Many students may already be familiar with the traditional format of detective fiction stories before they begin reading one. Popular TV shows make use of this format all the time, from the lead detectives with a strict moral code, to a brilliant solution that wraps up the case. Many enthusiasts of the genre trace its beginnings back to Edgar Allan Poe, and its true flourishing to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his Sherlock Holmes series. The detective fiction genre is characterized by specific characters and themes, and follows a traditional format.
Analyze the Detective's Code in detective fiction with this example from Indemnity Only
SECRETIVE / AVOIDS PUBLICITY
LOYALTY TO PARTNER AND PROFESSION
DEDICATION TO THE CLIENT
"'Homicide, Drucker speaking,' growled a voice. 'There's a dead body at Fifty-four sixty-two South Harper, apartment three,' I said. 'Who are you?' he snapped. 'Fifty-four sixty-two South Harper, apartment three,' I repeated. 'Got that?' I hung up."
ECONOMICAL WITH THE CLIENT'S MONEY
"Very well. I'm off the payroll. I'll send you the bill. But you're wrong about one thing, McGraw-- and you can tell Earl from me-- you can fire me, but you can't get rid of me."
COOPERATES TO SOME DEGREE WITH POLICE
"I'm a private investigator. At the moment, my client is a fourteen-year-old girl who saw her father murdered and is very frightened."
EXAMINES ALL POSSIBILITIES
"Not to worry. If you want to hire me, give me a dollar and I'll give you a receipt, and that will mean you've hired me."
"I shrugged and went to the bedroom and got the card out of my top drawer. I wiped it clean of prints with a scarf and brought it back to Mallory....Mallory grunted with satisfaction and put it in a plastic bag. I didn't tell him the only prints on it at this point were mine. Why spoil one of his few pleasures?"
"These are all assumptions. I have no proof at the moment that could be used in court, but I have the proof that comes from watching human relationships and actions. If I am correct in my assumptions, then I believe Anita McGraw's life is in serious danger."