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Role of the detective in Paretsky's Killing Orders

            At the end of the 19th century and right through the 20th century, crime fiction became popular particularly through the writings of Raymond Chandler, Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle. (1) Readers have been given great pleasure in reading about the fearless detectives using their wit and intellect to solve crimes and thus becoming heroes. Indeed "the role of the detective celebrates traditional heroic virtues and validates hero worship". (2) The detective genre itself is attributed to Wilkie Collins" sensational novel, The Moonstone. Published in 1868, one of its key characters was a police detective Sergeant Cuff who was considered the father of the fictional detective: Cuff was a well drawn and complex character, but he possessed many of those attributes which have been passed down to his successors. But Conan Doyle broke from the social mould by creating an upper class independent sleuth whose professionalism contrasted to the blundering of the professional force. (3).
             The two main types of detective in fiction are the Classical detective and the hard-boiled detective. The classical detective, as the title suggests, is the early portrayal of a typical detective denoting an intelligent, respectable protagonist. Most of the stories in that genre had almost stereotypical elements to them reminiscent of Conan Doyles" Sherlock Holmes: a brilliant detective with a simple minded side-kick. The hard-boiled detective is a rather recent innovation which was created in 1923 by Caroll John Daly for Black Mask (4). Hard-boiled detective literally means "tough and unemotional". (5).
             Hard boiled detectives are similar to classical detectives in their dedication to the job, ability to identify clues in almost all scenarios to find a solution.

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