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Friday, January 31, 2014

Ellery and Dear Jim.

This is sort of a contamination problem in writing.  Where one person (ACD) influences other authors, who are influenced in their own writing.

Certainly Ellery Queen was a huge fanboy of Sherlock Holmes.  And by that I mean the character Ellery Queen as well as the actual Queen cousins.  (Ellery Queen is complicated.  Sort of.)

So... when Moriarty says to Sherlock in RF, "You want everything to be clever, that's your problem..." I'm not sure that's something that comes up in Sherlock Holmes.

I do know that it comes up in Ellery Queen, though.

El had a problem with certain villains, which I call the Moriarty problem.  Sometimes he'd have a Deliberate Moriarty -- a villain who was wicked smart and who plotted to outflank him from the very beginning.

Playing on his weakness of wanting things to be clever, in fact.

Sometimes he'd have an Unconscious Moriarty.  The difference was simply that this villain was wicked clever but did not expect to be facing Ellery Queen.  Someone who was just trying to get the crime[s] done and away.

But who might, once El got involved in the story, switch to a Deliberate.  Unlike Sherlock's JM, in Ellery Queen's universe, Ellery was a famous author who did solve mysteries and was known for it.  He didn't need his villains to be obsessed stalkers per se.

It helped the villain if s/he was, of course.  8)

And in case you're curious, yes, Mark and Steven do read the mysteries by the likes of Ellery Queen.  I would be completely unsurprised to find that they're EQ fans too.  Probably fanboys.  I'm a huge EQ fangirl myself.

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