Discuss why "The Red-Headed League" belongs in the mystery genre. What changes would make the story belong to a different genre?

"The Red-Headed League" belongs in the mystery genre because it centrally features a suspenseful puzzle that needs to be solved by a skilled detective. Switching the attributes of a main character could convert it into another genre, along with some changes to the plot. For example, the story could be converted to a thriller by putting the emphasis on Clay hunting Holmes or to the horror genre by turning Clay into a monster or zombie.

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"The Red-Headed League " has many of the classic traits of the mystery genre. It features a highly intelligent detective as its main character: an individual able to observe details, understand human psychology, and make intuitive leaps in a way that leave ordinary people stunned and impressed. It revolves...

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"The Red-Headed League" has many of the classic traits of the mystery genre. It features a highly intelligent detective as its main character: an individual able to observe details, understand human psychology, and make intuitive leaps in a way that leave ordinary people stunned and impressed. It revolves centrally around a perplexing mystery: Jabez Wilson hires Holmes to unravel why he was suddenly fired from an easy and high-paying job with the Red-Headed League, and to discover why every trace of the league seemingly has disappeared into thin air. All of this captures the reader's interest as a classic mystery would. The story also features an intrepid and highly intelligent adversary who tests Holmes's mettle in the character of John Clay. In summary, the story has all the important features of a mystery genre: a highly intelligent detective, a curious puzzle that can be logically solved, suspense, and a worthy opponent.

To change the story's genre, we would have to change some of these major attributes. We could change it into an adventure thriller, for instance, by having Holmes clear up the mystery very quickly so that it is not central to the story, making the plot revolve around a vengeful and perhaps deranged John Clay hunting Holmes in a frightening way. Likewise, we could turn it into an example of the horror story genre by having it become clear that Clay is some sort of monster or zombie from the deep who only appears to be human. It could become, on the other hand, a comedy by showing Holmes to be, in reality, a fumbling fool who merely finds his way to answers by accident.

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