Kathleen Moore Knight Analysis


(Masterpieces of Fiction, Detective and Mystery Edition)

Kathleen Moore Knight is of primary interest for her sixteen novels featuring Elisha Macomber. These stories combine two popular genres: the Golden Age novel of detection and the romantic crime novel. Knight’s puzzles are solved both by Macomber’s deductions and by unveiling the murderer to the narrator or other main characters. Combining detection with family and love plots, the novels—especially the fourteen Macomber novels, which are set in New England—are notable for their skillful evocation of place. All Knight’s novels feature clear and interesting plots in well-visualized settings. Her style is straightforward, not dated by use of perishable vocabulary, and her books cannot be said to reflect the style or approach of any one specific writer.


(Masterpieces of Fiction, Detective and Mystery Edition)

DuBose, Martha Hailey, with Margaret Caldwell Thomas. Women of Mystery: The Lives and Works of Notable Women Crime Novelists. New York: St. Martin’s Minotaur, 2000. Covers the lives and works of many Golden Age female authors, providing perspective on the works of Knight.

Jackson, Christine A. Myth and Ritual in Women’s Detective Fiction. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2002. Study of the representation and reimagination of ancient elements in modern detective fiction written by women. Sheds light on Knight’s work.

Nehr, Ellen A. “Kathleen Moore Knight.” In Twentieth-Century Crime and Mystery Writers, edited by John M. Reilly. 2d ed. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1985. Combined biography, bibliography, and criticism of Knight and her works.

Priestman, Martin, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Crime Fiction. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003. Critical study consisting of fifteen overview essays devoted to specific genres or periods within crime fiction. Contains an essay on Golden Age authors, which provides insights into Knight’s work. Bibliographic references and index.

Scaggs, John. Crime Fiction. New York: Routledge, 2005. Contains information on Golden Age authors and how crime fiction has changed since this time. Helps readers place Knight within the greater context.