Detective Fiction’s First Odd Couple
There are all kinds of mystery stories, filled with all different types of detectives, but if you’re going back to the roots of the mystery series types, the Granddaddies of them have got to be Holmes and Watson. They’re the original Adama-&-Eve, Mutt-&-Jeff, Odd Couple detective team and the template they set up is fierce.
But, if Sherlock Holmes is so great, why did the author need Watson?
It’s the chemistry of this mismatched pair that creates the architecture of each story in the series and both characters bring out the best in each other. It’s my belief that the Holmes-&-Watson formula has been the basis of many a mystery series because it works so well. Look at Nick and Nora Charles, Morse & Lewis, Tony Hill & Carol Jordan. They’re crime-fighting Mutt-&-Jeffs who bring out the best in each other by being completely different people. They’re the descendants of Holmes & Watson.
Some favorite Holmes & Watson stories
And If You are interested in more….
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It’s been foggy as all get out this week. I don’t mean one of dark, pea-soup fogs that blacken city centers for days, but a daily, thick, white, winter mist that layers everything outdoors in microscopic droplets and obscures any object more than 30 feet away. Fogs that makes the world seem even colder than it is. We’re talking weather an English Teacher can use to lecture about creating “atmosphere.”
|My own Great, Grey Grimpen Mire|
|It isn’t as gloomy as O’Neill’s Monte Cristo
Cottage, but it sure isn’t cheery either!
If you think of this play as autobiography, it’s amazing to realize these are the two family members who found their way out of the mist. O’Neill (as Edmund) eventually chose life and his work. His mother, by realizing her disease had a spiritual as well as physical component, found recovery through a religious retreat. Ultimately, the fog’s illusion of comfort wasn’t enough for the real people.
That’s what fog ultimately means for people, in fiction and real life: confusion and the illusion of isolation from reality. In the end, we have to deal with whatever comes along, even if it’s illness or a big, scary dog. No matter what the mist obscures, we aren’t that far apart from each other. That’s something we’ll all see when the sun comes out again.
|Dickens in his early years|
|Boz, the Grand Old Storyteller|