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“F” is for Footprints & Fingerprints — A to Z Blogging Challenge 2022

My topic for this year’s A to Z Blogging Challenge is

Elements of Crime Fiction.

I am a great fan of detective novels. Cosy mysteries, police procedurals, psychological thrillers– you name it. For the month of April I am going to try and break up crime fiction into its components and see what makes it tick.

My topic for today is :

Footprints & Fingerprints

The first time I came across any kind of print as a clue was in a Five Find Outers mystery by Enid Blyton. In this story there was a series of robberies in a small English town. At every crime scene there were conspicuous footprints made by a large (size 10 or 12) pair of shoes. Spoiler alert — the thief was of short stature and had small hands and feet. He would don a pair of large shoes over his own leaving footprints to cast suspicion away from himself.

Footprints, their form and size, play an important role in tying a suspect to a scene of crime. Sherlock Holmes, Inspector Alleyn, Inspector Morse and many other characters rely on them. Fingerprints are slightly more complicated. They first started being used for identification in the 19th century . In fiction, Sherlock Holmes used to study them too. Fingerprints naturally find themselves into police procedural fiction more than any other kind.

A to Z Blogging Challenge 2022 Badge

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