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DETECTIVE FICTION Detective fiction is one of the most popular types of the mystery genre among both children and adults. Detective Fiction is a puzzle that must be solved like a mathematical equation, a musical score, or a scientific experiment. According to P.D. James, a contemporary mystery writer, the classic detective story usually involves a mysterious death. There is a closed circle of suspects, and each suspect must have a credible motive as well as a reasonable opportunity for committing the crime. In addition, the central character is a detective who eventually solves the mystery by logical deduction from facts fairly presented to the reader (Mysteries 6). This classic structure has been the springboard for hundreds of variations on the form. By placing the clues into the mathematical equation, playing them like a musical score, and moving through them methodically, like a scientist would do, you too can play Lesson #1

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Transcript of DETECTIVE FICTION Detective fiction is one of the most popular types of the mystery genre among both...

DETECTIVE FICTION

Detective fiction is one of the most popular types of the mystery genre among both children and adults. Detective Fiction is a puzzle that must be solved like a mathematical equation, a musical score, or a scientific experiment. According to P.D. James, a contemporary mystery writer, the classic detective story usually involves a mysterious death. There is a closed circle of suspects, and each suspect must have a credible motive as well as a reasonable opportunity for committing the crime. In addition, the central character is a detective who eventually solves the mystery by logical deduction from facts fairly presented to the reader (Mysteries 6). This classic structure has been the springboard for hundreds of variations on the form. By placing the clues into the mathematical equation, playing them like a musical score, and moving through them methodically, like a scientist would do, you too can play detective while reading a detective fiction novel.

Lesson #1

Project Due at the End of the Unit:Period 2

Let’s jump ahead so that you know where we’re headed. (Don’t panic, we’ll return to Square 1.) The culminating project of this unit will be a “Detective’s Handbook” based on the mystery novel you’ve chosen. You have received a handout and rubric, so let’s review them now.

1. Cover 2. Foreword3. Table of Contents4. Expository entry about sleuth’s character traits5. Expository entry about nature of mystery6. Descriptive entry about the crime scene7. Expository character sketch about sleuth’s sidekick8. “Wanted” poster of prime suspect9. Detective’s Log10. Persuasive Letter to the Chief of Police proving the suspect’s motive, means, and opportunity

Project Due at the End of the Unit: Period 1 and 3

Let’s jump ahead so that you know where we’re headed. (Don’t panic, we’ll return to Square 1.) The culminating project of this unit will be a “Detective’s Handbook” based on the mystery novel you’ve chosen. You have received a handout and rubric, so let’s review them now.

1. Cover 2. Foreword3. Table of Contents4. Expository entry about sleuth’s character traits5. Expository entry about nature of mystery6. Descriptive entry about the crime scene7. Expository character sketch about sleuth’s sidekick8. Detective Log – follows your detective through 18-24 hours. 9. “How To” paragraph that takes the reader step-by-step through the process by which the sleuth solved the mystery. 10. Persuasive Letter to the local chief of police convincing him/her who should be arrested and why11. Front Page newspaper article about the case.

Appearances Can Be Deceiving

A detective’s appearance can have a major affect on his/her effectiveness on the job. For example, Ironside, a detective your grandparents will remember from television, was in a wheelchair. Suspects did not think he was a threat because he was physically challenged. Similarly, Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple is an elderly woman. Again, suspects do not find her threatening and tell her things they might not tell the police.

Lesson #1

While appearances can work both for and against detectives who are solving mysteries, character traits can do the same. Thinking about sleuth Adrian Monk from the TV series Monk, let’s answer the following questions.

2. List some of Monk’s positive character traits.

So, Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover!

1. What are Monk’s physical traits?

3. How do these strengths enable Monk to be a good detective?

4. List some of Monk’s negative character traits.

5. How do these weaknesses hurt Monk’s detecting capabilities?

6. Which of Monk’s character traits can be either strengths or weaknesses depending on the situation?

7. How do these strengths and/or weaknesses contribute to the successes and failures Monk encounters while trying to solve the mystery?

Let’s practice writing together first.

Reason:

Example #1:

Explanation #1:

Example #2:

Explanation #2:

WDDIM?:

Statement: Tell what it is you are going to explain. This is what you used to call a topic sentence.

Explain why your topic is important.

Give an example, from the movie, that shows your topic sentence to be true.

Tie example #1 back to your reason to show why the reason is valid.

Give another example, from the movie, that shows your topic sentence to be true.

Tie example #2 back to your reason to show why the reason is valid.

“What difference does it make?” or “Who cares?” Explain the big picture in a way that ties your entire paragraph together.

Reason:

Example #1:

Explanation #1:

Example #2:

Explanation #2:

WDDIM?:

Statement: Adrian Monk is a fictional character with traits that contribute to his crime-solving abilities.

For example, Monk has a strict code of ethics which can make him unforgiving.

It is this unforgiveness that makes him refuse the case at first, because it was Monk’s old partner , Joe Christie, that called him. Joe was once accused of evidence tampering which led to the release of a criminal. Even though Joe maintains his innocence, Monk is still angry about the serious code violation and breach of trust.

On the other hand, Monk’s attention to detail forces him to pursue the case, even after it is ruled an accident.

Monk is the only person to notice that the stamps all come from the same roll. This leads him to the obvious conclusion that the same person sent all the Complaint letters, which leads to ______ losing her credibility with the store manager.

Adrian Monk is a successful crime solver because his strengths and weaknesses allows us to consider him a “friend.” We understand his weaknesses and admire his strengths.

In what way do your sleuth’s character traits contribute to his/her strengths/weaknesses as a crime-solver?

It is the very human combination of weakness and strength that make him the perfect detective for this television series.

Here is what your completed entry will look like when it’s all put together:

Adrian Monk is a fictional character with traits that contribute to his crime-solving abilities. It is the very human combination of weaknesses and strengths that make him the perfect detective for this television series. Monk has a strict code of ethics which can make him unforgiving. It is this unforgiveness that makes him refuse the case at first, because it was Monk’s old partner , Joe Christie, that called him. Joe was once accused of evidence tampering which led to the release of a criminal. Even though Joe maintains his innocence, Monk is still angry about the series code violation and breach of trust. On the other hand, Monk’s attention to detail forces him to pursue the case, even after it is ruled an accident. Attention to detail,, a positive character trait, allows the viewer to accept Monk’s weaknesses by forcing them to admire him as a person. As the detective, Monk must have the audience’s support in order for the story to be well-received. Adrian Monk is a successful crime solver because his strengths and weaknesses allows us to consider him a “friend.” We understand his weaknesses and admire his strengths.

Now it’s your turn! Remember the object of this exercise is to write Detective’s Handbook Entry #1 based on the following:

In what way do your sleuth’s character traits contribute to his/her strengths/weaknesses as a crime-solver?

Notes:

• You do not have to be very far into your book to write this entry. Initial impressions are fine.

Lesson #3

The Scene of the Crime

In each story, there is a “scene of the crime”. You may not be reading a book where an actual crime has been committed, but instead there is a mystery involved. In other words – what is the setting?

Here are some questions you need to consider while working on your rough draft:a. What is the overall setting of the story? * Year/decade? * City/town? * Season?

Within the overall setting, consider the following:

a. Does it take place in a school? A house? A combination of different places?

b. If there is a crime, where exactly did the crime take place?

* outside or inside? * in a specific room? * at a specific time?c. If there is a puzzle to be solved, where did it

start? * Are all the pieces to the puzzle solved in one

place or in different places?

Let’s practice writing together first.

Introduction: Adrian Monk ends up solving several mysteries around San Francisco but it all starts with the murder of Edna Caruthers. Edna was killed at the local Mega Mart store where she worked.

Description: The Mega Mart is a chain retail store, similar to Wal-Mart. Edna is lured to the storage room by the murderer. It is a large, dark and dusty warehouse located at the back of the store. Floor to ceiling shelves create aisles, much like a library. Instead of books, they hold all the merchandise for the store. The shelves are placed far enough apart for a forklift to drive through, which is parked at the back of the warehouse. The darkness helps to create a feeling of foreboding when Edna arrives.

Now that you can describe the scene, write it from the perspective of the sleuth.

Introduction: Adrian Monk ends up solving several mysteries around San Francisco but it all starts with the murder of Edna Caruthers. Edna was killed at the local Mega Mart store where she worked. Here is Mr. Monk’s description of the scene of the crime.

Description:Sharona and I arrived at the Mega Mart, a local chain retail store, similar to Wal-Mart. We were directed to the back of the store, to a warehouse. I was immediately struck with how dusty it was as soon as I walked through the door. I expected my allergies to start kicking in any minute. There were lights on in the front, but I could see that the room was quite large. It was very dark, towards the back, where the lights were still off. Several other officers had already arrived at the scene, including Captain Stottlemeyer. Floor to ceiling shelves, packed with store merchandise, were to my right. In front of me, in the midst of about 15 large television boxes was a chalk outline of the victim, Edna Carruthers.

Now it’s your turn! Remember the object of this exercise is to write Detective’s Handbook Entry #3 based on the following:

Describe the crime scene. Include sensory details – what does the sleuth see, smell, and hear?

Put the reader at the scene of the crime by writing as if you are the detective on site.

End of Lesson # 3

Some sleuths receive assistance from sidekicks who are either paid helpers or friends who help. These sidekicks serve as “sounding boards” for the sleuth to explain how certain bits of detection are done. If the sleuth is not, in some way, connected to law enforcement, one of these characters usually is. The sidekick is sometimes a pet or an animal.

Lesson #4

Sometimes sleuths work in pairs or in groups. For example, Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes has a partner in Dr. Watson. Similarly, the Scooby Doo gang has five very different personalities to solve mysteries. Scooby, the dog, is the sidekick who aids in the solving of the mysteries for “the gang,” just like Sharona and Joe aid Monk in solving mysteries.

Scooby Doo, Where Are You?

We will now begin work on expository Handbook Entry #4. In this entry, you must complete a character sketch about the human or animal sidekick(s) in your mystery novel. To get started, answer the following questions; then complete the graphic organizer character sketch.

2. How does each one help Monk solve the crime?

You are the company you keep!

1. Who are the sidekicks in Monk?

3. Not only do the sidekicks help Monk, but they also serve a purpose for the audience. What is it?4. Explain the answers to 1-3 in expository entry #4.

Mission: PossibleYour mission—and you must accept it—is to create a

“Wanted” poster for the villain in your novel.

Include the following:•a picture/illustration of the suspect

(large enough to be seen from a distance)

•suspect’s name and alias, if applicable•physical description of the suspect•the offense of which the villain is accused•the trouble the offense has caused•where the suspect was last seen•warnings the public should be aware of•whom to call with information•a reward consistent with the nature of

the crime

WANTED!• For murdering Edna

Coruthers and attempted Bank Robbery

• Suspected of assaulting Adrian Monk and leaving the guard dog out to further attack him.

• Short, brunette, feisty• Last seen driving a brown

van• Suspect is to be considered

dangerous• If you have any

information, please call Captain Leland Stottlemeyer, SFPD at (724) 555-1234

\$100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Jennie Silverman

Jennie Silverman

Detective’s Log

8:00am -- Got to work and began shelving boxes. Jennie arrived for work and after going to her locker, reported to check out register 3.

9:30 –Observed Jennie checking out two customers. Morris claimed that they were the same guys that beat him up in the parking lot last week. Noticed that Jennie did not need to ask them for their zip code but she acted like she didn’t know who they were.

9:45 – Called Sharona and asked her to look into Jennie Silverman – see if she has a criminal background.

9:50 –Returned to work. Clean-up on aisle 7 kept me busy for almost 15 minutes.

TODAY’S DATE

11:30 – took my lunch break. Someone keeps taking a bite out of my sandwich. I may need to look into that mystery next.

Now you create a detective’s log for your sleuth.

Lesson #4

Solving the MysteryLesson #5

•Fact Something that cannot be disputed

•AssumptionA guess

Edna Coruthers was murdered.

•Inference A guess based on the facts

Whoever murdered Edna Coruthers wantedsomething she had.

•Deduction An educated guess

Jennie Silverman must have killed Edna inorder to get her parking spot.

Three Rules of Crime Solving

The prime suspect must have hada way to commit the crime.

The prime suspect must have hada reason to commit the crime.

The prime suspect must have hadthe chance to commit the crime.

Clues

•Suspicious items (shoe heel located several feet from the body)

•Suspicious behavior (used to hang out with the other employees but now she is a strict “rule follower”; caught lying on several different occasions)

•Benefits (became “Employee of the Month” after the death of Edna.

•What people say about themselves/others •Connections between and among people (Jennie

clearly knows the two customers but she pretends she doesn’t)

Write an expository entry which details the cluesyour sleuth followed to the solution to the mystery.This piece is based on cause and effect. Complete the Cause/Effect graphic organizer, and write your entry from there.

Let’s do it together first!

Cause Effect

2) Monk has Joe locate the “Employee of the Month” chart from last month and discovers that Edna was in the lead until her death

1) Monk concludes that she really knows the customers. Why then is she pretending not to know them?

1) Monk observes Jennie at the cash register automatically entering the customers zip code.

2)Monk suspects that she was murdered for something that she received as “Employee of the Month” - but what and why?

3) Monk noticed the van hitting the speed bump at the end of the day but not in the morning.

3)Monk concludes that the van is heavier in the afternoon than in the morning. Why?

Now, your write the expository entry that follows theclues of the mystery through its end.

Statement:

Reason:

Cause #1:

Effect #1:

Cause #2:

Effect #2:

WDDIM?:

Arrest that Man!

You, (as the sleuth in your novel) must write a persuasive letter to the local chief of police. Your thesis statement will read something like this: “Due to the proof against her, you should arrest Jennie Silverman immediately!”

In addition, you must have three main supports: motive, means, and opportunity. Explain how each can be proved by using textual proof from the book, and make sure you cite the page number, on which the proof is found, within the letter. Use both citation methods—direct quotation and paraphrasing. Part of your textual proof should include the clues found as well as your inferences and logical deductions.

Lesson #6

Example

Mr. Adrian Monk1111 Fisherman’s Wharf Drive

Apt. 114San Francisco, CA 94102

(670) 555-0878 [work]

October 31, 2013

Captain Leland StottlemeyerSan Francisco Police Department1108 Catchum’ StreetSan Francisco, CA 94103

RE: Edna Coruther’s Murder

Dear Captain Stottlemeyer:

Date

Salutation

After careful consideration of the events that occurred at the Mega Mart this past

month, I have come to the logical conclusion that your prime suspect in the case is Ms. Jennie

Silverman of San Francisco, CA. The clues of receipt of position held by the victim, suspicious

behavior and suspicious van lead directly to Ms. Silverman and contribute to proof of motive,

means, and opportunity. Based on the evidence, you should arrest Ms. Silverman at

once.

Motive is the backbone behind any crime, and Jennie had to procure the

coveted parking space in order to provide a way of getting the stolen money out of

the bank as well as a quick get away. Initially, Jennie was observed pretending not

be acquainted with two customers that she clearly knew well enough to know their

zip code without asking. When confronted, she denied this, which only made her

behavior more suspicious. When it was discovered that Jennie had become

“Employee of the Month” with the death of Edna Coruthers, it became necessary to

discover why that was important. With the position came a coveted parking spot

which is right over a grate. The grate covers a pipe system that leads into the bank

next door. When Jennie’s van was seen hitting the speed bump, it became obvious

that her van is heavier at the end of the day. The customers she claimed not to

know were seen buying shovels and pick axes. Thus the clues prove that Jennie

was working with the two customers to rob the bank.

Thesis

Introduction

Support #1

Detail #1

Detail #2

Logical Conclusion

Three supports

Support #2—means

Support #3—opportunity

Conclusion

•Restatement of thesis•Restatement of three supports with

personal conclusions drawn in between

Sincerely,

Sign Here

What if your novel does not have a crime but has a puzzle or mystery? Instead of writing a letter persuading the police to arrest someone, you are going to write a letter persuading the mayor to reward someone who was instrumental in solving the mystery.

After careful consideration of the events that occurred at the Mega Mart this past

month, I have come to the logical conclusion that Joe Christie should be awarded a

medal of honor. Joe was instrumental in solving the murder of Edna Caruthers.

It was Joe Christie who insisted on the case being pursued, even

after Edna Caruther’s death had been ruled an accident. It was Mr.

Christie who called in Adrien Monk, the well-known detective, to consult

on the case. Even though his relationship with Mr. Monk was strained

due to a situation from years earlier, Mr. Christie looked beyond that and

contacted the one man who could solve the case. It was also Mr. Christie

who worked tirelessly with Mr. Monk, exploring all the clues which led to

the arrest of the murderer. For these reasons, Joe Christie should be

awarded a medal of honor.