Detective Fiction

By: Nicole Frank


Detective fiction is a sub-genre of crime fiction and mystery fiction in which an investigator or a detective - either professional or amateur - investigates a crime, often murder.


This genre was to believed to be started in ancient literature in the bible, but researchers believe to disprove this belief. So the "real" start of this genre came in Early Arab literature with the title of The Three Apples. The earliest example of detective fiction in the western culture is with Edgar Allen Poe's "The Murders in the Rue Morgue". A famous example of this genre came in 1877 when Arthur Conan Doyle created Sherlock Holmes.


The traditional elements are (1) the seemingly perfect crime (2) the wrongly accused suspect (3) the bungling of the police (4) the great powers of observation and superior mind of a detective (5) a startling and unexpected denouement, in which the detective reveals the identity of the culprit

Connections to Other Genres:

Mystery: Can be about really anything related to a puzzling crime. It is a broadest version of detective fiction where there doesn't have to be a detective in it, but there can be. Also it can have to do with sports or pretty much anything else where as detective fiction has to do with a crime that has a culprit that has to be found.

Crime Fiction: Is about fictionalized crimes, their detection, criminals and their motives. This is the one above detective fiction because it focuses more on the crimes that are committed in the books than the actual detective and their work.

Recommended Titles:

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Sherlock Holmes series by Arthur Conan Doyle