I'm in the middle of a re-evaluation of P.D. James, at least as a short story writer (I'm not feeling ready yet for trying a novel of hers again, having not yet recovered from my two previous attempts) After reading the excellent The Part Time Job, I followed with The Boxdale Inheritance which I liked … Lire la suite The Baronness and the Queen
Controversial idea: A weak or bad plotter is not necessarily a bad crime writer. Let me explain before throwing tomatoes. It has been my credo for years that a writer should be judged after what they tried to do rather than what the reviewer would like them to do. If a crime writer is not … Lire la suite And Now for Some Controversy…
NDLR: L'article qui suit reprend et développe des idées formulées dans ce post. Les nombreux événements qui ont marqué le premier semestre de 2020 ont largement et logiquement éclipsé le centenaire de l'un des livres les plus importants de l'histoire de la littérature policière: il y a en effet cent ans que paraissait pour la … Lire la suite Styles, un siècle plus tard
I find the public passion for justice quite boring and artificial. For neither life nor nature cares if justice is ever done or not. (Patricia Highsmith) The Golden Age mystery and its later avatars are, we are told as nauseam, primarily about restoring order; a good or a bad thing depending on the speaker's ideological proclivities but everyone until … Lire la suite …And Justice for Almost All
A mesure que les frontières entre les genres se brouillent, il ne reste plus beaucoup de différences entre la littérature dite "savante" et sa soeur dite "populaire": toutes deux ont les mêmes aspirations, traitent des mêmes sujets et il n'est pas rare de voir des auteurs naviguer de l'une à l'autre au gré de leur … Lire la suite Beaucoup trop ou trop peu?
Since we're right in the middle of the year I thought it might be interesting to share with you my best reads so far. This being too early to issue a definitive ranking I've decided to go instead with alphabetical order; I'm confident however that most of the items listed below will find their way … Lire la suite The Journey So Far
There are basically two kinds of crime fiction nowadays; the "Commercial" one that sells and the "Prestige" one that earns critical applause and wins awards. They used to be one and the same but as so often happens with art forms they drifted apart and now rarely overlap. They still have something in common, however: … Lire la suite No Laughing Matter
The question asked in the title of this article may seem either bizarre or provocative but it is nevertheless one that needs being asked. People (including me) have been talking about the Golden Age for so long that the concept seems no longer need an explanation. The only debate is about how long the period … Lire la suite The Golden Age of What?
2020 has been so eventful a year so far that it's easy to forget it also marks the centennial of the period in crime fiction history known as The Golden Age. Most historians of the genre agree that the era began in 1920 with the almost simultaneous appearance of Agatha Christie's The Mysterious Affair at … Lire la suite Debuts
As the Golden Age came to its end and the rules were being less and less strictly enforced, crime writers found themselves enjoying an unprecedented level of freedom - and not quite sure what to do with it. While some (most?) stuck or mostly stuck to the old ways, updating them just enough to satisfy … Lire la suite Genre Crossing