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The Sherlock Holmes stories are perhaps the most successful and enduring of all detective stories, why?

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The Sherlock Holmes stories are perhaps the most successful and enduring of all detective stories, why? The Sherlock Holmes stories are the work of Arthur Conan Doyle. Holmes first appeared in the story 'The Study of Scarlet', which was published in the magazine 'Beetons Christmas Annual of 1887'. Over the 40 years that followed Holmes appeared in 5 collections of short stories, and 3 other novels. Holmes' popularity was partly due to the fact that his books were the detective fiction books ever to be published. These books are still read today all over the world, because of the brilliant way in which they are written. The Sherlock Holmes books are written from the point of view of his sidekick Watson. Many modern day detective fiction books and television programmes follow the pattern of a detective and sidekick. The stories of Sherlock Holmes caused him to become a national hero. In all the Sherlock Holmes stories we are given a detailed description of what he looks like, that is a tall gaunt person with long thin legs, a thin hawk like nose a square chin, and of course a pipe and deerstalker hat. ...read more.


We can see this on page 45 where Holmes remarks, 'It is a hobby of mine to have an exact knowledge of London'. This supports my idea of him wanting to know everything. 'The Red Headed League' is more of a 'whydunnit' than a 'whodunnit' story, Holmes solves the crime before it has been commited. In 1929 a writer called Monsignor Ronald Knox set out ten rules which he suggested any writer of detective fiction should follow. These are shown below: (Remember Sherlock Holmes was first written over 45 years prior to these). 1) The criminal must be introduced early, not just brought iin at the end. In this story the main criminal Vincent Spaulding is introduced near the start of the story, but we do not find out he is the criminal until late in the story. 2) No crime must be solved by logical means, not by supernatural causes. The intelligence and expert detecting of Holmes solve the crime. 3) No more than one secret passage or room should be used. In the 'Red Headed League' there is one secret passage(From the shop to the bank) and one secret room( Vincent Spauldings 'Photocopy room), but they are linked. ...read more.


Later in the story Holmes discovers that Dr. Roylott has killed the lady's sister prior to her marriage because otherwise Dr. Roylott would have had to give his stepdaughter some of the income that was left by the girls mother. This is when we have the next section, that is the dramatic climax, where all the clues are put into a conclusion and we find out how Dr. Roylott killed the twin. And we discover how he was planning to kill her sister, as she was also engaged to be married. Then comes the last section, the conclusion put together by Sherlock Holmes, although I get the feeling that Watson would like to do it at least once. We see exactly the same structure with the 'Red Headed League', with four main sections. Having now read both these stories thoroughly I can begin to see very noticeable patterns emerging. The first that strikes me is the way in which they begin. With Holmes In his house being visited by someone in need of help. He then gathers as much information as possible then goes to his chair, puts his pipe to his mouth and then sits and thinks in almost in a meditation fashion. He then rises from his chair, rarely needing assistance in solving the almost impossible mysteries put forth to him. ...read more.

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