Conclusion: The Sixty Holmes Stories
Crowe first presents an overall assessment of the extent to which the sixty Holmes stories exhibit the pattern of a Gestalt shift, forty-two in the group clearly displaying that pattern. Fifteen are in the second category, meaning the shifts are less clear and prominent. The third category, those for which the Gestalt shift pattern does not seem to fit, contains three stories. Crowe then claims that there is a correlation between the appearance of the Gestalt shift and the quality of the stories as measured in various surveys of reader reaction to the stories. Doyle’s enthusiasm for contrasts, for rapid developments in parts of a story, and the practice of having a Gestalt shift moment in a story relates to his sensitivity to creating Gestalt shifts. This chapter ends by raising the question whether other prominent authors of detective fiction make use of Gestalt shifts.
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