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.
Detective Fiction Characters in The Maltese Falcon | Detective Genre
Looks like a "blond satan"; loyal to Miles Archer, his partner; charismatic; not sentimental; doesn't play games while on a job and in dangerous situations; has many affairs with women
A fat man; looking for a black falcon which supposedly belonged to the King of Spain; in charge of Wilmer Cook and Joel Cairo; hired Brigid O'Shaughnessy to retrieve the falcon; ordered Cook to kill Captain Jacobi
THE HARBINGER/THE CLIENT
"Another thing. Keep that gunsel away from me while you're making up your mind. I'll kill him. I don't like him. He makes me nervous. I'll kill him the first time he gets in my way. I won't give him an even break."
DETECTIVE FICTION CHARACTERS
THE FEMME FATALE
"Then, sir, in exchange for the ten thousand dollars and Wilmer, you will give us the falcon and an hour or two of grace-- so we won't be in the city when you surrender him to the authorities."
Miss Wonderly watched the grey flakes twist and crawl. Her eyes were uneasy. She sat on the very edge of the chair. Her feet were flat on the floor, as if she were about to rise.
As Miss Wonderly, she is attractive; blue eyes; dark red hair; seems afraid that Thursby has "hurt" her sister; very uneasy and nervous
Brigid O'Shaughnessy (Miss Wonderly)
"You who arranged that nice little trick for--for my predecessor, Thursby? You who knocked off Miles, a man you had nothing against, in cold blood, just like swatting a fly, for the sake of double-crossing Thursby?"
As Brigid O'Shaughnessy, she is a schemer; she wants to keep the falcon so she killed Archer to frame Thursby; she acts naive and innocent and relies on her looks to get her out of trouble