Instructor: Namey MWF 10:10am-11:15pm
The detective story has long fascinated writers by the elegance of its design. You start with a detective, then put her on a case: she has to trail someone’s spouse, track down a stolen item or wayward child, investigate an unsolved murder. The case grows increasingly complex as the detective dives deeper, a complexity only allowed through the simplicity of the story’s initial premise. This formula has endless permutations; a simple setup can lead the detective down a labyrinth that unlocks vast conspiracies, family secrets, runaways who don’t want to be found or guilt-ridden criminals begging to be caught.
In this course we will read the detective across multiple genres—short story, novel, film, poetry—and study the craft of mystery. Students will write a few creative pieces that draw on concepts we discuss in this course; they will also write a short critical work that describes their own approach to the mystery story.