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A Companion to Crime Fiction

Charles J. Rzepka (Editor), Lee Horsley (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-4051-6765-9
648 pages
March 2010, Wiley-Blackwell
A Companion to Crime Fiction (1405167653) cover image
A Companion to Crime Fiction presents the definitive guide to this popular genre from its origins in the eighteenth century to the present day

  • A collection of forty-seven newly commissioned essays from a team of leading scholars across the globe make this Companion the definitive guide to crime fiction
  • Follows the development of the genre from its origins in the eighteenth century through to its phenomenal present day popularity
  • Features  full-length critical essays on the most significant authors and film-makers, from Arthur Conan Doyle and Dashiell Hammett to Alfred Hitchcock and Martin Scorsese exploring the ways in which they have shaped and influenced the field
  • Includes extensive references to the most up-to-date scholarship, and a comprehensive bibliography

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List of Figures ix

Notes on Contributors xi

Introduction: What Is Crime Fiction? 1
Charles J. Rzepka

Part I History, Criticism, Culture 11

1 From The Newgate Calendar to Sherlock Holmes 13
Heather Worthington

2 From Sherlock Holmes to the Present 28
Lee Horsley

3 Criticism and Theory 43
Heta Pyrhönen

4 Crime and the Mass Media 57
Alain Silver and James Ursini

5 Crime Fiction and the Literary Canon 76
Joel Black

Part II Genre of a Thousand Faces 91

6 The Newgate Novel and the Police Casebook 93
Lauren Gillingham

7 From Sensation to the Strand 105
Christopher Pittard

8 The “Classical” Model of the Golden Age 117
Susan Rowland

9 Early American Crime Fiction: Origins to Urban Gothic 128
Alexander Moudrov

10 The “Hard-boiled” Genre 140
Andrew Pepper

11 The Pursuit of Crime: Characters in Crime Fiction 152
Carl Malmgren

12 Crime, Forensics, and Modern Science 164
Sarah Dauncey

13 The Police Novel 175
Peter Messent

14 Noir and the Psycho Thriller 187
Philip Simpson

15 True Crime 198
David Schmid

16 Gangs and Mobs 210
Jonathan Munby

17 Historical Crime and Detection 222
Ray B. Browne

18 Crime and the Spy Genre 233
David Seed

19 Crime and the Gothic 245
Catherine Spooner

20 Feminist Crime Fiction and Female Sleuths 258
Adrienne E. Gavin

21 African-American Detection and Crime Fiction 270
Frankie Bailey

22 Ethnic Postcolonial Crime and Detection (Anglophone) 283
Ed Christian

23 Crime Writing in Other Languages 296
Sue Neale

24 Postmodern and Metaphysical Detection 308
Patricia Merivale

25 Crime and Detective Literature for Young Readers 321
Christopher Routledge

26 Crime in Comics and the Graphic Novel 332
Arthur Fried

27 Criminal Investigation on Film 344
Philippa Gates

Part III Artists at Work 357

Fiction 359

28 William Godwin (1756–1836) 361
Philip Shaw

29 Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849) 369
Maurice S. Lee

30 Wilkie Collins (1824–1889) 381
Andrew Mangham

31 Arthur Conan Doyle (1859–1930) 390
John A. Hodgson

32 Raymond Chandler (1888–1959) 403
Leroy Lad Panek

33 Agatha Christie (1890–1976) 415
Merja Makinen

34 James M. Cain (1892–1977) 427
William Marling

35 Dorothy L. Sayers (1893–1957) 438
Esme Miskimmin

36 Dashiell Hammett (1894–1961) 450
Jasmine Yong Hall

37 Jorge Luis Borges (1899–1986) 462
Alicia Borinsky

38 Chester Himes (1909–1984) 475
Stephen Soitos

39 David Goodis (1917–1967) 487
David Schmid

40 P. D. James (1920–) 495
Louise Harrington

41 Patricia Highsmith (1921–1995) 503
Bran Nicol

42 Elmore Leonard (1925–) 510
Charles J. Rzepka

43 Sara Paretsky (1947–) 523
Malcah Effron

44 Walter Mosley (1952–) 531
John Gruesser

Film 539

45 Alfred Hitchcock (1899–1980) 541
Nick Haeffner

46 Martin Scorsese (1942–) 553
Mark Desmond Nicholls

47 John Woo (1946–) 562
Karen Fang

Conclusion 570
Charles J. Rzepka and Lee Horsley

References 574

Index 599

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Charles Rzepka is Professor of English at Boston University, where he teaches and writes on British Romanticism, popular culture, and detective and crime fiction.   His publications include The Self as Mind (1986), Sacramental Commodities (1995), Detective Fiction (2005), and Essays, Inventions, Interventions (2010).

Lee Horsley is Reader in Literature and Culture at Lancaster University, where she teaches two specialist crime courses. Her publications include Political Fiction and the Historical Imagination (1990), Fictions of Power in English Literature 1900-1950 (1995) Twentieth-Century Crime Fiction (2005), and an expanded paperback edition of the 2001 publication The Noir Thriller (2009).

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  • A collection of forty-seven newly commissioned essays from a team of leading scholars across the globe make this Companion the definitive guide to crime fiction
  • Follows the development of the genre from its origins in the eighteenth century through to its phenomenal present day popularity
  • Features  full-length critical essays on the most significant authors and film-makers, from Arthur Conan Doyle and Dashiell Hammett to Alfred Hitchcock and Martin Scorsese exploring the ways in which they have shaped and influenced the field
  • Includes extensive references to the most up-to-date scholarship, and a comprehensive bibliography
See More
"Including a helpful introduction by Rzepka and conclusion by both editors, the volume is a welcome addition to the impressive "Blackwell Companion to Literature and Culture" series and to scholarship on crime and detective literature. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals; general readers. " (Choice, 1July 2011)

"Whilst the editors admit that the collection is not entirely representative (there is no mention of Japanese manga, for instance, or any consideration of hybrids of crime and science fiction), this companion offers an encyclopaedic account of crime fiction and its generic cross-fertilisations, and is an essential guide for students and scholars alike." (Routledge ABES, 2011)

"This substantial and informative book covers a wide variety of themes within the genre and also a long time span from the eighteenth century to the present . . . It will give all aficionados of the genre hours of enjoyment. It is indeed a trusty companion that will entertain and add to our knowledge." (Reference Reviews, 2011)

"It will give all aficionados of the genre hours of enjoyment. It is indeed a trusty companion that will entertain and add to our knowledge." (Languages & Literature, 2011)

"Several of the contributors praise books and authors long out of print. Hopefully, this companion will encourage readers and librarians to hunt them down and enjoy." (Book News, 1 March 2011)

"In all, despite its shortcomings in terms of narratology and a few logical inconsistencies, Rzepka and Horsley's Companion to Crime Fiction offers a broad-ranging and well-argued introduction to this field of popular culture. Beginning students will certainly profit from its thematic diversity and wide historical reach." (Kult Online, 2011)

"A Companion to Crime Fiction goes into enormous detail but is reasonably easy to read.  It is not an academic-styled book but a guide to how crime fiction has developed over time to accommodate an increasingly demanding audience/reader.  With essays from some of the most educated scholars in this field of research, the reader gains a greater understanding in terms of a general overview of the genre, individual authors and producers of film, the blurred lines between crime fiction and other genres and an in depth, well researched analysis of crime fiction itself." (M/C Reviews, November 2010)

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