Detective Fiction

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  One is to explore detective fiction, in general, and especially the genre itself and the way it is written. One is to also find aspects of this in Edgar Allan Poes’ critically acclaimed “The murders in the Rue morgue” which is said to be the first detective fiction book ever written.


Detective fiction is one of a many genres. Genres are a way of describing a certain type of narrative like for example horror, comedy and Sci-Fi which are all different, each following their own pattern of writing. Western for example usually follows the cowboy fighting the red Indian or vise-versa plot and horror usually follows a collection of people being tormented by an evil entity of some kind. Detective stories usually follow the same pattern and formula which is quite a simple idea but falls into a deeper plot. In a detective story there has to be a mystery perhaps involving a murder to add a greater deal of suspense or a serious crime. This crime would occur at the beginning of the story triggering the detective into action, the story is then, in effect, told backwards. A chain of actions is then conducted by the detective usually each being acted upon in detail and in a suspenseful way. Firstly many witnesses are questioned, most of them being unreliable but information is still leaked from most, resulting in the construction of clues. Suspects may also start to emerge and questioned, and in some occasions, go through four stages of false innocence, false guilt then true innocence and finally true guilt revealing many motives. However the plot may mislead the audience into a “red herring” were the detective has lead the audience down the wrong track. The reason for this is to keep the relationship with the audience, a detective story has to have a good relationship with the audience to keep them interested and engaged with the story. One example of this is the part in which the sidekick plays, he plays the part of an understudy who has to be supplied information from the behalf of the detective. This information, through the detectives explanation, is passed on to the audience, but in such a way that the mystery is not given away. However sometimes the audience is given a red herring and the plot takes a different track. Occasionally a lot of information is withheld so that the audience is left in the dark and so, waits for something to happen, but sometimes its what the audience is not expecting. Finally after all of the mysteries and problems have been solved the efforts of the detective reaches the “Denouement”, the final conclusion.

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As what was written at the beginning of this essay, Edgar Allen Poes’ detective story is said to be the first detective story ever written. It is also said to be the founder of most, if not all, detective fiction rules and formulae. The story follows the typical plot of the detective being introduced at the beginning, in this case “Auguste Dupain” who is a typical analyst, someone who separates a whole, like a murder, into its smaller components for study and interpretation. Dupain is a lonely, unpretentious, self-contained person living in Paris with only books as his ...

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