Sunday, December 2, 2012

Who did it?...I haven't a clue.

When I think mystery, the first name to come to mind is Agatha Christie.  The Grand Dame of Whodunits laid down clues with expert finesse.Occasionally she'd toss in a red herring.  At the books end, Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple would spell out the clues and announce  who did.  No doubt about it.  The perp was caught.

I wonder if the art of revealing clues is dying.  So many times I read a book or watch a movie classified as a mystery but the clues are not there.  Details are provided. Some good chase scenes.  A few surprises are thrown in. But the script ends where some trap or some other plot device causes the murderer's identity to be revealed. But no aha! moment when all the loose ends come together.

Some years back I went to a lecture by a well known mystery writer. (I omit the name to protect the guilty.)  During Q&A session, someone asked when the writer determined who the killer was? The response was near the end of the book. I wondered how can anyone write almost a complete mystery and not know who did it?

One TV show out this season has done a fine job.  Elementary on CBS covers a modern day Sherlock Holmes, recovering from addiction, consulting for the NYPD. He ferrets out subtle clues at crime scenes that lead to the next clue.  Red herrings are abundant.

Anyone else miss the good old fashioned clue?

No comments:

Post a Comment