Something else which makes Sherlock Holmes believable is that he was not the perfect detective as he did make mistakes whilst trying to solve the case. For instance Holmes assumed that Neville St.Clare was dead before he read his letter, but then later he finds out that Neville St.Clare is still alive. Despite all of this I believe that the ending of the story made the detective a bit less convincing, as I believe that it would be unlikely for a detective to just waltz into a murder suspect’s room without any objections from the police officer on duty. Also the fact that Holmes cleaned the face of Mr. St.Clare to reveal his true identity doesn’t do any real good to his status as a detective as, before the man would stand trial he would have been cleaned up so he would have been found out anyway. So to sum it up in the words of the detective in Superfluous murder ‘I’m afraid I can’t swallow that story’.
The third story which I read was superfluous murder written by Milward Kennedy. I find the detective (who strangely is not named or described) in this story very convincing, showing all the required qualities of a detective, without really showing any weaknesses. Also the fact that this particular story is set out in the way that the reader knows who and how the murder is committed makes the story more interesting and the detective more convincing.
This is done by the reader following the murderer and knowing exactly what he was doing. Because of this the reader, unlike in many other detective stories knows more than the detective so therefore the reader can be galvanized by how the detective solves the case. Secondly what makes the detective convincing is that he is not gullible, and is confident and sure of his own opinions, ignoring the obvious story which he cant ‘swallow’ to find the truth.
The detective also does everything which a good detective should do, by firstly trying to arrange the facts (“Now let’s see where we are”) and using these facts he tries to establish what happened what happened on the night of the death of Felix Mansbridge. Also what makes the detective convincing is that although he is not described in any physical way we know that he does have feelings of compassion to his fellow officers, which is why he is going out of his way to try and clear one of the officers’ names.
Something else which makes this detective even more believable is the fact that unlike most other detectives in detective stories, who can figure everything out, this particular detective admits that there are some things which he cannot even figure out, which shows that he is human after all. Another fact which makes this detective convincing is the fact that he is certain of his facts and unlike Maggie and Sherlock, this detective did not need to ask for any help whilst solving this case. Lastly something convincing about this detective is the fact that he uses common sense throughout the case, so that even the most sceptical of readers would be convinced that whatever the detective was saying was true.
The fourth story which I read was titled ‘The Reluctant Detective’ by Michael Z. Lewin. In this story two people who have set up a detective business because they to escape tax have been asked to investigate a serious case of arson. Although I did find this story the most enjoyable to read over the other stories I found the detectives the least convincing. Firstly as unlike the detectives in ‘A Wife in a Million’, ‘The Man with the Twisted Lip’ and ‘Superfluous Murder’ who are all trained detectives with assumingly many years of experience, these detectives have had no training or experience whatsoever.
I also find it unrealistic that people who are supposed to be enforcing the law are breaking themselves “It was a tax fiddle”. I also find the fact that the fact that dawn knows so many people who can do so many different jobs unrealistic, because in the other three detective stories the detectives can solve the case with the help of one or two ordinary people whereas in this story the detectives incidentally now the right people with the right skills who are available at the right time, which I believe is not right.
Furthermore I believe that if the detectives were actually experienced then the ending would be quite realistic, however due to their lack of experience I find it lamentable that the detectives could solve the case with such ease “You’re the arsonist for the fire at Rest Easy Beds”. Lastly something which makes the detectives seem less believable is the language which Fredrick uses thought the story. Since he came from America “I am American by birth and by upbringing” it is surprising that he doesn’t sound very American at all, in my opinion he sounds more British than American. So basically it would take much more than an once of shag and five pillows to make me believe that these detectives were something other than a work of fiction.
My conclusion to reading all four of these stories is that the detective in Superfluous Murder is the most convincing out of all five detectives I have studied. I believe this as this detective basically had all the good points of all the other detectives and very few of the bad points. The only debatable thing about this detective is the fact that he is not described as a character and you do not get any idea of his personal life like Maggie in ‘a wife in a million’. However the sheer ease in which he solves a bizarre crime is excellent and he uses all the skill a real life detective would need. To sum it up, this detective was so believable that it was hard to believe my self that the detective in ‘superfluous murder’ was fictional.