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Secrets of Crime Fiction Classics

Twenty-one short chapters discuss in detail the books selected as the most popular and influential mysteries across time. Starting with Caleb Williams (William Godwin) and Edgar Huntly (Charles Brockden Brown), the series moves through the great detective authors - Poe's Dupin stories, Doyle's Adventures of Holmes, Christie's The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Sayers's Strong Poison, Chandler's The Big Sleep, Simenon's The Yellow Dog - and also considers lesser-known important early books, Wilkie Collins' The Woman in White, Emile Gaboriau's M. Lecoq, Anna Katharine Green's The Leavenworth Case and Fergus Hume's The Mystery of a Hansom Cab. More recent titles show increasing variety in the mystery genre, with Patricia Highsmith's criminal-focused The Talented Mr Ripley, and Chester Himes's African American detectives in Cotton Comes to Harlem, while diversity develops further in Sara Paretsky's tough woman detective V. I. Warshawski in IndemnityOnly, Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose - both medievalist and postmodern -- and the forensic feminism of Patricia Cornwell's Postmortem. Notably, the best of the most modern have been primarily international - Manuel Vasquez Montalban's Catalan Southern Seas, Ian Rankin's Edinburgh-set The Naming of the Dead, The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo by Sweden's Stieg Larsson and Vikram Chanda's Mumbai-based Sacred Games.
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About the Author

Stephen Knight is a well-known authority on crime fiction and literature through the ages. He has worked at universities in Australia, England and Wales. Currently, he is a research professor in English literature at the University of Melbourne, Australia.

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