This book is one of the first English-language studies to chart the development of crime fiction in French from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day. It analyses the distinctive features of a French-language tradition and introduces readers to a rich and varied body of work. Each chapter examines a specific period, movement or group of writers, as well as engaging with wider debates on the place of crime fiction within contemporary French and European culture. From early twentieth-century pioneers, such as Gaston Leroux and Maurice Leblanc, to the phenomenal success of Georges Simenon, from May 68 to the gender politics of crime fiction and postmodern reinventions, this collection approaches crime fiction in an interdisciplinary manner, alive to the innovative and often critically informed perspective it provides on French society and culture. The book also includes short extracts in English translation and an extensive bibliography of critical material for further reading. Such resources are aimed at encouraging the reader to gain a greater appreciation and understanding of this potent and formidable narrative of modern times.