The riddle story is the most naïve form of the mystery story. It may contain a certain element of the supernatural—be tinged with mysticism—but its motive and the revelation thereof must be frankly materialistic—of the earth, earthy. In this respect it is very closely allied to the detective story. The model riddle story should be utterly mundane in motive—told in direct terms. Here again the genius of that great modern master asserts itself, and in The Oblong Box we have an early model of its kind. The stories of this collection cover a wide range and are the choice of reading in several literatures.
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