|Dover ed. of Braddon's|
Lady Audley's Secret
Monday, May 23, 2022
Monday, May 16, 2022
Monday, May 09, 2022
Monday, May 02, 2022
Monday, April 25, 2022
Bonuses for Nancy Drew and Patricia Moyes fans: There's a piece on the girl sleuth plus Moyes's novel Falling Star in the issue. Also, pp. 62–63 features a photo that includes Edgar awardees of that year and other MWA members. Among the luminaries, one can spot Clayton Rawson, Hillary Waugh, and Lawrence Treat in the back; Stout and Dorothy Salisbury Davis in the middle; Howard Haycraft in the front row at left; and Phyllis Whitney in the front row at right.
Monday, April 18, 2022
Monday, April 11, 2022
Volume 40, no. 1 (2022) of Clues: A Journal of Detection—a theme issue on historical crime fiction guest edited by Rosemary Erickson Johnsen—has been published. The issue abstracts follow below; contact McFarland to order a print copy.
We are happy to have the essay of professor emeritus Fred Erisman, who was a contributor to the first issue of Clues in 1980. Unfortunately, I do not have an update on our Ukrainian contributor who had to flee her town due to Russian bombing.
Historical Crime Fiction: A Cushion on the Seat
ROSEMARY ERICKSON JOHNSEN (Governors State Univ)
The guest editor of Clues 40.1 on historical crime fiction provides a brief history of related scholarship and discusses post–WWI India-set series by Massey and Mukherjee as representative of emerging trends. She previews the issue's articles on mysteries set in China, India, Latin America, Ukraine, and the United States.
CAROLINE REITZ (John Jay College of Criminal Justice–CUNY/CUNY Graduate Center)
Caroline Reitz, the executive editor of Clues, discusses two essays that appear in Clues 40.1 and a new call for submissions on pedagogy.
Rebecca Harding Davis and Early Women’s Detective Fiction
ALICIA MISCHA RENFROE (Middle Tennessee State Univ)
In Peterson’s Magazine, Rebecca Harding Davis developed one of American fiction’s earliest recurring detective figures in several mysteries that foreground the antebellum South as a historical setting. These stories illustrate the genre’s productive intersection with the gothic, destabilize narratives of the past, and complicate the detective’s traditional role in restoring social order.
Hardball Speaks to Our Hard Times
MARGARET J. OAKES (Furman Univ)
The settings of Sara Paretsky’s Hardball are Chicago’s glittering but decrepit political scene in the late 2000s and an open housing march led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1966 that became volatile and violent. Hardball’s instructional text shows the contemporary consequences of systemic racism stemming from Jim Crow laws, the development of police power, and waves of immigration.
Investigating Mexico’s History with Paco Ignacio Taibo II and Detective Héctor Belascoarán Shayne: On Which Side Are You?
PATRICIA VARAS (Willamette Univ)
This essay examines Paco Ignacio Taibo II’s approach to history as an effort to capture or rewrite well-known yet forgotten episodes in Mexican history. By retelling the 1971 Corpus Christi student massacre, channeling Pancho Villa’s ghost, and recovering Aztec artifacts in his novels, he ensures that his readers will not forget this history, providing a controversial insight into today’s Mexico.
Ukrainian Hero and the Habsburg Monarchy:
Retro Visions in Contemporary Ukrainian Historical Detective Fiction
SOFIYA FILONENKO (Berdyansk State Pedagogical Univ)
The series by contemporary Ukrainian writer Bogdan Kolomiychuk presents the adventures of police officer Adam Vistovych in Lviv (aka Lemberg). The author’s depiction of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the early-twentieth century and its colony—Ukraine—highlights the social, political, national, and historical aspects of the mystery genre.
“The Truth Is Rarely Pure and Never Simple”: The Kidnapping of Charley Ross in Fact and Fiction
PHYLLIS M. BETZ (La Salle Univ)
This article compares the differences between Carrie Hagen’s nonfiction reconstruction of the 1874 kidnapping of Charley Ross and Mark Graham’s use of this event in his historical mystery. The main emphasis is how details of the actual event are altered to fit the requirements of each narrative form.
The Transcultural Construction of a Historical Chinese Murder Case: The Ninefold Murder
SABRINA YUAN HAO (Guangdong Univ of Foreign Studies)
This article explores the cross-cultural adaptations of a historical Chinese murder case. Focusing on three key texts published by An He in 1809, Wu Jianren in 1904, and Robert van Gulik in 1958, it investigates the potential of historicity to be used by authors of crime fiction to address concerns of their own times.
Abir Mukherjee’s Historical Crime Novels and the Contemporary Postcolonial
MOLLY SLAVIN (Georgia Inst of Technology)
Abir Mukherjee’s historical crime novels set in the British Raj interrogate colonial structures of violence. The author argues that Mukherjee uses these novels to riff on Golden Age detective novel tropes and communicate knowledge about imperialism, history, and postcolonialism to mass market detective novel readers in the twenty-first-century.
The Cultural Ideology of the Great War–Haunted British Detective in Historical Crime Fiction
MARZENA SOKOŁOWSKA-PARYŻ (Univ of Warsaw)
This article examines the cultural ideology underlying the constructions of the war-haunted detective in the historical crime fiction series by Rennie Airth, Jonathan Hicks, Charles Todd, and Jacqueline Winspear. These (re)imaginings of the Great War demonstrate the capacity of this literary genre to perpetuate the futility myth in the contemporary cultural memory of the 1914–18 British experience.
Time and Detective Novels: Exploring the Past and the Night in Ian Rankin’s John Rebus Series
IAN R. COOK (Northumbia Univ)
Given that time is an important theme within detective novels, this article explores the portrayal of time in Ian Rankin’s John Rebus series. More precisely, it draws on the concepts of temporality and relationality to critically examine two important temporal dimensions in the series: the past and the night.
Dick Francis and the Fine Arts
FRED ERISMAN (Texas Christian Univ)
Apart from P. D. James with Adam Dalgleish, mystery authors have rarely used an artist as their protagonist. Between 1972 and 2000, Dick Francis wrote seven such books, contrasting the artist’s world with the professional detective’s and exploring ways in which art equips the amateur to be as effective a crime-solving entity as the professional.
Donald K. Hartman, Ed. The Hypno-Ripper ELYSSA WARKENTIN (Univ of Manitoba)
Steven Powell, Ed. The Big Somewhere: Essays on James Ellroy’s Noir World DEIRDRE CONDIT (Virginia Commonwealth Univ)
Janice Allan, Jesper Gulddal, Stewart King, and Andrew Pepper, Eds. The Routledge Companion to Crime Fiction ROSA HARO FERNÁNDEZ (Univ of Málaga)
Phyllis M. Betz, Ed. Reading the Cozy Mystery: Critical Essays on an Underappreciated Subgenre PAMELA BEDORE (Univ of Connecticut–Avery Point)
Monday, April 04, 2022
|The Phantom of the Opera by |
Gaston Leroux, part of the
UNC Libraries exhibition
Monday, March 28, 2022
Bookmaven on tumblr features 1970s covers by artist Tom Adams of various works by Raymond Chandler. Adams (1926–2019) was also known for his covers of Agatha Christie titles.
|A 2016 collection of Tom Adams covers|
|Cover by Tom Adams of |
Chandler's Pickup on Noon Street
Monday, March 21, 2022
Monday, March 14, 2022
Also out, according to Film Score Daily: the Maurice Jarre-composed score to the spoof Top Secret!.
Monday, March 07, 2022
Monday, February 28, 2022
- The Phantom (based on "The Flaming Phantom" by Jacques Futrelle featuring the Thinking Machine)
- Poirot and the Egyptian Curse (based on "The Adventure of the Egyptian Tomb" by Agatha Christie)
- Poirot Makes a Wager (based on "The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim" by Agatha Christie)
- The Tenth Clue (based on the Continental Op story by Dashiell Hammett)
- Who Killed Bobby Teal? (based on "Who Killed Bob Teal?" by Dashiell Hammett)
Monday, February 21, 2022
|"Rubout" by Allen|
Anderson. New Britain
Museum of American Art
Monday, February 14, 2022
Monday, February 07, 2022
The online exhibition "Books, Bohemians and Baker Street: A Study in Sherlock in Special Collections" at University of Delaware Library features items in the library collections related to the Arthur Conan Doyle story "A Scandal in Bohemia," some unusual items pertaining to Sherlock Holmes (such as Julian Symons's speculation, "Did Sherlock Holmes Meet Hercule...?"), and letters from Conan Doyle.
Monday, January 31, 2022
The following exhibitions just opened at the Toronto Public Library:
|Poster for Sherlock Holmes |
with William Gillette, 1901.
Arthur Conan Doyle Collection,
Toronto Public Library
• "Cracking the Case: Sleuths in Speculative Fiction" (Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation and Fantasy, Lillian H. Smith Library, Toronto Public Library; runs through April 2, 2022). See digitized items from the collection here.
• "A Study in Sherlock and His Creator: 50 Years of the Arthur Conan Doyle Collection" (TD Gallery, Toronto Reference Library). See digitized items from the collection here.
Monday, January 24, 2022
The "Mapping Fiction" exhibition at Los Angeles' Huntington Library features the role of maps in fiction and is on view until May 2. It includes Loren Latker's "Shamus Town" map of the Raymond Chandler Mystery Map of Los Angeles and an orange crate label from Tarzana Hills (originally named in honor of Edgar Rice Burroughs's Tarzan).
Monday, January 17, 2022
|Illustration by Frederic Dorr Steele from "The Physician Who Healed Himself" |
by E. W. Hornung. Everybody's Magazine, May 1913, p. 599.
On the Interesting Literature blog, Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University) discusses criminal psychologist John Dollar, created by Arthur Conan Doyle's brother-in-law E. W. Hornung. The Dollar stories can be read here.
Monday, January 10, 2022
|Avery Hopwood with dancer Rose Rolanda, n.d. |
Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Div
Monday, January 03, 2022
Monday, December 27, 2021
Monday, December 20, 2021
• Letters and an "idea book" from Arthur Conan Doyle
• A handwritten speech with Conan Doyle's explanation for killing off Holmes
• Original artwork of Holmes by British and US illustrators
• A pirated edition of The Sign of the Four
An exhibition catalog is available.
Monday, December 13, 2021
Monday, December 06, 2021
Monday, November 29, 2021
|Sketch of William Burke. From George MacGregor, The History of Burke and Hare and of the Resurrectionist Times (1884) |
Tuesday, November 23, 2021
Monday, November 15, 2021
|Panek's last book|
His last book is the newly published Nineteenth Century Detective Fiction: An Analytical History. His other works include the following:
• The American Police Novel: A History (Edgar nominee)
• Early American Detective Stories: An Anthology (ed. with Mary Bendel-Simso)
• The Essential Elements of the Detective Story, 1820–1891 (coauthored with Bendel-Simso)
• Introduction to the Detective Story (Edgar winner)
Panek's Westminster Detective Library (a project with Bendel-Simso) is an invaluable online repository of short detective works published in the United States prior to 1891.
Monday, November 08, 2021
|"These two figures crossed the floor diagonally." Illustration from Sheridan Le Fanu's "Mr. Justice Harbottle," Harper's Bazaar, February 1872. NYPL|
Catching up with the blog on the Wordsworth Editions website:
- David Stuart Davies discusses the career of Wilkie Collins: "Remarkably, The Moonstone received a somewhat cool reception from
the critics. Even Collins’s friend Dickens was of the opinion that,
‘The construction is wearisome beyond endurance, and there is a vein of
obstinate conceit in it that makes enemies of the readers.'"
- Stephen Carter examines the work of legendary Irish ghost story writer Sheridan Le Fanu: "Le Fanu’s reputation was crowded out of Victorian literature by his contemporaries, Dickens, Thackeray, Wilkie Collins, and the Brontës; all of whom he in some form influenced and whose sales he frequently rivalled."
I'm looking forward to Davies's upcoming post on Edgar Wallace.
Monday, November 01, 2021
West Virginia University's Downtown Library is offering the new online exhibition "American Dime Novel: Racialization/Erasure" that focuses on ethnic and racial stereotypes in dime novels. Mystery-related items include the following:
- Tiger Dick, the Faro King; or, The Cashier's Crime (1878) by Philip S. Warne (the mixed-race Warne may be the earliest African American mystery writer)
- Darkie Dan, the Colored Detective (1881) by Prentiss Ingraham
- Chin Chin the Chinese Detective; or, the Dark Work of the Black Hand (1887) by Albert W. Aiken
- Nick Carter's Well Laid Plot (1909)
- The Black Hand Nemesis (1909)
Also included: Maum Guinea and Her Plantation Children (1861) by Metta Fuller Victor, which had a similar effect in Britain about the evils of slavery that Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin had in the United States. Victor wrote the first U.S. detective novel: The Dead Letter (1864).
Nancy Caronia, the curator of the exhibition and a teaching associate professor in WVU's Department of English, will be giving a free, virtual presentation about the exhibition on November 4.