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.
Plot Diagram for Devil in A Blue Dress | Examples of Detective Fiction
Easy Rawlins is looking for quick cash, and is approached by a white man named DeWitt Albright who hires him to find a white woman named Daphne Monet. Easy accepts the job because he's just been laid off from his job at Champion Aircraft. Daphne likes to hang out in jazz clubs, so Easy starts looking for her there. Easy's friend Joppy recommends Albright, but Easy doesn't like him.
Easy doesn't trust Albright at all. He finds he reminds him of an old, murderous friend named Mouse, who brings fear into Easy's mind every time he thinks of him. Mouse is a cold-blodded killer, and Easy moved to Los Angeles to get away from him after Mouse killed his stepfather. Mouse sends Easy a letter that he is thinking about visiting.
Easy runs into his co-worker Dupree and his girlfriend Coretta, Coretta seduces Easy and reveals the name of Daphne's boyfriend: Frank Green, a dangerous gangster. Coretta is murdered, and a creepy politician, Matthew Teran, threatens Easy. Daphne calls Easy and he drives her to her friend Richard's house, where they find him dead. Daphne leaves. Easy calls Mouse's ex-wife and tells her to get in touch with him.
Easy discovers that Mr. Carter, president of Lion Investments, hired Albright to find Daphne, who was his girlfriend. He also learns that she stole $30,000. He offers Easy $1,000 to find her, and Easy sets out to find Frank Green. Frank ambushes Easy, but Mouse saves him. Easy enlists Mouse in trying to find Daphne, and in finding Richard's murderer.
The police pull Easy in again and fingerprint him, and they mention that Matthew Teran has been shot. Easy receives a call from Daphne to come meet her at a hotel. He takes her to his friend Primo's, where she seduces Easy. She then tells him that she had been dating Richard before she found out he dealt in child trafficking. Mr. Carter didn't want Teran to run for mayor after he found out Teran was a pedophile.
Easy thinks he's falling in love with Daphne. He learns that his friend Joppy probably killed Howard Green and Coretta. Joppy and Albright show up at Primo's and knock Easy out. Easy follows them to Albright's house, where he and Mouse kill Joppy and Albright. Easy discovers that Daphne is Frank's half-sister and only half-white. He lets Daphne go after splitting the money and Carter to clears his name. A few months later, he works as a PI and is happy