Suspicion Essay

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Perkins is an Associate Professor of English at Prince George's Community College in Maryland. In the following essay she analyzes Sayers' technique in "Suspicion."

Michele Slung, in her overview of Dorothy Sayers' work for St. James Guide to Crime & Mystery Writers, notes that in a 1939 essay entitled "Other People's Great Detectives," Sayers compares fictional detectives to their real-life counterparts and determines there is an important difference. Fictional detectives, she claims, are not remembered for their display of "unusual talent and ingenuity" in their methods of detection, nor for their "conspicuous success in bringing criminals to justice." These qualities form the reputation of real-life detectives; however, fictional sleuths are measured by their author's "presentation of the character." Sayers' intricate plotting, nevertheless, keeps the reader guessing about whether or not Mummery is being poisoned and by whom.

Sayers' most famous and celebrated detective is Oxford-educated Lord Peter Wimsey, an amateur...

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This section contains 1,550 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Suspicion Study Guide
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