About Us

Crimeculture was created in Summer 2002 by Lee Horsley and Kate Horsley.  The site now gets something like five million hits a year from all over the world, and has published several dozen essays on crime fiction, crime films and representations of criminality.  We are especially grateful to the growing number of writers and critics who have contributed to the site, adding greatly to its range and diversity.  Crimeculture is delighted to have been nominated for a 2010 Spinetingler Award.

leeLee Horsley has written two books on literature and politics - Political Fiction and the Historical Imagination (1990) and Fictions of Power in English Literature 1900-1950 (1995). More recently, she has written or edited numerous articles and books on crime fiction. The Noir Thriller (2001, reissued in paperback in 2009) ranges from pulp thrillers of the 1920s to neo-noir films and cyberpunk. Twentieth-Century Crime Fiction (published by OUP in 2005, supported by an AHRB Research Leave Award in the academic year 2003-04) is a study of the main sub-genres of crime fiction from the days of Sherlock Holmes to the present. For a fuller description of both books, see our Twentieth-Century Crime section.  Lee is also co-editor, with Charles Rzepka, of The Blackwell Companion to Crime Fiction (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010).  She is Reader in Literature and Culture at Lancaster University, where she has taught since 1974.  She teaches two specialist crime courses and co-supervises numerous Creative Writing PhD students. In recent years, she has worked a lot on web development and eLearning, and is Director of Web Development in the Centre for Transcultural Writing and Research.

kateKate Horsley has had short stories published in Storyglossia and Momaya Press. Her story 'Star's Jar' has been chosen for inclusion in the Mammoth Book of Best British Crime (2010), and other recent stories have been shortlisted for an Asham Award and in the Longworth Editors short story competition. She has poems forthcoming in Erbacce magazine and won first prize in the July 2010 Sentinel Poetry competition. She has recently finished writing her first novel, a nineteenth-century gothic thriller called Secrets of the Skin. She is represented by Allan Guthrie at Jenny Brown Associates. Kate did her PhD in English Literature at Harvard and lectured there for a year before returning to the UK. She has taught English and Creative Writing in the US, the UK, and at a small orphanage in Uganda. She now teaches at Lancaster University for the Departments of English & Creative Writing and Continuing Education. She has co-authored articles on crime fiction with Lee Horsley and is the editor of our "Rogue's Gallery: The Early Literature of Crime Online". Kate is also responsible for the design of the crimeculture site. Visit Kate's website.

spinetinglerRead Spinetingler Magazine's interview with Kate and Lee interviewed (by Megan Abbott) for The Rap Sheet.

best british

Crimeculture has greatly benefited from the contributions of academics and writers working in Britain, the United States, Canada, Australia and elsewhere.  Amongst our contributors, we are particularly indebted to the novelists Allan Guthrie, Ray Banks, Bill Crider and Jason Starr; and to such critics as Christopher Pittard, Newcastle University; David Schmid, University at Buffalo; Philippa Gates, Wilfrid Laurier University; Arthur M. Fried, Plymouth State University; Sue Neale, University of Warwick; Vicky Munro, University of Minnesota; Jamaluddin Bin Aziz, University Science of Malaysia; Neddal Ayad, Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador; and Roger Westcombe, the founding President of the Big House Film Society.


Neddal Ayad is a writer, musician and photographer based in St. Johns, Newfoundland.  He graduated from Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador with a Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature and Anthropology.  His work can be found at various places on the web, such as Fantastic Metropolis.

Jamaluddin Bin Aziz was awarded his PhD by Lancaster University (UK) in 2005, for a thesis entitled 'Transgressing Women: Investigating Space and the Body in Contemporary Noir Crime Thriller'. He now teaches in the School of Humanities, University Science of Malaysia.

Ray Banks's first novel, The Big Blind (PointBlank Press, 2004) draws on this croupier experience. His second novel, Saturday’s Child (Polygon, 2006), introduces wayward private investigator Cal Innes, who had previously made his debut in one of Ray’s short stories. The Innes series continues with Donkey Punch and No More Heroes, both to be published by Polygon in 2007, with the fourth Innes novel, Beast of Burden, was published in 2009.

Bill Crider lives in Alvin, Texas. He won the Anthony award for his first mystery novel, Too Late To Die, featuring Sheriff Dan Rhodes. The most recent book in that series is A Romantic Way to Die. Crider also writes several other series, one about Truman Smith, a private eye who lives in Galveston, another about a university English teacher named Carl Burns, and one about Sally Good, a community college teacher. The first Truman Smith book, Dead on the Island, was nominated for a Shamus award. Stand-alone novels include The Texas Capitol Murders, and Blood Marks.

Arthur Fried is a professor of English at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire, where he teaches courses in literature and film. He has taught at Plymouth State since 1982. He is interested in the historical development of the various popular media, and in relating their development to the social, political and economic trends of their time. He has been a fan of comic books and comic strips since he learned to read.

Philippa Gates is an Associate Professor in Film Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada. Her recent publications include Detecting Men: Masculinity and the Hollywood Detective Film (SUNY Press, 2006) and the co-edited collection The Devil Himself: Villainy in Detective Fiction and Film (Greenwood Press, 2002), as well as articles on aging action stars, the female detective in film noir, the film versions of The Maltese Falcon, and the contemporary Hollywood war film.

Allan Guthrie's first novel, Two-Way Split, was shortlisted for the CWA Debut Dagger and went on to win the 2007 Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel Of The Year. His second novel, Kiss Her Goodbye, was nominated for Edgar, Anthony and Gumshoe awards. He is also the author of the novels Hard Man, winner of the inaugural Spinetingler award for Best Novel — New Voice, and Savage Night, plus the novellas, Kill Clock (for emergent adult readers) and Killing Mum. His latest novel is Slammer.

Vicky Munro is one of our True Crime experts. She is an American Studies specialist at the University of Minnesota.  Her PhD dissertation covered true crime books, newspaper/magazine treatments of crime, television shows and political rhetoric. She is currently a Research-Graduate School Administrator at the University of Minnesota.

Sue Neale is a doctoral student in the Department of French Studies at Warwick University. Her research concentrates on the alternative visions of French society in the fictions of archaeozoologist Fred Vargas. Sue has previously published papers on Daniel Pennac and Fred Vargas, and given papers at crime fiction conferences in Limerick (2007) and Newcastle (2008). In her spare time she is involved on the British editorial team of europolar.eu – a European crime fiction website.

Christopher Pittard is Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Portsmouth. He has published widely on Victorian and popular culture, including contributions to The Oxford History of the Novel in English 1880-1940 (2010), Victorian Periodicals Review, Clues: A Journal of Detection and Women: A Cultural Review. His work on Victorian crime narratives won the 2006 VanArsdel Prize for Victorian periodicals research, and will appear in his forthcoming book Purity and Contamination in Late Victorian Detective Fiction (Ashgate, 2011).

David Schmid is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University at Buffalo, where he teaches courses in British and American fiction, cultural studies, and popular culture. He has published on a variety of subjects, including the nonfiction novel, celebrity, and film adaptation and is the author of Natural Born Celebrities: Serial Killers in American Culture (2005). He is currently working on a book entitled From the Locked Room to the Globe: Space in Crime Fiction.

Jason Starr is the author of Cold Caller, Nothing Personal, Fake I.D., Hard Feelings, Tough Luck and Twisted City. He lives with his wife and daughter in New York City. Twisted City, was published by Vintage Crime/Black Lizard in May 2004 and was published in the UK by No Exit Press in March 2005. His subsequent novels include Lights Out (2006), The Follower (2007), and Panic Attack (2009).

Roger Westcombe is the founding President of the Big House Film Society, which specialises in film noir and classic thrillers. He has designed and presented specialist seminars on a variety of topics including ‘Teaching film noir ‘at the 2002 international CAMEO (Council of Australian Media Educators Organisation) conference, 'Joining The Dots'. In 2003 he presented the first of an annual series of introductory film noir seminars for students, 'Pulp Diction'. He is a graduate of the B.A. (Communications) program at the University of Technology, Sydney (1990).

The aims of crimeculture are:

*  To explore different critical approaches to the study of crime literature/film, and to be as entertaining and wide-ranging as possible. In addition to fiction and film, we cover, for example, TV crime series, true crime writing, vintage crime paperback art work, graphic novels and the early literature of crime. 

* To provide an opportunity for the best undergraduate and postgraduate students to publish things online, whether first-rate term-time essays or things written specially for the site: please see our Articles section.

* To work collaboratively with fellow writers and critics to build a comprehensive and informative site.

*  To establish links with the people who run the best crime-related web sites: our Links section provide an annotated list of the most exciting and useful sites.



Lee Horsley's work on 20th-century crime fiction was funded in 2003-04 by the AHRB. The Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB) funds postgraduate and advanced research within the UK's higher education institutions.