" 'Benito Cereno' may look very like a detective story with Delano as a Watson minus Holmes, but, of course, Melville is an artist and "Benito Cereno" is literature; therefore, it is much better than any mere detective story could be." (Swann 317)
I enjoyed how Swann compares "Benito Cereno" to a detective story, only an advanced version of the detective story. Truth be told for those out there that are faithful crime readers, it is almost always guaranteed that the reader will be able to identify the criminal before the detective, or at least keep up with the detective in the story. Melville weaves a tale that mystifies and keeps all in suspense. The reader is effectively fooled into thinking a certain way. We are sure we understand the circumstances of the "crime" taking place, if there is a crime taking place. The reader knows Delano is less than insightful to the goings on around him, the reader knows Delano isn't necessarily all that bright, yet the reader still follows Delano along with the narrator into the misguided belief that Cereno is up to something. This makes "Benio Cereno" a most effective detective story; one which insists on being read again if the readers wishes to see the clues which were left for them to follow.