poet. There was a brief engagement. Poe had close but platonic entanglements with Annie Richmond and with Sarah Anna Lewis, who helped him financially. He composed poetic tributes to all of them. In 1848 he also published the lecture Eureka, a transcendental “explanation” of the universe, which has been hailed as a masterpiece by some critics and as nonsense by others. In 1849 he went south, had a wild spree in Philadelphia, but got safely to Richmond, where he finally became engaged to Elmira Royster, by then the widowed Mrs. Shelton, and spent a happy summer with only one or two relapses. He enjoyed the companionship of childhood friends and an unromantic friendship with a young poet, Susan Archer Talley.

Poe had some forebodings of death when he left Richmond for Baltimore late in September. There he died, although whether from drinking, heart failure, or other causes was still uncertain in the 21st century. He was buried in Westminster Presbyterian churchyard in Baltimore.





Sherlock Holmes,  fictional character created by the Scottish writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The prototype for the modern mastermind detective, Holmes first appeared in Conan Doyle’s A Study in Scarlet, published in Beeton’s Christmas Annual of 1887. As the world’s first and only “consulting detective,” he pursued criminals throughout Victorian and Edwardian London, the south of England, and continental Europe. Although the fictional detective had been anticipated by Edgar Allan Poe’s C. Auguste Dupin and Émile Gaboriau’s Monsieur Lecoq, Holmes made a singular impact upon the popular imagination and has been the most enduring character of detective fiction.

Conan Doyle modeled Holmes’s methods and mannerisms on those of Dr. Joseph Bell, who had been his professor at the University of Edinburgh Medical School. In particular, Holmes’s uncanny ability to gather evidence based upon his honed skills of observation and deductive reasoning paralleled Bell’s method of diagnosing a patient’s disease. Holmes offered some insight into his method, claiming that “When you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” His detecting abilities become clear, though no less amazing, when explained by his companion, Dr. John H. Watson, who recounts the criminal cases they jointly pursue. Although Holmes rebuffs praise, declaring his abilities to be “elementary,” the oft-quoted phrase “Elementary, my dear Watson,” never actually appears in Conan Doyle’s writings.

Watson’s narrations describe Holmes as a very complex and moody character who, although of strict habit, is considerably untidy. His London abode at 221B, Baker Street, is tended by his housekeeper, Mrs. Hudson. Holmes appears to undergo bouts of mania and depression, the latter of which are accompanied by pipe smoking, violin playing, and cocaine use. Throughout the four novels and 56 short stories featuring Holmes, a number of characters recur, including the bumbling Scotland Yard inspector Lestrade; the group of “street Arabs” known as the Baker Street Irregulars, who are routinely employed by Holmes as informers; his even wiser but less ambitious brother, Mycroft; and, most notably, his formidable opponent, Professor James Moriarty, whom Holmes considers the “Napoleon of crime.”

Claiming that Holmes distracted him “from better things,” Conan Doyle famously in 1893 (The Final Problem) attempted to kill him off; during a violent struggle on Switzerland’s Reichenbach Falls, both Holmes and his nemesis, Professor Moriarty, are plunged over the edge of the precipice. Popular outcry against the demise of Holmes was great; men wore black mourning bands, the British royal family was distraught, and more than 20,000 readers cancelled their subscriptions to the popular Strand Magazine, in which Holmes regularly appeared. By popular demand, Conan Doyle resurrected his detective in the story The Adventure of the Empty House (1902).

Holmes remained a popular figure into the 21st century. Among the most popular stories in which he is featured are The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle (1892), The Adventure of the Speckled Band (1892), The Adventure of the Six Napoleons (1904), and the novel The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902). Holmes’s character has been translated to other media as well, and he is widely known on both stage and screen. The earliest actor to have essayed the role is William Gillette (a founding member of the New York Holmes society still known as the Baker Street Irregulars), who gave several popular theatrical portrayals at the turn of the 20th century. Those who have appeared as Holmes on-screen include Basil Rathbone, Peter Cushing, and Jeremy Brett. Ironically, two of the emblems of Holmes, his meerschaum pipe and deerstalker hat, are not original to Conan Doyle’s writings. Gillette introduced the curved meerschaum pipe (it is thought to have been easier on the actor’s jaw during a long performance), and Sidney Paget the deerstalker (or “fore-and-aft”) cap—it was de rigueur for country living—in more than one illustration for The Strand of Holmes at work on his investigations in the country.

In addition to myriad translations of the Holmes adventures throughout the world, a genre of parodies and pastiches has developed based upon the Sherlock Holmes character. An entire collection of more scholarly “higher criticism” of Conan Doyle’s writings was initiated by Ronald Knox’s “Studies in the Literature of Sherlock Holmes” (1912). More recent higher criticism is epitomized by the work appearing in The Baker Street Journal (begun 1946), a quarterly publication of the Baker Street Irregulars. Holmes devotees, known as Sherlockians or Holmesians, frequently gather in societies around the world to pay tribute to the master detective with a cultist fervour. The most established of these societies are the Baker Street Irregulars, founded in 1934, and the Sherlock Holmes Society of London, founded in 1951. The latter traces its origins to the Sherlock Holmes Society that was formed in London in 1934 and counted among its members the scholar and writer Dorothy L. Sayers; it had ceased its activities by the 1940s.





Famous detectives - from: www.wikipedia.org

H. Poirot


His name was derived from two other fictional detectives of the time: Marie Belloc Lowndes' Hercule Popeau and Frank Howel Evans' Monsieur Poirot, a retired Belgian police officer living in London.

A more obvious influence on the early Poirot stories is that of Arthur Conan Doyle. In An Autobiography Christie admits, "I was still writing in the Sherlock Holmes tradition – eccentric detective, stooge assistant, with a Lestrade-type Scotland Yard detective, Inspector Japp". For his part Conan Doyle acknowledged basing his detective stories on the model of Edgar Allan Poe's C. Auguste Dupin, and his anonymous narrator, and basing his character Sherlock Holmes on Joseph Bell, who in his use of "ratiocination" prefigured Poirot's reliance on his "little grey cells".

Christie's Poirot was a francophone Belgian. Unlike the models mentioned above, Christie's Poirot was clearly the result of her early development of the detective in her first book, written in 1916 but not published until 1920. Not only was his Belgian nationality interesting because of Belgium's occupation by Germany (which provided a valid explanation of why such a skilled detective would be out of work and available to solve mysteries at an English country house), but also at the time of Christie's writing, it was considered patriotic to express sympathy with the Belgians, since the invasion of their country had constituted Britain's casus belli for entering World War I, and British wartime propaganda emphasized the "Rape of Belgium".





Sherlock Holmes is a fictional detective created by author and physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. A London-based "consulting detective" whose abilities border on the fantastic, Holmes is famous for his astute logical reasoning, his ability to adopt almost any disguise, and his use of forensic science skills to solve difficult cases.

Doyle said that the character of Sherlock Holmes was inspired by Dr. Joseph Bell, for whom Doyle had worked as a clerk at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. Like Holmes, Bell was noted for drawing large conclusions from the smallest observations. However, some years later Bell wrote in a letter to Conan Doyle: "you are yourself Sherlock Holmes and well you know it."Sir Henry Littlejohn, lecturer on Forensic Medicine and Public Health at the Royal College of Surgeons, is also cited as a source for Holmes. Littlejohn served as Police Surgeon and Medical Officer of Health of Edinburgh, providing for Doyle a link between medical investigation and the detection of crime.

Habits and personality

Watson describes Holmes as "bohemian" in habits and lifestyle. According to Watson, Holmes is an eccentric, with no regard for contemporary standards of tidiness or good order. In The Musgrave Ritual, Watson describes Holmes thus:

Although in his methods of thought he was the neatest and most methodical of mankind ... [he] keeps his cigars in the coal-scuttle, his tobacco in the toe end of a Persian slipper, and his unanswered correspondence transfixed by a jack-knife into the very centre of his wooden mantelpiece... He had a horror of destroying documents.... Thus month after month his papers accumulated, until every corner of the room was stacked with bundles of manuscript which were on no account to be burned, and which could not be put away save by their owner.

What appears to others as chaos, however, is to Holmes a wealth of useful information. Throughout the stories, Holmes would dive into his apparent mess of random papers and artefacts to retrieve precisely the specific document or eclectic item he was looking for.

Watson frequently makes note of Holmes's erratic eating habits. The detective is often described as starving himself at times of intense intellectual activity, such as during "The Adventure of the Norwood Builder", wherein, according to Watson:

[Holmes] had no breakfast for himself, for it was one of his peculiarities that in his more intense moments he would permit himself no food, and I have known him to presume upon his iron strength until he has fainted from pure inanition.



C. Auguste Dupin

C. Auguste Dupin is a fictional detective created by Edgar Allan Poe. Dupin made his first appearance in Poe's "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" (1841), widely considered the first detective fiction story.He reappears in "The Mystery of Marie Rogêt" (1842) and "The Purloined Letter" (1844).

Dupin is not a professional detective and his motivations for solving the mysteries throughout the three stories change. Using what Poe termed "ratiocination", Dupin combines his considerable intellect with creative imagination, even putting himself in the mind of the criminal. His talents are strong enough that he appears able to read the mind of his companion, the unnamed narrator of all three stories.

Poe created the Dupin character before the word detective had been coined. The character laid the groundwork for fictitious detectives to come, including Sherlock Holmes, and established most of the common elements of the detective fiction genre.

C. Auguste Dupin is generally acknowledged as the first detective in fiction. The character served as the prototype for many that were created later, including Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle and Hercule Poirot by Agatha Christie.Doyle once said, "Each [of Poe's detective stories] is a root from which a whole literature has developed... Where was the detective story until Poe breathed the breath of life into it?"

Many tropes that would later become commonplace in detective fiction first appeared in Poe's stories: the eccentric but brilliant detective, the bumbling constabulary, the first-person narration by a close personal friend. Dupin also initiates the storytelling device where the detective announces his solution and then explains the reasoning leading up to it.Like Sherlock Holmes, Dupin uses his considerable deductive prowess and observation to solve crimes. Poe also portrays the police in an unsympathetic manner as a sort of foil to the detective.



Fyodor Dostoevsky called Poe "an enormously talented writer" and favorably reviewed Poe's detective stories. The character Porfiry Petrovich in Dostoevsky's novel Crime and Punishment was influenced by Dupin.



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