The Crime Fiction Handbook presents a comprehensive introduction to the origins, development, and cultural significance of the crime fiction genre, focusing mainly on American British, and Scandinavian texts. * Provides an accessible and well-written introduction to the genre of crime fiction * Moves with ease between a general overview of the genre and useful theoretical approaches * Includes a close analysis of the key texts in the crime fiction tradition * Identifies what makes crime fiction of such cultural importance and illuminates the social and political anxieties at its heart. * Shows the similarities and differences between British, American, and Scandinavian crime fiction traditions
Peter Messent is Emeritus Professor of Modern American Literature at the University of Nottingham. A specialist on Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, and crime fiction, he has published numerous books and articles on a variety of nineteenth- and twentieth-century American writers. His most recent publication is the prize-winning book Mark Twain and Male Friendship (2009).
Acknowledgments vii Introductory Note ix Part 1 Introduction 1 Part 2 The Politics, Main Forms, and Key Concerns of Crime Fiction 9 The Politics of Crime Fiction 11 The Types of Crime Fiction 27 Classical Detective Fiction 27 Hard-Boiled Detective Fiction 34 The Police Novel 41 Transgressor Narratives 50 Vision, Supervision, and the City 60 Crime and the Body 75 Gender Matters 85 Representations of Race 96 Part 3 Some KeyWorks in Crime Fiction 107 Edgar Allan Poe: The Murders in the Rue Morgue (1841) 109 Arthur Conan Doyle: The Sign of Four (1890) 116 Agatha Christie: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926) 127 Dashiell Hammett: The Maltese Falcon (1930) 136 Raymond Chandler: The Big Sleep (1939) 143 James M. Cain: Double Indemnity (1936) 151 Patricia Highsmith: The Talented Mr. Ripley (1955) 159 Chester Himes: Cotton Comes to Harlem (1965) 167 Maj Sj owall and Per Wahl o o: The Laughing Policeman (1968) 176 James Ellroy: The Black Dahlia (1987) 187 Thomas Harris: The Silence of the Lambs (1988) 198 Patricia Cornwell: Unnatural Exposure (1997) 208 Ian Rankin: The Naming of the Dead (2006) 218 Stieg Larsson: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2005) 227 End Note 241 References 243 Index 253