New PDF release: A companion to crime fiction

By Charles J. Rzepka

ISBN-10: 1405167653

ISBN-13: 9781405167659

A Companion to Crime Fiction provides the definitive consultant to this well known style from its origins within the eighteenth century to the current day

  • A number of forty-seven newly commissioned essays from a crew of major students around the globe make this Companion the definitive advisor to crime fiction
  • Follows the improvement of the style from its origins within the eighteenth century via to its out of the ordinary today's popularity
  • Features  full-length serious essays at the most important authors and film-makers, from Arthur Conan Doyle and Dashiell Hammett to Alfred Hitchcock and Martin Scorsese exploring the ways that they've got formed and prompted the field
  • Includes broad references to the main up to date scholarship, and a accomplished bibliography

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Hard-boiled writing has numerous antecedents – dime novels, Westerns, the frontier romance – but its development as a subgeneric form of crime fiction is indissolubly linked to the founding of Black Mask magazine in 1920. Other pulp magazines soon followed (for example, Dime Detective, Detective Fiction Weekly, Black Aces) but Black Mask was the strongest influence, with its growing reputation for publishing fastpaced, colloquial stories, and promoting “economy of expression” and “authenticity in character and action” (Joseph T.

Significantly, both these texts feature active amateur detectives: in Collins’s novel first Marion Halcombe and then Walter Hartright work to detect the crimes and solve the mysteries posed in the narrative, while in Lady Audley’s Secret the detective role is taken on by Robert Audley, who reveals Lady Audley to be a bigamist and attempted murderess. The sensation novel introduces crime into the middle and upper classes, but cannot permit investigation of that crime by the lower-class police detective.

1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, in which Precious Ramotswe, challenged to demonstrate that competent female detectives do actually exist, invokes the example of Agatha Christie. It is, of course, the country house murder mystery perfected by Christie that is generally taken to embody the essential qualities of the golden age form. Christie’s own career lasted into the 1970s, but the vintage period of classic detection was between the wars, from 1918 until the early 1940s. Some of the writers were American, but this was primarily a British phenomenon – in addition to Christie, such writers as Margery Allingham, Anthony Berkeley (Francis Iles), Michael Innes, Ngaio Marsh, Dorothy L.

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A companion to crime fiction by Charles J. Rzepka

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