Publication Order of Charlie Salter Books
|The Night the Gods Smiled||(1983)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Smoke Detector||(1984)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Death in the Old Country||(1985)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|A Single Death||(1986)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|A Body Surrounded by Water||(1987)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|A Question of Murder||(1988)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|A Sensitive Case||(1990)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Final Cut||(1991)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|A Fine Italian Hand||(1991)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Death by Degrees||(1993)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
Eric Wright was a professor and Canadian writer of mystery novels. Wright is best known for his series of police procedural featuring Metropolitan Toronto police inspector Charlie Salter. Wright portrays Charlie Salter, the detective in his series of novels, as a heroic character.Many of our novels today heroes are characterized by their romantic appeal, physical strength,and by valor in battle. Therefore, by examining Charlie Salter in these three areas; romance, physical strength, and valor in battle; it will become evident that he is a classic modern day novel hero.Although Salter may not be described as the sexiest man alive, nor is he even in his prime, he does have some unique charms which make him seem handsome and appealing to many women. In the following paragraphs it will become obvious how Wright uses these qualities to characterize Salter as being a romantic type of hero.
To begin, Salter’s wife would frequently become paranoid that she was going to lose him to other females in the stories. Near the beginning of A Question of Murder, Charlie and his wife are laying in bed in the morning. Just as Charlie is going to head off into the bathroom to get ready for work Mrs. Salter shoots him one of her usual comments, “You know, all the women in my church group think you are very handsome and that you must make an excellent husband … I hope you’re not seeing that tramp of a witness again today, from what you tell me I think she really likes you.” (A Question of Murder, pg. 38). After hearing these flattering things from his wife, Salter reassured his her that he would never cheat on her, and that she was the only woman in his life.
Secondly, another example of Salter fitting the stereotype of a romantic hero is found here. He was once interviewing a 25-year-old girl, approximately half his age to find out some details in a murder case. She seemed to be strangely attracted to him and wanted to make their next visit a non business meeting. “Hey Charlie, do you wanna catch a movie with me tomorrow?”, (A Question of Murder pg. 73) she asks him as she leaves his office. Throughout his meetings with Ashley Salter’s charismatic charm had an effect on her. As a man of integrity and some modesty, he is not tempted or swayed by this attention.
Thirdly, it is made evident that Salter has a unique, romantic charm by many women throughout the novels when Charlie was making a routine visit to the wife of a murder victim.Instead of having her to office she insisted on having their meeting over at her house. While they were sitting on her porch,about midway through their conversation,Mrs .Summer starts to throw herself at Charlie.She says to him,Charlie ,can i show you around, maybe upstairs? (A question of murder pg.144) This made feel Charlie uncomfortable,but he replied very kindly, sorry but i must be getting to the office to document our interview. From this example it is apparent that Wright once again portrays Salter as being romantic, and sexually appealing to other women. As a result, Wright has projected his main character, Charlie Salter, as a stereotypical novel hero in the area of romance. Strength is another way in which Wright portrays Charlie Salter as a typical novel hero. Strength comes in many shapes and forms. In the earlier novels Salter was somewhat obese, and definitely out of shape. While laying in bed one morning, he said to his wife, My physique isn’t what it once was. (A Question of Murder pg.24). Immediately after saying this Salter made a vow to himself to get back into the physical condition he once had during his early years on the force. Salter is showing a strong demonstration of mental strength by his motivation to lose weight and get back into shape. In this manner, Salter was unsure as to how he was going to do all this. Losing weight and getting into shape is no easy task. It wasn’t until he had a scheduled interview at a squash club, that he came to devise a method of doing all this. While waiting eagerly in the lounge for the other person to show up he got into talking the club pro. Salter had never played squash in his life, but after a conversation with a pro, he had cajoled himself a free lesson and a free months membership. The pro said, I can give you your lessons after your interview. Salter quickly found a passion for squash. Wright has him playing nearly everyday from the first novel throughout the entire series. Salter was ranked as a D squash player. This means that of all the members in the club, he could get a good game by playing any other D player.To be motivated and determined to do something is a sign of strength. Salter shows this through his every day routine at the squash club, and his efforts on the court.
Finally,Salter had achieved his goal through hard work and dedication of getting himself back into shape Charlie feels happier about himself, and best of all, other people are noticing his new look.
Along with romance and strength,the third and final classification of some novel hero lies under their valor in battle. Salter shows his heroics through wisdom and poise, which in turn helps him get great leads in a case and eventually solve them. In the real world, solving a murder case may be the same as slaying a monstrous dragon, Salter demonstrates his valor by defeating evil and restoring order to society.
Firstly, in Wrights novel, A Question of Murder, Salter had to be very devious to get information from a suspect. Charlie played squash every day with a fellow who was a friend with the victim. Salter would often ask well thought out questions, and then piece together the answer to find more evidence. Before asking the questions Salter already know the answers.Book Series In Order » Characters » Charlie Salter