Both Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, in their respective novels, explore the relationship between detective and criminal. Many mystery novels employ this opposition, but in ‘Sherlock Holmes: The Major Stories with Contemporary Critical Essays’ and ‘The Murder of Roger Ackroyd,’ the authors, while spending appropriate time with this juxtaposition, add additional elements by spending a majority of their time investigating the idea of justice. Justice is the central theme of both respective novels because both Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot attempt to discover the truth regarding their respective cases by any means necessary.
Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot are the central detectives in their respective novels. Both men employ the method of deduction, scientific investigation, and the idea of logic to solve cases. In addition to employing their respective talents, both men must contend with their respective places in regards to the investigations. Much of Sherlock Holmes’ work is conducted outside the realm of the local police. Opposite this fact, Hercule Poirot, while somewhat independent of the police must contend and assist mainly with police assistance.
The idea of justice is explored when Poirot is invited to join the Ackroyd murder investigation. In a broad sense, justice is the pursuit of truth, by any means necessary. It appears that the police resisted assistance, any sort of assistance at first; thus, they reject justice. For example, in ‘The Murder of Roger Ackroyd,’ after the body of Roger Ackroyd had been discovered, the initial investigator was quite acidic toward the employed staff of Roger Ackroyd. Ackroyd’s butler, in an attempt to ascertain facts declares, “I don’t think so, sir, but I’…
I liked Sherlock Holmes more than Hercules Poirot because I find Holmes more entertaining to read because I feel more engaged within his adventures. The reason I feel more involved is because his stories seem more creative and gives a more detailed picture of the experience that is happening. I also am more attracted to the stories written about Holmes, in ‘The Major Stories with Contemporary Critical Essays,’ because each story was different and it kept my curiosity peeked. I felt the need and urge to keep reading because it entertained my learning process and interest.
[i] Agatha Christie, ‘The Murder of RogerAckroyd,” 54.
[ii] Christie, 78.
[iii] Christie, 76.
[iv] Arthur Conan Doyle, “Sherlock Holmes: The Major Stories withContemporary Critical Essays,” ‘The Speckled Band,’152.
[v] Christie, 270.
[vi] Christie, 282.
[vii] Doyle, 173.