Of the various psycho-analysts who have discussed the psychology of the detective story only one, Geraldine Pedersen Krag, has put forward a specific hypothesis to account for their popularity. In her article 'Detective Stories and the Primal Scene' (1949) she suggests that it arises from their ability to reawaken the interest and curiosity originally aroused by observation of the primal scene. According to her the murder is a symbolic representation of parental intercourse and

the victim is the parent for whom the reader (the child) had negative oedipal feelings. The clues in the story, disconnected, inexplicable and trifling, represent the child's growing awareness of details it had never understood, such as the family sleeping arrangements, nocturnal sounds, stains, incomprehensible adult jokes and remarks . . . The reader addicted to mystery stories tries actively to relive and master traumatic infantile experiences he once had to endure passively. Becoming the detective, he gratifies his infantile curiosity with impunity, redressing completely the helpless inadequacy and anxious guilt unconsciously remembered from childhood.