Crime Fiction

This section of Crimeculture includes introductions to many different aspects of crime and detective fiction, from the Victorian detective novel to the contemporary graphic novel.  The crimeculture site also includes numerous articles on crime and detective fiction.

Our main introductory sections are:

Victorian Detective Fiction

Christopher Pittard’s analysis of the emergence of the detective story as a distinct genre in the nineteenth century, taking in the work of a large range of writers, including Vidocq, William Russell, Poe, Dickens, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Wilkie Collins, Fergus Hume, Conan Doyle, Arthur Morrison, Grant Allen and L T Meade. Go to Victorian Detective Fiction…

Classic Detective Fiction

A brief overview of the origins and development of classic detective fiction, at present providing brief discussions of the stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, G.K. Chesterton, Arthur Morrison and R. Austin Freeman, and of the post-World War I “Golden Age” (e.g., Christie and Sayers). Go to Classic Detective Fiction…

Classic American Hard-boiled Crime Fiction

An introduction to the growth of hard-boiled crime fiction in the 1920s and 1930s, with a brief discussion of the historical background and sections on Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, Horace McCoy, James M. Cain, W.R. Burnett and Paul Cain. Go to Hard-boiled Crime Fiction…

The Era of Paperback Originals

A brief discussion of the post-World War Two American paperback boom, and of the influence of McCarthyism in ‘the paranoid fifties’; amongst the writers included in this section are Mickey Spillane, David Goodis, Gil Brewer, Leigh Brackett and Jim Thompson. Go to The Era of Paperback Originals…

Brit Grit

An introduction to British crime fiction outside the tradition of the classic detective story, starting with Greene and Ambler in the 1930s, and going on to glance at post-World War Two ‘mushroom publishing’, at Ted Lewis and Get Carter, and at the ‘New Wave’ British crime writing that has flourished since the 1980s. Go to Brit Grit…

French Crime Fiction

Sue Neale’s discussion of French crime fiction, from Vidocq to Daniel Pennac and Fred Vargas.  This is our first foray into European writing, and we would be very pleased to have offers of further articles or sections on non-Anglo-American crime fiction. Go to French Crime Fiction..

American Crime Writing 1970-2000

An introduction to American crime writing of the past three decades,
summarizing key themes in contemporary American noir; amongst writers included are James Ellroy, Edward Bunker, Geroge V. Higgins, Loren Estleman, James Lee Burke, James Crumley, Walter Mosley, Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiaasen. Go to American Crime Writing 1970-2000

Serial Killer Fiction

David Schmid’s concise overview of the diverse and expanding field of serial killer fiction, tracing its history and considering the links between fiction and non-fiction. This essay is supplemented by Serial Killer Non-Fiction, in the True Crime section of the site. Go to Serial Killer Fiction

Graphic Crime Fiction

Arthur Fried’s detailed discussion of ‘Crime Fiction in Comic Strips, Comic Books and Graphic Novels’. Go to Graphic Crime Fiction


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