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Introduction: “The Warp and Woof of Every Moment”
CAROLINE REITZ (John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY Graduate Center)
The executive editor of Clues provides an overview of the issue, including articles on Chilean crime fiction, on Batman, and on detective fiction and philosophy;a Teaching Forum on the relationship of crime fiction and creative writing; and articles on authors Sherman Alexie, Michael Connelly, Craig Johnson, Kevin Major, and Louise Penny.
Spotlight on... Detective Fiction in Chile: Developments in the Genre
KATE M. QUINN (Univ of Galway, Ireland)
This article discusses the consolidation in the 1990s of Chile’s neopolicial works that combine hard-boiled and political elements, reassesses earlier twentieth- century genre writers, and examines the wider diversity of production up to the present day. It considers the conditions of genre production in Chile and the challenge of wider access to international readers.
“Still harping on daughters”: Maddie in Michael Connelly’s Hieronymus Bosch Series
HEATHER DUBROW (Fordham Univ)
In Michael Connelly’s books about detective Hieronymus Bosch, Bosch’s daughter Maddie is closely connected to many preoccupations of the series even when a seemingly minor presence. Romance texts such as Arthurian narratives and Spenser’s Faerie Queene are the best keys to interpreting Maddie’s roles in the series and larger questions about crime fiction.
From Alexie’s Indian Killer to Johnson’s Longmire Series: Expanding the Landscape of the American Indian Detective Novel
ELIZABETH ABELE (Gulf Univ for Science & Technology, Kuwait)
The essay examines Sherman Alexie’s Indian Killer, a crime novel that critiques Native American culture mediated through White American commerce, authors, and academics, as well as Craig Johnson’s Longmire series as a development and a departure from American Indian crime fiction in the late-twentieth century.
“Not everything buried is actually dead”:
The Detective as Historian in Louise Penny’s Bury Your Dead (2010)
AOILEANN NÍ ÉIGEARTAIGH (Dundalk Inst of Technology, Ireland)
Louise Penny’s Bury Your Dead (2010) inserts a Francophone detective into the heart of English culture in Québec, facilitating an investigation of historical Québécois tensions between the communities. Inspector Gamache’s resolution of the case suggests that acknowledging these cultural differences and finding a way to compromise are characteristics that continue to distinguish contemporary Canadian society.
Sunset Tourism in Kevin Major’s One for the Rock, Two for the Tablelands, and Three for Trinity: Travel and Identity in Three Newfoundland and Labrador Crime Novels
TOM HALFORD (Memorial Univ of Newfoundland, Canada)
This essay considers the complex relationship among crime fiction, tourism, and identity in One for the Rock, Two for the Tablelands, and Three for Trinity by Kevin Major, which are set in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Major flirts with the concept of dark tourism as he takes readers into sites of loss and trauma but ultimately is more invested in highlighting and preserving aspects of provincial identity.
Chiaroscuro: Gilles Deleuze, Ernst Bloch, and the Philosophy of Detective Fiction
GRAY KOCHHAR-LINDGREN (Univ of Hong Kong)
Philosophy and detective fiction have relied on a regime of truth in which the darkness of crime is brought into the light of knowledge through a rational process of reconstructing clues toward a telos of explanation. The oscillations of noir—a dynamic play of the differential forces of darkness and light—keep reading, writing, and thinking in play.
Riddle Me This: The Batman (2022) as Metaphysical Detective Fiction
DANIEL CARRIGY (Alphacrucia Univ College, Australia)
This article examines Matt Reeves’ The Batman (2022) as a seminal, contemporary instance of metaphysical detective fiction (MPDF). In doing so, it explores the extent to which Reeves engages with the genre’s history and utilizes its dominant conventions to interrogate notions of identity and the self in Gotham City.
TEACHING CRIME FICTION AS CREATIVE WRITING
Teaching Crime Fiction as Creative Writing: Introduction
J.C. BERNTHAL (Univ of Suffolk, UK)
The organizer of this issue’s Teaching Forum on the multifaceted relationship of crime fiction and creative writing introduces the forum.
The Adrenalin Knowledge Gap
ALISON TAFT (Leeds Beckett Univ, UK)
The author describes her writing workshop, designed to enable students to work with subtext through the construction of a traditional crime fiction narrative and to encourage participants to recognize and set these skills within a wider employability framework.
It’s No Mystery: What Genre Fiction Can Teach All Writers
ART TAYLOR (George Mason Univ)
Studying writers of suspense (crime, mystery, horror) provides valuable tools to enhance the work of graduate and undergraduate student writers, whether their ambitions are genre-related or not. Such skills, shared by genre and non-genre (i.e., “literary”) writers, include crafting compelling characters, pacing surprise and suspense, and navigating twists and reversals.
Needing to Nail Down “Noir” for Creative Writing Students
RICHIE NARVAEZ (Fashion Inst of Technology–SUNY)
Clearly defining the different subgenres of crime fiction—in particular, noir, because of its overuse and attenuated definition in popular culture—helps students better appreciate and analyze the works of other authors, which can be beneficial for their own writing and overall literary education as well as writing careers.
How We Know What We Know: Crime Fiction in Creative Composition Writing
MIRANDA STEEGE (Univ of Pittsburgh)
This essay explores how reading and writing crime fiction in college composition classes can be used to teach close reading and engage students in multiple epistemological methodologies. Through creative assignments such as constructing their own detective character, students practice and critique various modes of knowledge.
Creative Crime Writing and “Enacted Criticism”
ANDREW GREEN (Brunel Univ, UK)
This essay considers the creative writing PhD in relation to Golden Age crime writing as an intellectual “space” that operationalizes practice drawing on creative and critical domains. It explores how both function together to create a third dimension that might be termed “enacted criticism.”
Reading Crime Fiction, Writing Crime Fiction, and Overcoming the Tyranny of the Calendar
MARY ANNA EVANS (Univ of Oklahoma)
Designing a crime fiction writing course requires familiarizing students with some classics of the field and exposing them to present-day authors while preserving the time they need to write. The author describes a curriculum that pairs related works, old and new, to provide a foundation for students’ crime stories.
Build-A-Mutant, Save the World: Metrics, Murder, and Mayhem in Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past
TOM UE (Dalhousie Univ, Canada)
In a creative writing assignment, students respond to the conflicts in Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) by designing their own mutants and by making several decisions for them. Through this exercise, students learn how metrics work as well as the importance of making meaningful social change.
Using Creative Writing in English Literature Assessment: Diversity and Inclusion on an Undergraduate Crime Fiction Module
CHARLOTTE BEYER (Univ of Gloucestershire, UK)
This essay reflects on the use of creative writing as assessment for English literature students on a crime fiction module. It examines the pedagogical aims and objectives underpinning the use of creative writing alongside conventional academic essay writing styles to engender more diverse and inclusive assessment forms.
Jane Custance Baker. Fear and Clothing: Dress in English Detective Fiction Between the First and Second World Wars
LISA HOPKINS (Sheffield Hallam Univ)
Robert Arnett. Neo-Noir as Post-Classical Hollywood Cinema
SCOTT SZELJACK (Youngstown State Univ)
Anne Grydehøj. Contemporary French and Scandinavian Crime Fiction: Citizenship, Gender and Ethnicity
JENNIFER SCHNABEL (The Ohio State Univ)
Clues Index, Volume 41