184 Pages
    by Routledge

    184 Pages
    by Routledge

    Crime Fiction provides a lively introduction to what is both a wide-ranging and hugely popular literary genre. Using examples from a variety of novels, short stories, films and televisions series, John Scaggs:

    • presents a concise history of crime fiction - from biblical narratives to James Ellroy - broadening the genre to include revenge tragedy and the gothic novel
    • explores the key sub-genres of crime fiction, such as 'Rational Criminal Investigation', The Hard-Boiled Mode', 'The Police Procedural' and 'Historical Crime Fiction'
    • locates texts and their recurring themes and motifs in a wider social and historical context
    • outlines the various critical concepts that are central to the study of crime fiction, including gender, narrative theory and film theory
    • considers contemporary television series like C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation alongside the 'classic' whodunnits of Agatha Christie.

    Accessible and clear, this comprehensive overview is the essential guide for all those studying crime fiction and concludes with a look at future directions for the genre in the twentieth-first century.

    Introduction  Chapter 1. A Chronology of Crime: Early Crime Narratives  Crime Stories as Cautionary Tales  Crime Fiction and Policing  The Golden Age to the Present  Chapter 2. Mystery and Detective Fiction: Retracing the Steps  The Origins of Mystery Fiction  Reasoning Machines: The Figure of the Amateur Detective  Escalating Crimes: From Purloined Letters to Murder  Maintaining Social Order and the Status Quo  Settings and Sub-Genres  Chapter 3. The Hard-boiled Mode: Murder for a Reason  Origins and Development  A Shop-Soiled Galahad: The Private Eye Hero  Last Chances and New Beginnings: The Myth of the Frontier  Mean Streets and Rat's Alleys: Modernity and the City  Fallen Angels: Appropriation of the Hard-Boiled Mode  Chapter 4. The Police Procedural: Thin Blue Lines  Fiction as Ideological State Apparatus  Private Eye to Public Eye: The Development of the Procedural  Textual Investigations: Characteristics of the Procedural, Social Placebo  The Magic Bullet of Procedural Reassurance  Arrested Developments: Appropriations of the Procedural  Chapter 5. The Crime Thriller: Outlining the Crime Thriller  The Noir Thriller  The Anti-Conspiracy Thriller  6. Historical Crime Fiction: Writing History and Interpreting the Past  Crime, History and Realism  The Case of the Name of the Rose  Postmodernism and the Anti-Detective Novel


    John Scaggs is a Lecturer in the Department of English at Mary Immaculate College in Limerick, Ireland. His research interests include Modern Fiction, with a particular emphasis on crime fiction and revenge tragedy, the Gothic and Literary Theory.

    'Crime Fiction presents a digestible yet highly informative and intricate analysis of the genre. It is a valuable resourse for mystery and detective aficionados in addition to scholars' - Amy C. Branman, In-between