McFarland), the issue is available on Kindle and Google Play.
Introduction: In Conversation
Janice M. Allan (University of Salford)
The executive editor of Clues discusses the contents of the
issue, including analyses of works by E. C. Bentley, Benjamin Black, Andrea
Camilleri, Leslie Charteris, Agatha Christie, Tana French, Dashiell Hammett, and
Herman Melville, and the TV series True Detective.
“The Impotence of
E. C. Bentley’s Trent's Last Case and
the Antidetective Text
Nathan Ashman (University of Surrey)
This article considers the subversion of the analytical detective format in E. C.
Bentley’s Trent's Last Case (1913). Exploring the text’s problematization of concepts such as logic and reason as
well as its disruption of the detective’s ocularcentric interpretative
framework, the author highlights the ways in which Trent’s Last Case unsettles delineations between the classic
analytic detective story and the metaphysical or antidetective text.
Watchful Eyes and Smiling Masks in The Maltese Falcon
article calls attention to the more than 250 references to eyes and their
pervasive role in Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon, arguing that
the novel portrays a world in which trying to see past duplicity,
dissimulation, and role playing of others, while seeking to hide one’s own, is
Labyrinths of Uncertainty:
True Detective and the Metaphysics of Investigation
Paul Sheehan and Lauren Alice (Macquarie University)
This article outlines some of the salient
features and ad hoc history of metaphysical detective fiction (MPDF). Using True Detective season 1 as a case
study, it explores how the series takes advantage of new programming freedoms to dramatize MPDF for a “broadcast literature” audience.
“A wholly other world of things, hidden”:
Benjamin Black’s and Tana French’s Criminal Worlds
Kersti Tarien Powell (Saint Joseph's University)
essay examines the recent success of Irish crime fiction through the works of
Tana French and John Banville/Benjamin Black. Whereas the classic detective
novel seeks to narrow multiple possibilities down to one determinate solution,
French and Black resist this narrative pattern. In so doing, their novels both
reclaim and reinvent the Irish literary tradition.
Crime Stories and Urban Fantasy
Stefan Ekman (University of Gothenburg)
Among the many unexplored areas of urban fantasy is its relation to crime fiction.
This article explores how features of the crime story are used to emphasize,
reinforce, or introduce urban fantasy’s social commentary. It looks at the
genres’ relationship, analyzing three urban fantasies and their respective
crime fiction elements.
Camilleri’s Montalbano: Aging,
Nostalgia, and the Midlife Crisis
Derek Kolsky (University of Melbourne)
Salvo Montalbano, the protagonist of
Andrea Camilleri’s detective series, goes through a midlife crisis that creates
a biographical and ideological line of separation between the earlier and later
novels, resulting in a new emphasis on the personal in the form of fleeting
passionate engagements and less on social commitment.
Parallel Lives, Parallel Worlds: Leslie Charteris and
article examines the close relationship between author and character in the
fiction of Leslie Charteris. Charteris created his thriller hero, Simon Templar
or “the Saint,” as an image of what he was and what he would like to have been.
Templar’s activities, attitudes, and multifaceted nature strongly reflect the
life, experience, and emotions of his creator.
“Tea and scandal at four-thirty”: Fantasies of Englishness and Agatha Christie’s Fiction of the 1930s and 1940s
Through examining the ways in which three of Agatha Christie’s novels expose the imperial underpinnings of
the English village, invert ideas regarding miscegenous relationships and
spotlight the decline of the English ancestral estate, this article reassesses
Christie’s articulation of English national identity, arguing that her
relationship with established notions of Englishness is more ambivalent than is
A Strange Night in a Strange House:
The Country House as Queer Space in Interwar Mystery Fiction
Charlotte Charteris (Churchill College, University of Cambridge)
Drawing on Barry McCrea’s work on Arthur Conan Doyle, this article challenges claims that the interwar
country-house mystery arose from reactionary nostalgia for a “dead” institution.
Responding not to a sudden death but to a slow decline, the form in fact
facilitated the country house’s reconfiguration as a biologically sterile but
narratively generative queer space.
African American Crime and Physiognomic Detection in Herman Melville’s Benito Cereno Brian Baaki (Rutgers University)
Placing Herman Melville’s historical novel Benito Cereno (1855) in the
context of the antebellum north, this essay explores its representation of
criminal detection. Melville’s novella mainly relates the thoughts and
perceptions of American sea captain Amasa Delano who, suspecting some sort of
plot or treachery aboard a strange ship, employs a method of detection that
evokes physiognomic theories developed near the time of the story’s setting in
the late-eighteenth century.
Yan Zi-Ling. Economic Investigations in
Twentieth-Century Detective Fiction: Expenditure, Labor, Value. Mary
Susanna Lee. Hard-Boiled
Crime Fiction and the Decline of Moral Authority Annika R. P. Deutsch
Snyder. John le Carré’s Post-Cold War
Fiction. David Seed
Enrico Minardi and Jennifer Byron, eds. Out of Deadlock: Female Emancipation in Sara Paretsky's V. I. Warshawski Novels and Her Influence on Contemporary Crime Fiction. Susan Rowland
Carolina Miranda, Jean Anderson, and Barbara Pezzotti, eds. Serial Crime Fiction: Dying for More. Jennifer Schnabel
Kecia Ali. Human in Death: Morality and Mortality in J. D. Robb's Novels Heta Pyrhönen
Susan Rowland. The Sleuth and the Goddess: Hestia, Artemis,
Athena and Aphrodite in Women’s Detective Fiction. Phyllis M. Betz
Index to Volume 35