I was just looking for a particular book on my shelves, and I came across my omnibus of Father Brown stories-- feeling, once again, my familiar twinge of guilt at never having been able to get more than a quarter of the way into the compendium. After all, I'm supposed to be the G.K. Chesterton dude.
It's a sign of how much I dislike the detective genre that I can't even bring myself to read Chesterton's detective fiction.
It just seems so restrictive to me. Drama can be anything, and horror can be anything, and comedy can be anything, and science fiction can be anything, but detective fiction...you need to have a body (for some reason, anything short of murder is considered tepid), and you need to have a circle of suspects, and you need to have a suspect who seems guilty but isn't, and you need to have a killer who doesn't seem guilty but actually is. You need to have a detective who's somehow eccentric. And all the characterization, atmosphere, dialogue, etc. etc. is only so much wrapping-- it's all just a conundrum dressed up as a story. This last is the thing I dislike the most. A detective story is only incidentally a story.
If "the detective story is the normal recreation of noble minds" (a gold star for anyone who can tell me what film this line is quoted in, sans internet searching), I'm glad I have an ignoble mind.