Crime-Mystery-Detective Stories Criticism: Hard-Boiled Crime-Mystery-Detective Fiction - Essay

David Geherin (essay date 1985)

(Short Story Criticism)

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...

(The entire section is 8792 words.)

Erin A. Smith (essay date 2000)

(Short Story Criticism)

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...

(The entire section is 12981 words.)

Lee Horsley (essay date 2001)

(Short Story Criticism)

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...

(The entire section is 10202 words.)