Everything about the detective fiction field is implausible. The average cop
shop has a range of one-third to two-thirds of ALL homicides going unsolved.
Last I heard, the national average of homicides solved was only fifty
When was the last time you read or watched a mystery where the crime went
unsolved? (Not counting the "to be continued" episodes where next week Our
Heroes solved the Great Crime of the Century.)
Every detective is a fantasy figure who can solve every crime on his or her
In Dashiell Hammett's introduction to the 1934 edition of THE MALTESE
FALCON, he writes,
"Spade has no original. He is a dream man in the sense that he is what
most of the private detectives I worked with would like to have been and
in their cockier moments thought they approached. For your private
detective does not---or did not ten years ago when he was my
colleague---want to be an erudite solver of riddles in the Sherlock Holmes
manner; he wants to be a hard and shifty fellow, able to take care of
himself in any situation, able to get the best of anybody he comes in
contact with, whether criminal, innocent by-stander or client."
It's fantasy fiction. As Sue Grafton once said, "Fantasy is the Great
It's about hitting back when in truth hitting back is either impossible or
unfeasible or both.
Spade says, "By God, I do hate being hit without hitting back" (Hammett,
If you read crime & detective fiction for plausibility, switch to swords and
sorcery. You'll be less disappointed.
author of ...
COCAINE & BLUE EYES
& MURDER IN WAIKIKI And more available on Kindle and smashwords
RARA-AVIS home page: http://www.miskatonic.org/rara-avis/
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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 17 Oct 2010 EDT