Jon L. Breen Analysis


(Masterpieces of Fiction, Detective and Mystery Edition)

Jon L. Breen’s contribution to mystery and detective fiction has been twofold. He is first a scholar who has performed invaluable service to those interested in the genre, compiling carefully annotated bibliographies. He is also a recognized reviewer and critic, having written reviews for a number of periodicals, including Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, The Armchair Detective, and The American Standard. Acknowledged as a critic, he has received the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Allan Poe Award in 1982, 1985, and 1991. He was also the winner of the Agatha Award for critics in 2000. With his wife, Rita A. Breen, he coedited an anthology of eleven novelettes selected from the American Magazine.

Breen has also contributed to mystery literature by producing many short stories and novels. In these he has explored parody and pastiche, combined his interest in sports with his love of books, and demonstrated his knowledge of the classic mystery story. His novels have been well received and favorably reviewed in the United States and in Great Britain.


(Masterpieces of Fiction, Detective and Mystery Edition)

Bottum, Joseph. “Kill the Umpire: The Calls of Ed Gorgon.” Review of Kill the Umpire, by Jon L. Breen. The Weekly Standard 9, no. 30 (April 12-April 19, 2004): 47. This favorable review notes that the Ed Gorgon sports-themed stories in this collection span more than thirty years and that Breen writes reviews for the publication.

Breen, Jon L. Interview in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. June, 1979, pp. 57-58. Breen’s critical reviews appeared in Ellery Queen for years. This is an interesting turn-of-the-tables.

Breen, Jon L. Novel Verdicts: A Guide to Courtroom Fiction. 2d ed. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 1999. A revised bibliography that contains more than eight hundred entries of books dealing with courtroom dramas published by 1997.

Breen, Jon L. What About Murder? A Guide to Books About Mystery and Detective Fiction. 2d ed. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1993. A bibliography of more than two hundred murder novels published through 1981 with annotations by Breen. Provides insights into Breen’s view of mysteries.

Callendar, Newgate. Review of The Gathering, by Jon L. Breen. The New York Times, May 20, 1984, p. A39. Reviewer notes that the premise of the book is not believable but states that Breen did not intend to make his readers believers but to entertain them.

Watt, Peter Ridgway, and Joseph Green. The Alternative Sherlock Holmes: Pastiches, Parodies, and Copies. Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate, 2003. A book that must have been written with Breen in mind. This large volume explores the fiction directly inspired by Holmes and Watson.