The following entry presents criticism on crime, mystery, and detective short fiction in world literature.
Mystery Story: Fictional work detailing evidence related to a crime or mysterious event in such a fashion as to allow the reader an opportunity to solve the problem, the author's solution being the final phase of the story. Detective Story: Popular literature focusing on the step-by-step investigation and solution of a crime. Source: Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature, 1995.
The crime-mystery-detective story has been a popular genre of fiction for many years. These stories follow the exploits of an amateur or professional detective as he or she solves a crime by interrogating suspects, investigating clues, and tracking down criminals. Commentators trace the enduring appeal of crime-mystery-detective fiction to its fascinating protagonists, exciting and often ingenious plots, the fight between good and evil, and the satisfaction of solving crimes. Although critics debate its exact origins, most agree that the birth of the modern crime-mystery-detective story can be traced back to the 1841 publication of the short story “Murders in the Rue Morgue,” written by the American author Edgar Allan Poe. In this story, Poe introduced the detective Monsieur C. Auguste Dupin, who solves a series of murders through methods of logical reasoning referred to by Poe as ratiocination. Dupin's scientific method of investigation as well as his eccentric personal habits became the model for most crime-mystery-detective writers that followed. While Poe is generally considered to be the inventor of the modern crime-mystery-detective story, British author Arthur Conan Doyle is credited with creating the prototype of the detective-hero that was to remain dominant throughout the twentieth century. Doyle created perhaps the best-known and best-loved hero of the genre, Sherlock Holmes, who first appeared in the novel A Study in Scarlet in 1887. His first short story featuring Holmes was published in 1891, and was followed by a series of short story collections featuring Holmes and his loyal friend, Dr. John Watson. The Holmes series proved incredibly popular and exerted a profound influence on the genre.
During the first half of the twentieth century, sometimes referred to as the golden age of the crime-mystery-detective story, the genre evolved along two distinct lines: the classical and hard-boiled styles. The classical style is represented by several English authors whose stories revolve around their lovable amateur detective-heroes: G. K. Chesterton and his protagonist, the detective-priest Father Brown; Dorothy Sayers and her aristocratic sleuth, Lord Peter Wimsey; and Agatha Christie, who created two detective-heroes, Miss Jane Marple and detective Hercule Poirot. These stories feature highly complex and ingenious mysteries that are solved by methodical and clever detective work. The hard-boiled crime-mystery-detective story, in contrast to the classical style, was developed by American authors who made their careers publishing short stories in the popular pulp fiction magazines. The hard-boiled detective-hero differs from the classic detective-hero in his rough, urban, working-class milieu, his predilection for physical violence, and his distinctive narrative voice characterized by tough, masculine tones. Black Mask was the most influential pulp magazine in developing the hard-boiled style. It is remembered for publishing many classic short crime-mystery-detective stories by authors whose names have become synonymous with the genre, such as Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. As the popularity of pulp magazines decreased around the time of World War II, police procedurals gained popularity. These stories focused on actual police work and featured fallible, ordinary police detectives who solve crimes.
In recent decades, the crime-mystery-detective genre has diversified, featuring stories written by minority, gay and lesbian, and feminist authors. This diversity is also reflected in the protagonists of these stories; recent crime-mystery-detective fiction has included African American, Native American, Jewish, and gay and lesbian detective-heroes. Although the novel continues to be the dominant medium of the crime-mystery-detective narrative, short stories by these contemporary authors may be found in numerous anthologies of the genre published during the 1990s and early 2000s.
Anthologies of Short Fiction
Great Short Stories of Detection, Mystery and Horror 1928
My Best Detective Story: An Anthology of Stories Chosen by their own Authors 1931
A Century of Detective Stories 1935
101 Years' Entertainment: The Great Detective Stories, 1841-1941 1941
The Hard-Boiled Detective: Stories from ‘Black Mask’ Magazine, 1920-1951 1977
A Woman's Eye 1991
The New Mystery: The International Association of Crime Writers' Essential Crime Writing of the Late 20th Century 1993
Hard-Boiled: An Anthology of American Crime Stories 1995
Spooks, Spies, and Private Eyes: Black Mystery, Crime, and Suspense Fiction 1995
Lethal Ladies 1996
Women on the Case 1996
The Best of Sisters in Crime 1997
Master's Choice: Mystery Stories by Today's Top Writers and the Masters Who Inspired Them 1999
The Best American Mystery Stories of the Century 2000
Criminal Kabbalah: An Intriguing Anthology of Jewish Mystery and Detective Fiction 2001
James M. Cain
The Baby in the Icebox and Other Short Fiction 1981
The Simple Art of Murder 1950
Killer in the Rain 1964
G. K. Chesterton
The Innocence of Father Brown 1911
The Wisdom of Father Brown 1914
The Incredulity of Father...
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Criticism: Overviews And General Studies
SOURCE: Sayers, Dorothy L. “The Omnibus of Crime.” In The Art of the Mystery Story: A Collection of Critical Essays, edited by Howard Haycraft, pp. 71-109. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1946.
[In the following essay, originally published in 1928 as the introduction to the anthology Great Short Stories of Detection, Mystery, and Horror (published in the U.S. as the first Omnibus of Crime, 1929), Sayers provides an overview of the history and major developments of the crime-mystery-detective story.]
The art of self-tormenting is an ancient one, with a long and honourable literary tradition. Man, not satisfied with the mental confusion and unhappiness to be derived from contemplating the cruelties of life and the riddle of the universe, delights to occupy his leisure moments with puzzles and bugaboos. The pages of every magazine and newspaper swarm with cross-words, mathematical tricks, puzzle-pictures, enigmas, acrostics, and detective-stories, as also with stories of the kind called “powerful” (which means unpleasant), and those which make him afraid to go to bed. It may be that in them he finds a sort of catharsis or purging of his fears and self-questionings. These mysteries made only to be solved, these horrors which he knows to be mere figments of the creative brain, comfort him by subtly persuading that life is a mystery which death will solve, and whose horrors will pass away...
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SOURCE: Stein, Gertrude. “Why I Like Detective Stories.” In How Writing is Written, edited by Robert Bartlett Haas, pp. 146-50. Los Angeles: Black Sparrow Press, 1974.
[In the following essay, originally published in 1937, Stein utilizes her experimental style of writing to capture the essence of the crime-mystery-detective story and the nature of its appeal to the reader.]
Life said Edgar is neither long nor short, and anybody knows that the only detective stories that anybody can read are written by Edgar. When Gerald Berners was here and his chauffeur William they both wanted detective stories, I gave William Edgar Wallace, he wanted Edgar Wallace, I cannot say that Gerald Berners did, but then he might have, anyway I had them to give them and I always find a new one by him, you might think other people wrote them but finally you know better, you finally do know that all the Edgar Wallace stories are written by him.
What are detective stories, well detective stories are what I can read. You are always finding a new author and each one makes you very enthusiastic, and then you get used to it and on the whole like to read them over again, there are the Coles and Farjeon. Farjeon is very good, he tries to be as good as Edgar Wallace but in a kind of a way it is always a mistake to try. On the whole I think English ones better than American ones, they are more long winded which is...
(The entire section is 2178 words.)
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SOURCE: Queen, Ellery. “The Detective Short Story: The First Hundred Years.” In The Art of the Mystery Story: A Collection of Critical Essays, edited by Howard Haycraft, pp. 476-91. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1946.
[In the following essay, Queen provides an overview of the development of the crime-mystery-detective story from the 1840s to the 1940s.]
I. PRENATAL NOTE
The first violent crime of literature was a murder, complete with victim, criminal, motive, and—inferentially—weapon; for although Chapter 4 of Genesis merely remarks: “Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him,” we may assume the instrument to have been a forked-stick plow, or a primitive hoe, since it came to pass “when they were in the field,” and Cain, as everyone knows, was “a tiller of the ground.”
This historic fratricide nevertheless cannot be said to have initiated the literature of detection for the profound reason that the case lacked the essential element—a detective. And while the bloody corpse of history swarms with homicides and inferior crimes, and literature has fattened on the pleasant details, the simple fact is that the detective story had to wait upon the detective, and the detective—as we know him today—did not make his début on the human scene until a.d. 1829, when Sir Robert Peel created the first official police force in London. After...
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SOURCE: Leitch, Thomas M. “From Detective Story to Detective Novel.” Modern Fiction Studies 29, no. 3 (autumn 1983): 475-84.
[In the following essay, Leitch compares a number of crime-mystery-detective novels to the short stories from which they were expanded.]
The detective story, with its persistent emphasis on the one correct solution of a crime, is the most resolutely end-oriented of narrative modes. Given the financial pressures of writing, however, it is hardly surprising that authors of detective stories should occasionally seek to postpone that end by turning their short stories into novels. What is most interesting in this process is not questioning the author's motivation nor judging relative degrees of success but rather identifying what is added to a detective story when it becomes a detective novel. Structural analysis has shown that detective stories, long and short, employ a common narrative pattern: a crime, usually a murder, is committed by some person unidentified to the reader; a detective, amateur or professional, becomes interested in the crime; he examines the evidence, interviews the suspects, and finally announces his conclusions, his explanation forming the climax of the narrative. Because even short detective stories normally include all these elements, detective novels must logically include something more, something not dictated by the common structure.
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SOURCE: Muller, Marcia, and Bill Pronzini. Introduction to Detective Duos, edited by Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini, pp. 3-14. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.
[In the following introduction to an anthology of crime-mystery-detective stories that focuses on pairs of detective-heroes working together, Muller and Pronzini provide an overview of detective duos created by various authors.]
Fictional characters who work together in one capacity or another to solve a mystery have been a staple of the crime-fiction genre since Edgar Allan Poe wrote the first detective story in the early 1840s. Such characters may be amateur or professional or a combination of the two; of either gender; of any sort of ethnic, religious, or social background; and of any period in history. They need not function as equal partners in order to qualify, for the umbrella designation of “detective duos” is a broad one. Indeed, there are almost as many types and variations of sleuthing partnerships as there are types and variations of mystery and detective fiction itself.
The first and most influential type is that in which the celebrated cases of a master detective are chronicled by a close friend or relative who is either present during the investigation or provided ex post facto with all the details necessary to the case's solution. In this kind of story, the narrator generally contributes little or...
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SOURCE: Sweeney, Susan Elizabeth. “‘Subject-Cases’ and ‘Book-Cases’: Impostures and Forgeries from Poe to Auster.” In Detecting Texts: The Metaphysical Detective Story from Poe to Postmodernism, edited by Patricia Merivale and Susan Elizabeth Sweeney, pp. 247-69. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999.
[In the following essay, Sweeney discusses crime-mystery-detective short stories in which the protagonist is faced with his or her own double, contending that these stories address themes of identity crisis and the validity of the written text.]
… we suppose a case, and put ourselves into it, and hence are in two cases at the same time, and it is doubly difficult to get out.
—Henry David Thoreau, Walden (443)
To suppose, we suppose that there arose here and there that here and there there arose an instance of knowing …
—Gertrude Stein, “An Elucidation” (430)
What does it mean, in Thoreau's terms, to “suppose a case”? “To suppose,” as Stein suggests, is to substitute some faraway, remotely possible “instance” for one's real position. (“Suppose” derives, in fact, from the roots of substitute and position.) A “case” is a set of circumstances or...
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SOURCE: Hillerman, Tony. Introduction to The Best American Mystery Stories of the Century, edited by Tony Hillerman, pp. xiv-xviii. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2000.
[In the following essay, Hillerman provides a brief overview of the development of the crime-mystery-detective story over the course of the twentieth century.]
If I, alone, were stuck with the Herculean task of selecting the best mystery stories of the twentieth century, I'm afraid they would be clustered in periods. I'd give you a lot of tales from the years between the wars when thousands of good writers were supporting their families with yarns spun for the pulps. I'd pick out a dozen or so from those slick magazines that paid living-wage prices for short stories until television destroyed both them and national literacy. Finally, I'd give you another bunch from the 1990s, when enough folks had been turned off by the tube to produce a new market for the short story form. In other words I would impose upon you my personal taste.
Fortunately, Otto Penzler was also involved in the selection process. To those of you who bring a mature love of mystery and detective fiction to this book, the Penzler name means the Mysterious Press, the Mysterious Bookshops, and other key contributions to the field, recognized by an Edgar for the Encyclopedia of Mystery and Detection and an Ellery Queen Award from the Mystery Writers of...
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Criticism: Origins And Early Masters Of The Crime-Mystery-Detective Story
SOURCE: Knight, Stephen. “‘… Some Men Come Up’—The Detective Appears.” In The Poetics of Murder: Detective Fiction and Literary Theory, edited by Glenn W. Most and William W. Stowe, pp. 267-98. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1983.
[In the following essay, Knight traces the origins and development of the modern crime-mystery-detective story.]
At the center of modern crime fiction stands an investigating agent—an amateur detective, a professional but private investigator, a single policeman, a police force acting together. Specially skilled people discover the cause of a crime, restore order, and bring the criminal to account. This function has been so important in recent crime stories that two well-known analysts sought the history of the genre in detection from the past. Régis Messac goes back to the classics and the Bible for his earlier examples in his enormous book Le “Detective Novel” et l'influence de la pensée scientifique.1 Dorothy Sayers does the same in her first Great Short Stories of Detection, Mystery and Horror. Both writers take detective fiction to be the same as crime fiction. But before the detective appeared there were stories that suggested how crime could be controlled. Most would have been oral, and many of those that were written down were evanescent, in pamphlet form. Yet enough material has survived to establish the...
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SOURCE: Panek, LeRoy Lad. “Turn-of-the-Century Writers.” In An Introduction to the Detective Story, pp. 96-119. Bowling Green, Ohio: Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1987.
[In the following essay, Panek discusses a number of authors of crime-mystery-detective stories who wrote during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.]
When Doyle prematurely killed Holmes in 1894, The Strand Magazine announced in desperation that a new batch of Sherlock Holmes stories “will commence in an early number.” Knowing this was unlikely, the editors kept their collective foot in the door Doyle had opened by promising, “meanwhile, powerful detective stories will be contributed by other eminent writers.” There were, however, no authentically “eminent” detective writers around. The Strand's advertisement, as well as other magazines' willingness to print detective stories in the hopes of bagging a trophy like Doyle, made people into detective writers overnight. At the turn of the century, dozens of people became detective writers, and writers from Adams to Zangwill hoped to invent that better man-trap which would line up editors outside their doors. In spite of the fact that the turn of the century saw a robust crop of new detective stories, a number of things have prevented their serious assessment by historians of the genre. First of all, there are an awful lot of writers...
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SOURCE: Priestman, Martin. “The Detective Whodunnit from Poe to World War I.” In Crime Fiction: From Poe to the Present, pp. 5-18. Plymouth, England: Northcote House, 1998.
[In the following essay, Priestman provides an overview of the development of the crime-mystery-detective story from the 1840s to World War I.]
The detective whodunnit focuses primarily on identifying the perpetrator of a crime which for most of the story or novel already lies in the past. As Tsvetan Todorov has pointed out in his useful essay ‘The Typology of Detective Fiction’, this placing of the major event in a concealed ‘first story’ which has taken place prior to most of the narrated action compels the ‘second story’ of the latter to be relatively static, focusing our attention on a slow process of uncovering (and sometimes on the practical difficulties of narrative itself), rather than on any very meaningful or character-revealing action. The only such ‘action’ to which we can look forward—the final unmasking of the perpetrator—can happen only once, at the very end, which is also the moment when the hitherto concealed ‘first story’ comes to be told in its entirety. As Todorov also argues, however, this strangely split-level narrative approach is only an intensification of the split in all fiction between what Russian Formalist critics, following Aristotle, have defined as ‘story’ (what is...
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Criticism: Hard-Boiled Crime-Mystery-Detective Fiction
SOURCE: Geherin, David. “Birth of a Hero.” In The American Private Eye: The Image in Fiction, pp. 1-25. New York: Frederick Ungar, 1985.
[In the following essay, Geherin traces the development of hard-boiled crime-mystery-detective fiction from its roots in the stories of Edgar Allan Poe and Arthur Conan Doyle.]
Although it is an American writer, Edgar Allan Poe, who is generally credited with inventing the detective story in 1841 with the publication of his tale, “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” it was eighty years before another American writer—actually a pair of American writers, Carroll John Daly and Dashiell Hammett—created the first authentic American detective hero, the private eye. Poe's detective, C. Auguste Dupin, significantly a Frenchman, not an American, appeared in only three stories—the others being “The Mystery of Marie Rogêt” in 1842 and “The Purloined Letter” in 1844—but his influence was profound for he provided the model for the world's most famous detective, Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes.
Like Dupin, Holmes was gifted with an extraordinary mind, one capable of discerning volumes of information from the tiniest bits of detail. In A Study in Scarlet (1887), the first Holmes story, his friend and biographer Dr. Watson quotes from an article Holmes wrote in which he set forth his belief in the value of careful observation and...
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SOURCE: Smith, Erin A. “The Hard-Boiled Writer and the Literary Marketplace.” In Hard-Boiled: Working-Class Readers and Pulp Magazines, pp. 18-42. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2000.
[In the following essay, Smith investigates the pulp magazines, such as Black Mask, that developed the hard-boiled detective story.]
Into this underworld of literature most of us never dive unless, like Mr. Hoover's Committee on Recent Social Trends, we are curious about the literary preferences of those who move their lips when they read.
Vanity Fair, June 1933
It is not pleasant to think of the immature minds and mature appetites that feed on such stuff as their staple fodder, but there is no ducking the fact that sensationalism is the age-old need of the uneducated. The steady reader of this kind of fiction is interested in and stirred by the same things that would interest and stir a savage.
Harper's, June 1937
The June 1931 issue of Black Mask, the most important publishing outlet for hard-boiled detective fiction between the wars, printed the following letter from a new reader:
I have just read my first copy of Black Mask and am writing to ask you why in the world you don't use good paper. If...
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SOURCE: Horsley, Lee. “Hard-Boiled Investigators.” In The Noir Thriller, pp. 23-44. New York: Palgrave, 2001.
[In the following essay, Horsley provides an overview of hard-boiled crime-mystery-detective fiction as it developed through the short stories and serialized novels of pulp fiction magazines.]
At the end of The Maltese Falcon (1930), Brigid O'Shaughnessy asks Sam Spade whether he would have treated her differently if he had received his share of the money from the sale of a genuine falcon. ‘“Don't be too sure I'm as crooked as I'm supposed to be,”’ Spade replies. ‘“That kind of reputation might be good business—bringing in high-priced jobs and making it easier to deal with the enemy.”’ His answer suggests the ambivalent position of the archetypal hard-boiled investigator. Self-aware and self-mocking, he acknowledges that he is often seen as indistinguishable from the crooks with whom he has to deal. However, while he readily admits looking after his own financial interests, he is not ultimately motivated by greed. In spite of his apparent amorality and tough cynicism, Spade does have at least some standards—a personal code against which unscrupulous ‘enemies’ and the disorder they create can be judged. The label ‘hard-boiled’ is often used synonymously with ‘noir’.1 Although this is to some extent misleading, there is substantial overlap, and...
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Criticism: Diversity In The Crime-Mystery-Detective Story
SOURCE: Nava, Michael. Introduction to Finale, edited by Michael Nava, pp. 7-10. Boston: Alyson Publications, 1989.
[In the following introduction to an anthology of crime-mystery-detective stories by gay and lesbian authors, Nava provides an overview of the selections included in the volume.]
Though it is the bastard child of literature, the mystery has always attracted first-class writers. I came to mysteries in college through Jorge Luis Borges, whose ficciones frequently employed the conventions of the mystery for metaphysical ends. Indeed, one of the first mystery writers I read was G. K. Chesterton, to whose Father Brown stories Borges acknowledged his debt. The other mystery writer to whom I was initially exposed was Rex Stout who, on the whole, I preferred to Chesterton, because his stories were free of Chesterton's religious baggage.
This brings me to a related point about mystery writers. The best of them are respectful of the form in which they work, and work within its limitations (which can be formidable). One's audience requires it. Although few readers are as willing to suspend their disbelief as mystery readers, they are as sensitive to condescension as they are to artless execution of plot. Rightly so, as anyone who has suffered through a bad mystery can attest.
I try to avoid the are-mysteries-literature fray on the grounds that such a judgment...
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SOURCE: Brownworth, Victoria A. Introduction to Out for Blood: Tales of Mystery and Suspense by Women, edited by Victoria A. Brownworth, pp. ix-xiv. Chicago: Third Side Press, 1995.
[In the following introduction to an anthology of crime-mystery-detective stories written by women, Brownworth considers the contributions of female authors to the development of the genre, and provides an overview of selections included in the volume.]
I have always, since I was a young child, loved mysteries—suspense, detective stories, ghost tales. The first mystery I ever read was The Ghost of Blackwood Hall by Carolyn Keene; at eight, it was my introduction to Nancy Drew and my life-long romance with mystery. Carolyn Keene was followed by a host of gothic, mystery, detective, and suspense writers—Agatha Christie, Mary Roberts Rhinehart, Victoria Holt, Phyllis Whitney, Dorothy Eden, Daphne du Maurier, Helen MacInnes, Dorothy L. Sayers were among my favorites. Not surprisingly my first fiction writing as a child was also mystery stories—short tales of detection, the macabre, and international intrigue—which mirrored the work of the women writers of whom I was so fond.
Mysteries are addicting; it's impossible to read just one. I read hundreds of these books as a child, so many that my mother (who had given me my first Nancy Drew) tried to redirect my literary tastes, telling me these books...
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SOURCE: Walton, Priscilla L. “Form and Forum: The Agency of Detectives and the Venue of the Short Story.” Narrative 6, no. 2 (May 1998): 123-39.
[In the following essay, Walton argues that the short story anthology is an ideal medium through which lesser-known women crime-mystery-detective authors can gain a popular readership in an industry that often favors male authors.]
Long shot at that jumping sign, Visible shivers running down my spine; Cut to the baby taking off her clothes, Close up of the sign that says “we never close.” You snatch a tune and you match a cigarette; She pulls their eyes out with a face like a magnet, I don't know how much more of this I can take— She's filing her nails while they're dragging the lake. She is watching the detectives, He's so cute. She is watching the detectives, Then they shoot, shoot, shoot.
Elvis Costello's song, “Watching the Detectives,” offers an amalgamation of media venues, and constructs a scenario that draws upon conventions made familiar through popular culture. The song focalizes a male subject, who is watching his female partner watch a detective film on television. Effecting a media mise en abyme, the song's filmic/televisual frame both extends into and encases its action, authorizing and engendering the male subject's behaviour.1 In this fashion, Costello's text...
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SOURCE: King, Laurie R., and Lawrence W. Raphael. Forward and Introduction to Criminal Kabbalah: An Intriguing Anthology of Jewish Mystery & Detective Fiction, edited by Lawrence W. Raphael, pp. 7-8; 11-16. Woodstock, Vt.: Jewish Lights Publishing, 2001.
[In the following forward and introduction to a Jewish crime-mystery-detective anthology, King and Raphael define the term kabbalah and discuss the connections between Jewish mystical thought and the crime-mystery-detective genre.]
FORWARD: CRIME AND KABBALAH
Criminal Kabbalah, the Kabbalah of crime—what does an esoteric form of mysticism have to do with common lawbreakers? Nothing, we declare with indignation. And yet …
The word Kabbalah grows from the Hebrew root kbl, which has to do with things received. Specifically, Kabbalah is a system (or, this being Judaism, a number of systems) by which a person might attain union with God, not despite everyday reality, but through it. There are divine sparks in each of us, says the Kabbalist, placed there in Creation. Tradition—the things received, the powerful symbols of everyday reality—lead us back to that spark that we might restore the perfect state in which we began.
The word Crime comes from the Latin crimen, which has to do with faults and flaws. In the context of traditional (that is, received) crime fiction,...
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Bleiler, Richard. Reference Guide to Mystery and Detective Fiction. Englewood, Colo.: Libraries Unlimited, 1999, 391 p.
Bibliography of crime-mystery-detective fiction, as well as reference books about crime-mystery-detective fiction.
Christie, Agatha. An Autobiography. New York: Berkeley Books, 1977, 529 p.
Agatha Christie's autobiography.
Coren, Michael. Gilbert, the Man Who Was G. K. Chesterton. New York: Paragon House, 1990, 304 p.
Biography of Gilbert Keith, who wrote under the pseudonym G. K. Chesterton.
Johnson, Diane. Dashiell Hammett, a Life. New York: Random House, 1983, 344 p.
Biography of Dashiell Hammett.
MacShane, Frank. The Life of Raymond Chandler. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1976, 306 p.
Biography of Raymond Chandler.
Meyers, Jeffrey. Edgar Allan Poe: His Life and Legacy. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1992, 348 p.
Biography of Edgar Allan Poe.
Reynolds, Barbara. Dorothy L. Sayers: Her Life and Soul. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1993, 398 p.
Biography of Dorothy L. Sayers.
Stashower, Daniel. Teller of Tales: The...
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