A New Mystery Era Has Begun

Prepare for Juan Diego’s production of “Clue” with an investigation on contemporary and classic detective figures.


Sherlock Holmes. Hercule Poirot. Nancy Drew. Since the 19th century, the mystery novel genre has been fueled by the gripping twists and epic adventures of these iconic figures, captivating readers of all ages. 


What makes each mystery a thrill of its own is the quick speculative glance by Holmes, the direct confrontation by Poirot, or the dangerous risks taken by Drew that theatrically reveal the culprit of the crime (and let’s not forget the black and white rewinds of the murderer’s criminal activity during the detectives’ verdicts). 


Over time, these characters have managed to surpass the literary world to inspire popular TV shows and films based on the original stories. In more recent years, however, the mystery genre has expanded to include new and radical detectives into the streaming platform, bringing forth their own mystery as to whether they clash or resemble the timeless figures.


In preparation for Juan Diego’s upcoming “Clue” production from March 2nd to March 5th , contemporary detectives will be compared to the timeless classics to determine whether they present a revolutionary approach to the mystery genre, or if they are just modern inspirations from the timely classics.

The Juan Diego Theater Company poses in their iconic characters for the upcoming production of “Clue”, a play for the mystery enthusiasts of all ages!

Sherlock Holmes and Wednesday Addams


Though not particularly regarded as a professional detective, the new television series “Wednesday”, which was released on Netflix during November of 2022, presented the popular guillotine-enthusiast Wednesday Addams (Jenna Ortega) as a private detective in the entangled myths surrounding the Northeastern town of Jericho.

Hailing from 221b Baker Street, private detective Sherlock Holmes and his fellow Dr. Watson have ventured into the underground criminal world since 1887, ready to solve only the most outlandish cases the world can offer. 


These timely detectives, created by author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, have been adapted into numerous films and series, most notably “Sherlock Holmes” (2009) and “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” (2011), starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law as Holmes and Dr. Watson, respectively.

And in 2010, the debut of the BBC series “Sherlock” starred Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as Sherlock and Dr. Watson followed the tracks of the malicious Moriarty (Andrew Scott) amongst their peculiar cases.

Both Wednesday and Holmes are notoriously void of emotion, piloting their investigations under pure rationality and cold evidence.


However, Wednesday Addams seems to be directly involved with the crime and evolves by developing personal connections with her potential suspects, clashing with Holmes’ sheltered view of the crime as a mere puzzle (although an emotional side of Holmes is revealed in the “Sherlock” TV series). 


Wednesday and Sherlock both uncover the crime by investigating the inner workings of the case, although Wednesday brings a new perspective to the mystery genre by including her personal evolution throughout the investigation (with her torturing hobbies pertaining to the well-known “The Addams Family” movie franchise).


Hercule Poirot and Benoit Blanc


Out of the 81 stories written by Agatha Christie, her beloved Hercule Poirot with his fine Belgian-French accent and his even finer mustache has helped solve many of her imaginative murder cases, ranging from the Nile River in Egypt (“Death on the Nile”, recently adapted to a film starring Kenneth Branagh in 2022) to the seemingly pleasant village of King’s Abbot in England in “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd” (1926).

In 2019, director Rian Johnson and his Golden Globe-nominated film “Knives Out” (2019) and his “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” (2022) sequel brought forth the world-renowned Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig), an American detective with a charming accent that uncovers the “shenanigans” of the family feuds surrounding the murders.


Both detectives solve their crimes by way of “contextualizing” with the perspectives of each suspect. However, Poirot seems to find rationality in a certain “thread of events” throughout the investigation, while Blanc contemplates the chaos of the knotted crime before pinpointing the guilty party in the “grand finale”.


And while Poirot sees all of the guests as suspects, Blanc employs the help of unattached family members to solve the crime, a somewhat revolutionary approach to the “sidekick” aspect of detective stories. 


Thus, the direct involvement between Blanc and his suspects distinguishes him as a relatively new detective, though still tied to Poirot’s “confrontational” method.


The Spitzes and Nancy Drew


Debuting in 2019, Nick and Audrey Spitz (Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston, respectively) starred in the comedy “Murder Mystery”, where they both jump into a perfectly constructed set of characters on a yacht strategically isolated on the Mediterranean sea for a murder to take place, which is ultimately the case. 

On the other hand, Nancy Drew has been a beloved favorite of young audiences for over 50 years (although she surprisingly never ages), solving a number of local crimes ranging from missing objects to lost treasure. 


In 2007,  “Nancy Drew” (starring Emma Roberts) and the 2019 “Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase” (starring Sophia Lillis) adapted the mystery series to the television format. 


It may seem like a strange comparison, but both the Spitzes and Drew take dauntless leaps to unmask the final culprit in relatively unrealistic scenarios. However, Nancy Drew stays relatively prepared for solving the crimes that she signs up for, while the Spitzes unintentionally embark on their mystery adventures (as they can’t refuse a yacht trip to take the place of a bus full of tourists), thus bringing the “comedy” side of the mystery. 


While their detective skills are somewhat unconventional, the Spitzes will return to Netflix with the new “Murder Mystery 2” being released on March 31rst, 2023.

The Spitzes can be considered the more radical new line of “detectives” in the mystery genre, though they follow the same risk-taking path as the more timeless examples.   


With the ever-present Barnes & Noble raids and binge-watching sessions, be sure to look out for these new detectives on your streaming platforms, and get ready for the mystery mayhem of Juan Diego’s “Clue” production to begin!