Conan Doyle was well read in the field of mysteries and drew on many sources for his own well-wrought stories. The most important precedents for the Holmes adventures were the tales i of "ratiocination" of Edgar Allan Poe and the novels of Wilkie Collins. Poe's tales feature the great detective Auguste Dupin, a Frenchman who uses his intellect to solve bewildering crimes. As in the Holmes stories, someone brings Dupin a mystery; then Dupin sifts through the clues and devises a plan to unmask the villain. Conan Doyle's stories follow this pattern, even making Holmes analytical and...
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