The noir-o-meter tends to agree with Maltby's formulation--the films where there seems to be the greatest amount of treachery and shifting loyalties are the ones that rank the highest. BUT, the melodrama elements are more in control of what's described here, so they are the transmitters of the emotional/psychological "energy," if you will, within the film itself.
One of the many still-unpublished PhD theses on noir deal's with the "helper male" in "women in peril" films. What would be interesting to determine is the shape of the "noir footprint" within the interrelationships of those noir elements depending on which character is performing the investigative role in the film. In LOST MOMENT and GASLIGHT, it's the male character; in SECRET BEYOND THE DOOR and SUDDEN FEAR, it's the female.
My sense is that the films with women in peril who nonetheless are the activating agents of the investigative aspect of the plot (the counteraction to the "plot," so to speak) are the ones that will grade higher in the noir-o-meter.
In their different ways, both Wittgenstein and film noir highlight the fact that different sorts of puzzles require different methods for their resolutions. In its elevation of science as the exclusive source of knowledge, modern society and its advocates—including groups like The London Detection Club or philosophical schools like logical positivism—have wrongly taken science as the only correct model for solving epistemological problems.
Of course not all noirs are about detection, some are simply about some kind of conflict that turns deadly. NIGHT AND THE CITY, for example, has no detective of any kind, but it has a world of treachery. Treachery and duplicity can clearly lead to "epistemological problems" and affect decisions and actions that might otherwise not lead to murder, mayhem, etc. But all of that is also to be found in gangster films, which are often distinct from noir. Miscommunication between the sexes can lead to jealousy and betrayal, escalating levels of emotional violence that can lead to death or escalating peril (physical and/or psychologicai), which is the region of what we sometimes call "superheated melodrama," such as what we see in a film like THE PASSIONATE FRIENDS, where the "helper male" is clueless and ultimately tainted by chance events that are misinterpreted, and it is up to the male figure who has escalated the peril through actions based on those misinterpretations to "see through" them and attempt to take remedial action.