Edgar Allan Poe vs. Arthur Conan Doyle

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Edgar Allen Poe and Arthur Conan Doyle sort of defined the mystery story genre. I need to know three or four prominent elements of the mystery story invented by Poe and Doyle. What elements or formulas are followed in both of the stories: Murders in the Rue Morge, The Sign of Four, and A Study in Scarlet.

-- Anonymous, March 02, 2001


The formula was introduced by POe. 1. Murder occurs in a closed environment, sometimes a locked room and refered to as an impossible crime. 2. Police conduct investigation. After examining circumstancial evidence and interviews, the police remain baffled. 3.An eccentric but gifted amateur with encyclopedic knowledge, intuitive insight and deductive reasoning is consulted. He conducts investigation with the assistance of a trusted but less gifted and able associate (companion). 4. Amateur detective employs following methods-observation, interview and reseach to induce means, motive and oportunity. Thus investigation breaks down into 3 phases- information gathering, analysis of data and formulation of hypothesis. 5. He tests his hypothesis by reconstructing the crime or/and by confronting the villain. Law and order are then restored. 6. the denouement includes full explanation of any unasnwered question or obscure points in the puzzle.

A detective story is defined by a puzzle plot and the character of the sleuth. All of these were created by Poe in the 19th century and further developed by Doyle. The main difference between the two is the development of Holmes and Watson by Doyle. All the steps of the formula (with the exception sometimes of step 6) remain the basis for all detective centered novels. Take "The Murders in the Rue Morgue", you can follow the formula step by step. And any work by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who admits and gives full credit to Edgar Allan Poe. You can find explicit evidence in Doyle's "The Resident Patient"

-- Anonymous, March 04, 2003

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