It was the digest-sized continuation of the Mammoth Detective pulp that had been published by Ziff-Davis.
History of crime fiction One of the earliest stories in which solving a crime is central to the story is Oedipus Rexin which the search for the murderer of the previous king, leads to the downfall of the current one. The earliest known modern crime fiction is E. There is also Thomas Skinner Sturr's anonymous Richmond, or stories in the life of a Bow Street Officer ; another early full-length short-story in the genre is The Rector of Veilbye by the Danish author Steen Steensen Blicherpublished in Better known are the earlier dark works of Edgar Allan Poe.
With his Dupin stories, Poe provided the framework for the classic detective story. Watson in later Sherlock Holmes stories. The evolution of locked room mysteries was one of the landmarks in the history of crime fiction. The Sherlock Holmes mysteries of Arthur Conan Doyle are said to have been singularly responsible for the huge popularity in this genre.
The evolution of the print mass media in the United Kingdom and the United States in the latter half of the 19th century was crucial in popularising crime fiction and related genres.
Literary 'variety' magazines like Strand, McClure'sand Harper's quickly became central to the overall structure and function of popular fiction in society, providing a mass-produced medium that offered cheap, illustrated publications that were essentially disposable.
Like the works of many other important fiction writers of his day—e. The series quickly attracted a wide and passionate following on both sides of the Atlantic, and when Doyle killed off Holmes in The Final Problemthe public outcry was so great, and the publishing offers for more stories so attractive, that he was reluctantly forced to resurrect him.
In Italy, local authors began to produce crime mysteries in the s. Early translations of English and American stories and local works were published in cheap yellow covers and thus the genre was baptized with the term "Giallo Libri" or yellow books. The genre was outlawed by the Fascists during WWII but exploded in popularity after the war, especially influenced by the American hard-boiled school of crime fiction.
There emerged a group of mainstream Italian writers who used the detective format to create an anti-detective or postmodern novel in which the detectives are imperfect, the crimes usually unsolved and clues left for the reader to decipher. Crime fiction in Spain also curtailed during the Franco Dictatorship took on some very special characteristics that reflected the culture of the country.
The Spanish writers emphasized the corruption and ineptitude of the police and depicted the authorities and the wealthy in very negative terms. In the post-Mao era, crime fiction in China focused on corruption and harsh living conditions during the Mao era such as the Cultural Revolution.
Reader speak of crime fiction as a mode of escapism to cope with other aspects of their life . Detective fiction The cozy mystery: It features a complex, plot-driven story in which the reader is provided with clues from which the identity of the perpetrator of the crime may be deduced before the solution is revealed at the end of the book.
The setting of the story and the crime has some historical significance. The locked room mystery: The American hardboiled school: Forensic crime fiction; similar to the police procedural. The investigator the reader follows is usually a medical examiner or pathologist—they must use the forensic evidence left on the body and at the crime scene to catch the killer.
This subgenre was first introduced by Patricia Cornwell. The caper story and the criminal novel: The psychological thriller or psychological suspense: The parody or spoof.
Pseudonymous authors[ edit ] As far as the history of crime fiction is concerned, some authors have been reluctant to publish their crime novels under their real names. More currently, some publish pseudonymously because of the belief that since the large booksellers are aware of their historical sales figures, and command a certain degree of influence over publishers, the only way to "break out" of their current advance numbers is to publish as someone with no track record.
In the late s and 40s, British County Court judge Arthur Alexander Gordon Clark — published a number of detective novels under the alias Cyril Hare in which he made use of his profoundly extensive knowledge of the English legal system. When he was still young and unknown, award-winning British novelist Julian Barnes born published some crime novels under the alias Dan Kavanagh.
Other authors take delight in cherishing their alter egos: The author Evan Hunter which itself was a pseudonym wrote his crime fiction under the name of Ed McBain.
Availability of crime novels[ edit ] Quality and availability[ edit ] As with any other entity, quality of a crime fiction book is not in any meaningful proportion to its availability.
Some of the crime novels generally regarded as the finest, including those regularly chosen by experts as belonging to the best crime novels ever written see bibliographyhave been out of print ever since their first publication, which often dates back to the s or 30s.
The bulk of books that can be found today on the shelves labelled "Crime" consists of recent first publications usually no older than a few years. Classics and bestsellers[ edit ] Furthermore, only a select few authors have achieved the status of "classics" for their published works.
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