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Esteban Aceves Dr.

Lynda Haas Writing 37 1 February 2014 The Ideal Detective In most detective stories, the detective is capable of using his or her skills to solve the case. The detective sees things that most people would miss and uses his or her knowledge to solve the mystery. The detective is a master at his profession and can solve the cases better than anyone else. As stated in S.S. Van Dines Twenty Rules for Writing Detective Stories, the detective states that the detective must be the one to detect and be the one who finds the clues to solve the case. The detective also is the protagonist of deduction, he can solve the crime the better than his colleagues of whomever the detective is working with (Dine). In Sir Arthur Conan Doyles novel, The Sign of the Four, Holmes states that the perfect detective is someone who possesses three qualities: knowledge, observation, and deduction (Doyle 4). A great detective possess the qualities of observation, knowledge and deduction, therefore Sherlock Holmes is the ideal detective. Holmes can be seen using these qualities throughout many of the Sherlock Holmes stories. A clear example of how Holmes portrays his skills of knowledge, deduction, and observation can be seen in Doyles, The Red-Headed League, from The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes. In this short story, Sherlock Holmes and his partner Dr. Watson are introduced to a case that seemed to be just a prank, which later turns into an arrest of two professional criminals. One may ask how Holmes solved such a case, the answer is by using

Aceves 2 observation, deduction and knowledge. Doyle established the guidelines to what it takes to be the ideal detective, Doyle created the mystery genre convention of the detective. In the short story The Red- Headed League, master detective Holmes is introduced to a case by a pawnbroker. The pawnbroker explains to Sherlock Holmes how he is was accepted into The Red-Headed League, and was given four pounds a week to copy the encyclopedia, however after a couple of weeks, the Red-Headed League disappeared and no trace of them was left. What seemed to be a meaningless case, Sherlock saw something completely different. At the end of the story, Sherlock catches two of the biggest criminals in London. Holmes explains his steps to solving the case to a confused Watson, It must, then, be something out of the house. What could it be? I thought of the assistants fondness for photography, and his trick of vanishing into the cellar. The cellar! There was the end of this tangled clue. Then I made inquiries as to this mysterious assistant and found that I had to deal with one of the coolest and most daring criminals in London. He was doing something in the cellarsomething which takes many hours a day for months on end. What could it be, once more? I could think of nothing save that he was running a tunnel to some other building (Doyle 26). The first thing that Holmes does after the case is use deduction. Sherlock realizes that the pawnbroker would be out of his house for several hours a day throughout the week. The pawnbroker recently hired an assistant that would work for little pay, meaning while he was out, the assistant would be at the pawnshop for numerous hours while the owner was out. Holmes uses deduction to come to the conclusion that the Red-Headed League is a distraction to get the pawnbroker out of the shop for hours. The pawnbroker leaves his house to go to his job in the Red-Headed League where he sits for hours copying the encyclopedia. Meanwhile the new assistant is in the Pawn Shop cellar for

Aceves 3 hours devising some sort of plan. Before Holmes solves the case completely, he uses observation to put the final pieces together. After coming to the conclusion that the assistant was up to something, Holmes uses his observation to finalize his theory. Holmes tells Watson, I surprised you by beating upon the pavement with my stick. I was ascertaining whether the cellar stretched out in front or behind. It was not in front. Then I rang the bell, and, as I hoped, the assistant answered it... His knees were what I wished to see (Doyle 26). Prior to walking to the pawnshop, Holmes deduces the idea that the bank robbers were using the shop as a base of operations where they would dig a tunnel connecting to the bank. When Holmes walks to the pawnshop he was outside and pounds on the pavement to hear if it was hollow underneath to see on which side of the house the tunnel was located, with no luck in front of the pawnshop, Holmes decides to further investigate. Holmes then rings the doorbell to the pawnshop, and the assistant answers the door. Using his keen observation skills, Holmes notices that the assistant had very battered knees. Holmes connects the dots and knew, for a fact, that there was a tunnel underneath the pawnshop. By noticing the bruised knees of the assistant, Holmes deduces that the damaged knees clearly show that the assistant had been on his knees digging or crawling in a tunnel. The investigation did not stop there, Holmes still had to stop the criminals before they could rob the bank. Using his knowledge, Holmes determines the night the criminals were going to rob the bank. Holmes came to the conclusion that the day the robbers would rob the bank would be on a Saturday. Saturday would be the ideal day because the owners of the bank would have no knowledge of their loss until Monday, since the bank is closed on Sundays. By that time, the criminals would be long gone from the scene of the crime. To prevent the robbery, Holmes plots a stakeout inside the bank the night of the robbery and later caught the criminals in action.

Aceves 4 The ideal detective in the mystery-detective genre is a master at his profession. Holmes says that the ideal detective has three qualities that makes a great detective. They include: observation, deduction, and knowledge. Sherlock Holmes can be seen using all three of this qualities to solve the toughest cases though out all of his stories. In the mystery genre it is important for the detective to master these qualities and to use those qualities to his/her advantage. It is a reoccurring genre convention that can be seen in novels and TV shows today.

Edits made to quotes or analysis, general changes Grammatical Changes Bolded, revised paragraph

Work Cited: Conan Doyle, Sir Arthur. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" Adventure 2: "The RedHeaded League" Web. 02 Feb. 2014. Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan. The Sign of the Four. Spencer Blackett, 1890. 4. eBook. Dine, S.S. Van. ""Twenty Rules for Writing Detective Stories"" Gaslight. Mount Royal College, n.d. Web. 12 March. 2014.

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