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Detective story

Detective story, popular form of fiction in which a detective solves a crime, usually a murder, by discovering and interpreting clues. The detective is often an amateur and may appear in a series of mysteries. Sherlock Holmes, introduced in 1884 by Arthur Conan Doyle, is a prime example. The detective story and its conventions originated with Edgar Allan Poe's short story “Murders in the Rue Morgue” (1841). Wilke Collins' Moonstone (1868) is one of the first important detective novels. In the 1920s, the hard-boiled detective story emerged. This style features a tough detective, snappy dialogue, and quick action. Its leading practitioners were Dashiell Hammet, Raymond Chandler, and Ross Macdonald. Other masters of the detective story include Agatha Christie, P. D. James, Ellery Queen, Georges Simenon, and Rex Stout.

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