The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon, is very much inspired by The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. The protagonist of the story, Christopher, sets out to unveil a mystery concerning the murder of his neighbor’s dog. Like Sherlock, Christopher relies on his deductive reasoning skills to solve the undeserved crime.
Detective fiction certainly wouldn’t have been the same without Doyle’s new approach regarding the solving of crimes. Doyle explains his disappointment with “chance” playing such a huge role in books written by his precedents. Doyle wanted to make mystery novels more compelling, which he very much did.
While I was reading Silver Blaze, I stumbled upon this conversation between Holmes and Inspector Gregory:
“” You consider that to be important?” he asked.
“Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?”
‘To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.”
“The dog did nothing in the night time.”
“That was the curious incident,”
remarked Sherlock Holmes.”” (197).
This was a very exciting discovery for me, and seems to tie well in our discussion of Doyle’s influence. Clearly Haddon’s protagonist, and Haddon himself were inspired by Doyle, at least enough to name his novel in homage to Sherlock’s quote.
Sometimes we need to pay attention to what’s absent, as well what’s present. That is the similarity between two stories.