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Is this a Mystery Trope?
#21  ZodWallop 01-23-2019, 10:02 AM
Quote pendragginp
And then of course once it was established that Miss Marple was good at it sometimes people would turn to her - even official people who either had a family connection with her or who had been told she was in the area and was, as one Scotland Yard man put it, "the finest detective God ever made."
And Sherlock Holmes rolled over in his grave
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#22  Pulpmeister 01-24-2019, 02:58 AM
" 'Look here, sergeant, I realise I am telling you something you must know, but the corpse has disappeared during my momentary absence from the library.’
‘I expected as much, Sir Myles.’
‘Also there was the usual shots and a scream and all that kind of thing.’
‘Quite Sir Myles. It is a good job the body has been taken off your hands because I have changed my mind. I have no intention of going out to your place. This once we will let the mystery be solved by the private investigator who will accidentally arrive on the scene. On this occasion we will spare the police the trouble of making mistakes, following dud clues, arresting innocent parties and generally complicating matters.’
‘I realise how you feel, sergeant. Good night.’ "

From "The Best of Myles", by Flann O'Brien
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#23  Luffy 01-29-2019, 05:21 AM
There's another trope where the main character keeps solving mysteries, and continues to attract murder cases yet nobody considers that abnormal. I've only seen that noticed and addressed in the Freshly Baked Mystery Series by Livia J. Washburn.
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#24  HarryT 01-29-2019, 10:24 AM
Quote Luffy
There's another trope where the main character keeps solving mysteries, and continues to attract murder cases yet nobody considers that abnormal. I've only seen that noticed and addressed in the Freshly Baked Mystery Series by Livia J. Washburn.
You should read some of Agatha Christie's later novels featuring the writer of detective novels, Ariadne Oliver. Oliver is very obviously based on Christie herself, and Christie uses her to poke fun at all the standard tropes of detective fiction. She (Oliver) constantly laments the continued popularity of her detective, Sven Hjerson, aka "The Finn", whom she loathes writing about but does so because the books are so popular. In particular she regrets the choice of a Finnish detective, because she actually knows nothing about Finland! This reflects Christie's well-known aversion to Hercule Poirot, a character whom she disliked intensely.
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#25  Luffy 01-29-2019, 11:35 AM
Thanks for the info. These books are a distant memory for me. I'll get round to reading them eventually. I remember that Ariadne Oliver was an apple eater.
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#26  curtw 07-06-2019, 05:55 PM
Quote Luffy
There's another trope where the main character keeps solving mysteries, and continues to attract murder cases yet nobody considers that abnormal. I've only seen that noticed and addressed in the Freshly Baked Mystery Series by Livia J. Washburn.
You will never, ever, be able to convince me to move to a place named Cabot Cove.
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#27  JSWolf 07-06-2019, 06:07 PM
It seems to be the small towns where the most murders occur.
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#28  lumpynose 07-06-2019, 10:42 PM
Quote HarryT
It's also a mystery trope that if you have six people in an isolated house, and one is murdered, every one of the other five people will turn out to have had a good reason to commit the murder .
Apparently for mysteries it's some sort of "requirement" that one the various people that the detective/inspector/private eye interacts with end up being the murderer. And the murderer is always someone who the author puts in the background and makes them seem irrelevant; who can forget the old "the butler did it" rejoinder. And as others have pointed out, at the end the authors go through all sorts of logic gyrations and gymnastics to justify how and why the murderer was motivated.

That isn't so bad when the murder is committed in an isolated house, but I read one by Ian Rankin where it was a serial murderer in London and he still made it one of the nobody characters that the inspector randomly talked to. I was extremely disappointed and annoyed. That's when I investigated and found out that many readers expect this convention.

Whereas for ones that are police procedurals it's about the detective figuring out who did it by building up the evidence. Those tend to be more satisfying for me.
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#29  FrustratedReader 07-07-2019, 09:59 AM
Quote HarryT
You should read some of Agatha Christie's later novels featuring the writer of detective novels, Ariadne Oliver. Oliver is very obviously based on Christie herself, and Christie uses her to poke fun at all the standard tropes of detective fiction. She (Oliver) constantly laments the continued popularity of her detective, Sven Hjerson, aka "The Finn", whom she loathes writing about but does so because the books are so popular. In particular she regrets the choice of a Finnish detective, because she actually knows nothing about Finland! This reflects Christie's well-known aversion to Hercule Poirot, a character whom she disliked intensely.
I suspect based on or inspired by AEW Mason's French Detective with a dash of the the detective's "dandy" London friend. All seven books available public domain, only some on Gutenberg. Worth reading.

Yes, it's a convention for the regular "who dunnit" that the criminal, usually a murderer must be somehow introduced earlier.
The Rankin books are a hybrid of traditional "who dunnit"/Detective and the Police Procedural (Maybe Ed Bain 'invented' or popularised those).

Obviously when writing, you write the end, then the beginning, then the middle and then fill in with red herrings, sub plots, romance, maybe other murders or whatever as desired. Unlike the pure modernist or Police Procedural a traditional murder mystery, detective or spy story (there is overlap) needs a believable motive.
Caves of Steel maybe Robots of Dawn are really detective Stories. All the Asimov Robot stories are really inspired by "the locked room" detective genre. The Three Laws originally a maguffin, the "locked room" so to speak and then the story is the detective work of how these unbreakable laws where broken. Originally not at all a suggestion about how robots/androids/AI should work!
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#30  FrustratedReader 07-07-2019, 10:08 AM
Quote JSWolf
It seems to be the small towns where the most murders occur.
Antony Horowitz claimed he got a bit sick of doing the Midsomer Murders. He himself pointed out how crazy the death toll got.
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