In the first major study of representations of World War II in French crime fiction, Margaret-Anne Hutton draws on a corpus of over a hundred and fifty texts spanning more than sixty years. Included are well-known writers (male and female) such as Aubert, Simenon, Boileau-Narcejak, Vargas, Daeninckx, and Jonquet, as well as a broad range of lesser-known authors. Hutton's introduction situates her study within the larger framework of literary representations of World War II, setting the stage for her discussions of genre; the problem of defining crimes and criminals in the context of the war; the epistemological issues that arise in the relationship between World War II historiography and the crime novel; and the temporal textures linking past crimes to the present. Filling a gap in the fields of crime fiction and fictional representations of the War, Hutton's book calls into question the way both crime fiction and the French theatre of World War II have been conceptualized and codified.
’Impressive in its span, this lively, authoritative and interesting analysis of crime fiction devoted to the Second World War and Occupation in French is a valuable addition to the critical literature.’ Margaret Atack, University of Leeds, UK ’This is a nuanced and valuable text advocating a much-needed epistemological vigilance in relation to the constitution of crime fiction as a category, and the diachronically and synchronically shifting resonances of the Occupation in literature.’ French Studies ’Given the extent of the corpus it is not surprising that Hutton’s findings result in a rich and thought-provoking discussion not just of the post-war era but of the nature of crime fiction itself.’ New Zealand Journal of French Studies 'The book is impressive in the range of texts considered, is engagingly written and offers an important contribution to the study of recent French crime fiction.' Forum for Modern Language Studies