The literature of crime and detection : an illustrated history from antiquity to the present /
Waltraud Woeller and Bruce Cassiday.
New York : Ungar, 1988, c1984.
215 p. : ill. ; 28 cm. --
More Details
added author
New York : Ungar, 1988, c1984.
general note
Includes index.
Translation of: Illustrierte Geschichte der Kriminalliteratur.
catalogue key
Bibliography: p. 198-200.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 1988-05-15:
In her useful reference work, Oleksiw lists annotations of over 1440 novels by 121 authors, arranging them first alphabetically by writer. They are also listed chronologically by the story's time frame, with novels featuring series characters entered first. The 50- to 75-word annotations sketch the plot; numerous specialized indexes are helpful in finding one's way around the unconventional arrangement. Slight annoyances include a failure to define satisfactorily the ``classic'' British mystery and the inclusion of a superfluous list of 100 best mysteries. Woeller and Cassiday trace the development of the detective story from its roots in Greek drama to the present in this interestingly illustrated volume. They draw connections between the mystery and various social phenomena, including changes in reading habits and legal concepts of guilt and innocence. American, English, and European literature are covered about equally, although there is a strong emphasis on German contributions. The influential subgenre of pulp fiction is ignored. Given the coupling of the ambitious premise with brevity, this book unsurprisingly treats its subject with more breadth than depth; it is best suited for general readers and students seeking a starting point for further study. Despite major idiosyncracies, both books are largely successful and hence worthy additions to any size collection. Lonnie Beene, West Texas State Univ. Lib., Canyon
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 1988-04-01:
Cassiday, an American author, has adapted and added material to Woeller's German original, thus forming an impressive social history. Woeller's erudite information demonstrates the public's fascination with crime, dating from Aeschylus's Oresteia. Other early Greek and Roman authors are vividly covered in the text that proceeds through the centuries with accounts of true cases of malefactors in various countries. There are numerous illustrations in black-and-white and color, some perhaps depicting too graphically inhumane punishments, mayhem and murder. Later authors, from Poe, Doyle, Collins, are discussed in chapters that lead to Cassiday's coverage of modern specialists in crime literature, with notes on stories as the source for stage, film and TV presentations. The absorbing book ends with brief biographies of authors (some not usually associated with crime literature) who contributed to the genre: Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde and William Faulkner, as well as Dorothy L. Sayers, Agatha Christie, Ruth Rendell, Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett. (May)
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, April 1988
Booklist, May 1988
Library Journal, May 1988
School Library Journal, June 1988
Reference & Research Book News, August 1988
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem