Detective Fiction

1161 Words5 Pages
Why Ask Why? The most important part of any type of book or story is that it be interesting. This proves to be particularly important in detective fiction as well. What could be more interesting than having a crime committed in front of you, given all (or most) of the details and still not be able to figure it out? This is exactly how detective fiction authors draw people into these stories and books. By weaving an intricate and interesting plot full of fascinating characters, and all types of details about the crime, readers get drawn into the plot and cannot stop reading until they find out the solution to the mystery. Simply put, readers are drawn to detective fiction because it is so easy to become completely engrossed in the stories. The trick of the author is how to create such an environment to keep readers coming back again and again to the genre. The easiest way to begin to draw any reader into a story is through the characters. By creating characters in which the readers can both trust and relate to is vital. Nick Charles in “The Thin Man” and Archie Goodwin in “A Right to Die” are both such characters. Each man is portrayed to be both completely honest and therefore trustworthy. This trustworthiness allows the reader to both believe and sympathize with the character. Also by showing flaws and different traits such as drinking, smoking, or checking out women, more insight into the personality of the character is given. Again the more a reader can understand and relate to characters, the more they (the reader) will be drawn into the story. Numerous authors have written many stories and books using the same detective. By using a familiar character, it helps to draw readers back to reading these stories. Look at the Rex Stout fans, these people go to the extreme of following the detectives, Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin. Obviously Stout was doing something right in using the same characters over and over again in his stories. Conan Doyle had the same allure with Sherlock Holmes. The exact replicas of Holmes’s home, and the 3-D renderings of Nero Wolfe’s house, are perfect examples of readers/fans becoming totally engrossed with theses stories. Because readers became familiar, and enjoyed these characters so much, they continue to read stories about the characters. &n... ... middle of paper ... ...t-out and cunning crime will not go unpunished. This notion plays on the idea that good always wins. An idea this simple is easy to overlook, but can have profound results. Subconsciously the reader takes in that “good always wins” and this will in turn reduce/lower their desires for doing evil. So by having the detective always solve the case, which happens in virtually all of detective fiction, the reader is left more fulfilled and less likely to commit a crime themselves. Detective fiction is read and has been read for going on 200 years, simply because the stories are entertaining. The authors are truly what help to draw people back to the genre. This appeal of reading for fun is one that would strike any literate person as intriguing, and that’s exactly what detective fiction does. Because there are no serious moral or social values to be derived from reading these mysteries, people keep coming back! I have enjoyed reading detective fiction for eight years now, and it’s the simple escape from the “required” or educational readings that keep me coming back, and that’s the most likely reason that detective fiction has managed to stay around and so popular for such a long time.
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