Carolyn Gold Heilbrun J. M. Purcell - Essay

J. M. Purcell

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[There are a few] structural limitations or "faults" which amateurize the Cross books a little…. (p. 37)

To begin with her dialogue, which is more important in Cross than for another style of writer: Cross adopts the technical convention that each important speaker—as opposed to "character"—shares the same conversational style; by implication, the same background….

This dialogue convention is adopted unconsciously by very bad writers because of course bad writers are tone deaf, employ limited vocabularies, etc.: these are all weaknesses not applying to Amanda Cross. On the other hand, one reason bad writers, including bad mystery writers, are bad, is that they are...

(The entire section is 810 words.)