31 July 2009

A-Z: Watching The Detectives


This year's A-Z is on the subject that has increasingly become 'common-ground' within our family when it come to choosing what to watch on the TV - we end up 'watching the detectives'...

A detective is an investigator of mysteries or crimes, either a member of the police or a person who works on his own. In fact, private investigators ("Private I's", hence the phrase "Private Eyes") are such a part of our popular culture that is requires no explanation.

The first actual detective agency was reportedly 'Le Bureau des Renseignments', established in Paris by Francois Eugene Vidocq in 1833. Detective fiction has been a popular genre since Edgar Allan Poe wrote his stories of master French detective C. Auguste Dupin in April 1841, less than a decade later. Arthur Conan Doyle's legendary 19th-century character Sherlock Holmes is no so famous, some even think the bloke actually existed! 20th century private detective characters such as Sam Spade, Philip Marlowe and Mike Hammer became enormously popular. The genre also extends to fictional 'government agents', such as Ian Fleming's James Bond, and comic-book creations like Dick Tracy and Batman. Amateur detectives like Miss Marple and Jessica Fletcher complement the forensic specialists like Quincy.

We start with A tomorrow.

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