Catalogue


Murder will out : the detective in fiction /
T.J. Binyon.
imprint
Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1990.
description
viii, 166 p. --
ISBN
0192827308
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
author
series title
imprint
Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1990.
isbn
0192827308
catalogue key
2780179
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [135]-147) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1990-01:
Lecturer at Oxford (Wadham College), author of two crime novels, and reviewer of mysteries for TLS, Binyon has here produced a pleasant but lightweight survey of detective fiction, focusing on the detectives themselves. He calls them "professional amateurs"--a poor term to include private inquiry agents (e.g., Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Thorndyke, Sam Spade), "amateur amateurs" (Philip Trent, Lord Peter Wimsey, Father Brown) and the police (Inspector French, the 87th Precinct). Binyon has intelligent things to say about the changes in these categories and their subvarieties over the past century; he discusses major and names many minor authors; and is good on dates and pseudonyms. Sometimes his surveys are odd--he mentions only the early Ellery Queen works from the 1930s but ignores Queen's best period (1942-58). He errs a few times (Tony Hillerman's Sergeant Jim Chee does not work primarily in New Mexico). There are selective lists of additional detective titles and secondary materials. This volume does not replace standard histories--e.g., J. Symons's Bloody Murder (1972, rev. ed., 1985; published in the US as Mortal Consequences, 1972)--or standard bibliographies--e.g., A.J. Hubin's Crime Fiction, 1749-1980 (2nd ed., 1984; suppl., 1988). It is more suited to public library browsing than to academic use. -J. R. Christopher, Tarleton State University

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