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detective stories

Quotes about detective stories

20 quotes about detective stories.

The detective story is the normal recreation of noble minds.

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Agatha Christie

It is ridiculous to set a detective story in New York City. New York City is itself a detective story.

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But the first published thing I did was a detective story, detective novel, and I did that on my own.

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Arthur C. Clarke

Politicians should read science fiction, not westerns and detective stories.

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I didn't know I was doing film noir, I thought they were detective stories with low lighting!

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What the detective story is about is not murder but the restoration of order.

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As a professional writer of detective stories, I string along with the ballplayers. I love a ball game.

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Certainly going back to Sherlock Holmes we have a tradition of forensic science featured in detective stories.

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Mysteries

All last night I kept speaking in this
archaic language, because I had been reading
Poe and thinking about him. I read 'The Murders
in the Rue Morgue' which is supposedly the first
detective story. Who dun it? I wondered.
It turns out an orangutan was the murderer.
It looks to me like the detective story genre got off
to a pretty ridiculous start. I used to visit
Poe's house in the Bronx. I used to think,
God, Poe must have been a midget. Everything
is so small. Poe died in Baltimore and I can see why.
In Baltimore, all the people are very big and sincere.
During dinner last night, I told Doug and Susan
about 'Murders in the Rue Morgue.' I said I hadn't
finished it yet, but it looked like the murderer
was going to turn out to be an orangutan, unless
the plot took a surprising new twist. Then Doug
suggested that he and I collaborate
on a series of detective stories in which
the murderer is always an orangutan.

[...] Read more

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Writing detective stories is about writing light literature, for entertainment. It isn't primarily a question of writing propaganda or classical literature.

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Eventually I would like to touch all the genres. I would like to do some detective stories, and I want to do a Western. I would want to do humorous Westerns.

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I know what kind of things I myself have been irritated by in detective stories. They are often about one or two persons, but they don't describe anything in the society outside.

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Dorothy L. Sayers

There certainly does seem a possibility that the detective story will come to an end, simply because the public will have learnt all the tricks.

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I did my very first film with Kirk in Detective Story when he was the greatest, greatest star in the world. I fell in love with him, had a crush on him then.

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I have never read horror, nor do I consider The Exorcist to be such, but rather as a suspenseful supernatural detective story, or paranormal police procedural.

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I really believe that studying organization, even in the form of studying detective story organization, is very, very valuable for a playwright, a budding playwright.

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There is no mystery, at least not the kind you want. In real life there are no fogbound moors or clues on matchbooks or fifth columnists waiting to be unmasked. it would be nice if here were, because then there would be solutions to things in life, but it doesn't always work that way. Everyone likes a good detective story. I went through my Hammett phase in college. I think the attraction is, in life our mysteries aren't exciting. You know They're just intractable and depressing and enervating. Like, why do we always hurt the ones we love. Where does the money go ...in a detective story, at least the universe makes sense. It was him. He did it. The natural order is disturbed, but the beauty of it is that it's restored again.

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If I'm home with no chore at hand, and a package of books has come, the television set and the chess board and the unanswered mail will have to manage without me if one of the books is a detective story.

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... Dust

If only dust could talk
What would we hear it say?
Before it's brushed aside
Just as it's swept away
It's just the evidence
It's of no consequence
It's only flesh and bone
Why don't we leave it alone?
If only dust could gather into lines of chalk
Around a silhouette detective fiction walks
For it's the only witness that can testify
Can I spit out the truth?
Or would you rather just swallow a lie?
Why did they dam the land?
How did they flood the plain?
Did they erase the name?
And wipe away the stain
You kept your mouth well shut
Appeared to turn your coat
Now there's a name for you but it's stuck in my throat

[...] Read more

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Eureka Rings A Bell

“Eureka! ” moments sometimes may result
from outright theft, with Graham Bell the worst
example. For he traveled to consult
the patent of Elisha Gray, the first
to find a way to speak by telephone,
and aided by a drunken patent clerk,
got credit for the patent which alone
should have been Gray’s, who did the major work
before the son of the professor Bernard Shaw
would use as Henry Higgins’ model stole
his great invention and used patent law
to take not part of credit but the whole.
Could it be that Archimedes, too,
stole from a competitor the math
enabling him to figure out what you
and I’ve been told he found out in his bath?

Marjorie Kehe reviews The Telephone Gambit, by Seth Shulman, in The Christian Science Monitor, January 9,2008:

How often does a detective story upend history? Probably about as often as a science and technology journalist pens a page-turner. But with this month's release of 'The Telephone Gambit' by Seth Shulman both these unlikely events are coming to pass at the same moment. This slender volume (252 pages, with notes and credits) is a work of nonfiction - although the strangeness of truth definitely overtakes fiction here as Shulman explains how he unraveled Alexander Graham Bell's claim to have invented the telephone. We may never be absolutely certain, but 'The Telephone Gambit' presents compelling evidence that Bell snuck a look at rival inventor Elisha Gray's patent application, stole a crucial element from it, and then lived an uncomfortable lie for the rest of his days. This is not the work of a muckraker. No one wanted to reach such a conclusion less than did Shulman, a longtime admirer of Bell's. But that's exactly why this book is such a good read. Shulman carefully spells out not only the steps he took to piece together his story, but also the reluctance he battled en route. Why would Bell - a man whose good character was noted by all who knew him - behave so dishonorably? How could he have stolen from a rival he had never met? And is it even possible that such a high-profile crime could have gone undetected for so long? The answers to these questions unspool neatly throughout Shulman's narrative but they read more like the stuff of thrillers than of the history of science. Figures in this real-life drama include (it would seem) an alcoholic patent clerk, some unscrupulous attorneys, and a beautiful young woman whom Bell yearned to marry. Shulman's first glimpse of the story came in 2004. He was enjoying a yearlong research fellowship at the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. There, he was studying recently digitized reproductions of the private papers of Bell. Shulman was thrilled to be able to follow so close on the heels of his hero - yet puzzled by something he saw. Shulman knew the story of the invention of the telephone as well as anyone - or at least he thought he did. Alexander Graham Bell and Elisha Gray filed patent applications on the very same day in 1876. (Gray's was actually a 'caveat' - but it would have served the purpose of staking Gray's exclusive righ”The Telephone Gambit, ” by Seth Shulman in The Christian Science Monitor, January 0,2008: t to continue research in this area.) According to the official story, Bell filed a few hours earlier than Gray and so was awarded the patent. Then, the next month, he had the breakthrough moment we've all read about in the history books. (After spilling acid in his lab, Bell shouted, 'Watson, come here, I need you.' Watson, in another room, heard him through the device they were experimenting with and thus was born the telephone.) Or so we've always believed. But what troubled Shulman was that Bell's 'eureka moment' depended on an element that had been completely missing from Bell's research until only two days earlier. Then, this crucial link suddenly appeared in Bell's journal in a sketch remarkably similar to a drawing found in Gray's patent application. In the days just before this sketch appeared, Bell had not been working in his lab. On the contrary, he'd been in Washington, filing his patent claim. I won't spoil the fun (and it is fun) by explaining exactly how Shulman proceeded and what he discovered as he worked backward from that point. Bell, he ended up concluding, was a great innovator who had made much progress toward the telephone, but he is not its creator. Instead, it seems, he was a talented, decent man, who lived with guilt ever after being pressured into an unseemly act of theft. Shulman does a neat job of painting, in rapid brush strokes, a portrait of the thrilling era of innovation in which Bell lived and also of the interesting circumstances of his life. (His speech professor father was the real-life model for the Henry Higgins of George Bernard Shaw's 'Pygmalion.') Shulman also manages to lace his work with just enough technology to tell his story without losing the interest of any low-tech readers. As a result, 'The Telephone Gambit' succeeds splendidly as an edge-of-your- seat historical tale. Yet it also manages to go somewhere deeper, leaving readers with intriguing questions about the ways in which truth may remain undiscovered, even when lying open in plain sight.

[...] Read more

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