by George N. Dove
University of Wisconsin Press, 1997
Cloth: 978-0-87972-731-4 | Paper: 978-0-87972-732-1
Library of Congress Classification PN3448.D4D68 1997
Dewey Decimal Classification 809.3872

The Reader and the Detective Story is unique—it treats the detective story as a special case of reading, governed by special rules and shaped by a highly specialized formula. The method of interpretation is the application of the principles of response theory (especially those developed by Hans-Georg Gadamer, Wolfgang Iser, and Hans Robert Jauss) to the reading of a tale of detection.
    George Dove demonstrates how the English soft-boiled mystery and the American private-eye story, although they have different settings and develop different plots, belong in the same subgenre and follow the same formula, inherited directly from Poe’s “The Murders in the Rue Morgue.”