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British Crime Writing: An Encyclopedia [Hardcover]

Barry Forshaw
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 90.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

30 Dec 2008
This is a substantial, wide-ranging A-Z reference of British crime writing - including crime fiction, true and historical crime. From Sherlock Holmes to Inspector Morse, via Father Brown, Miss Marple and the Sweeney, British crime writing has thrilled the world. Here, for the first time, is a comprehensive, in-depth A-Z encyclopedia to cover the astonishing riches of the whole tradition. Classic authors of the Golden Age of British Crime, such as Margery Allingham and Agatha Christie, rub shoulders with hot new writers like Martina Cole and Christopher Brookmyre, and established stars mingle with the most promising tyros. The great detectives who solve the elegant riddles of country house murders feature alongside the rawest recruits on the mean streets of Edinburgh, gangland London - and Aberystwyth.In addition, there are articles on all sub-genres of British crime writing - thrillers, espionage, historical crime, clerical crime, crime in academe, noir (and tart noir), literary crime and true crime. Key British film and TV film scripts are also included, and entries on specific subjects are complemented by essays on key themes such as 'Crime Fiction and Sexuality' and 'Social Comment in Crime Fiction'. As an extra treat, many of the articles are written by the crime writers themselves, such as Val McDermid, Lauren Henderson and Laura Wilson. This title exerts strong popular appeal to a general readership; it uniquely combines both historical and fictional crime; and is the most substantial reference resource on the subject.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 750 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwood World Publishing (30 Dec 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846450225
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846450228
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 18.8 x 25.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,113,784 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Barry Forshaw's latest books are 'British Crime Film and Death in a Cold Climate: A Guide to Scandinavian Crime Fiction'. Other work includes 'British Crime Writing: An Encyclopedia', 'The Rough Guide to Crime Fiction and Guns for Hire: The Modern Adventure Thriller', along with books on Italian cinema and the first biography of Stieg Larsson. His next books are 'British Gothic Cinema' and a study of Thomas Harris and 'The Silence of the Lambs'. He writes for various newspapers, edits Crime Time, and broadcasts for ITV and BBC TV documentaries. He has been Vice Chair of the Crime Writers' Association.

Product Description

Review

"... the work is a trove of fascinating information that can be dipped into for months and years to come." - The Times "The book is bang up to date with entries for a number of authors who have made a name for themselves in the past decade plus a number of literary writers, some of whose key work falls into the crime category (Peter Ackroyd, Martin Amis, Iain Sinclair). You will find all the names you associate with the Golden Age of crime writing (Christie, Sayers, Marsh, Allingham), spy and espionage (Ambler, Le Carre, even Stella Rimington), thrillers (MacLean, Badley, Lyall, but sadly no Duncan Kyle), and detective-from the days of Conan Doyle to the gritty modern Rebus police procedurals of Ian Rankin. But it doesn't stop there. The book also includes a number of themed essays taking in everything from the gothic and penny dreadful to the British connections of Raymond Chandler. A random dipping into the pages of book reveals essays on 'The Godfathers of British Crime Fiction', an essay of Jane Marple, a lengthy piece on G. K. Chesterton and an entry for Martyn Waites and his burned-out journalist Stephen Larkin. The book is littered with reviews of magazines, films and TV shows, overviews of the works of anthologists and true crime writers... it's a book that can be picked up and browsed or read from cover to cover. Either way, you'll stumble across half a dozen new things: again, a random sampling turned up the fact that Jasper Fforde began his writing career whilst working as a focus puller on blockbuster movies (amongst them the film that reinvented James Bond, GoldenEye). If you're into crime fiction in any way, this deserves to be on your shelves.' " - Times Online "One reason for the size of these two volumes is that along with the expected entries on James, PD, Christie, Agatha, and Conan Doyle, Sir Arthur, are the unexpected inclusions; not just the usual suspects, but just about anyone who has written a novel with a crime theme. Barry Forshaw has ranged very wide indeed, and pretty much everyone is included." - BBC Front Row "Alongside the individual author entries are pieces depicting how crime has changed from its infancy to the standards that are withheld today. This is an extraordinary feat and one that crime fans will pour over for hours on end. I know I have! So, go on! Dive in and find out about your favourite authors - and maybe discover a few new ones at the same time! Enjoy!" - Crime Squad "If you're into crime fiction in any way, this deserves to be on your shelves alongside Steinbrunner & Penzler's Encyclopedia of Mystery and Detective Fiction.' " - Bear Alley Books "[A] truly magisterial work...Many congratulations are due to Professor Forshaw and his army of contributors (numbering over 50 though the late Susannah Yager seems to go un-credited) for a job well done...I look forward to the second edition with anticipation." - Getting Away With Murder "A wide ranging encylopaedia, with contributions from practitioners, critics and academics... It is scholarly, well informed and full of unexpected tidbits." - Literary Review "Crime collectors will want to know of a new encyclopaedia British Crime Writing, which looks set to become the standard work of reference on the subject." - Book and Magazine Collector "Forshaw (Rough Guide to Crime Fiction) has assembled a good-sized team of contributors-including some of Britain's leading crime writers-to provide about 475 authoritative entries on British crime writers, magazines, and films, as well as major British fictional detectives such as Holmes and Marple and topics like 'thrillers' and 'tart noir.' The signed entries average about 1200 words in length and include lists of selected works by the authors and their web sites if available. ...Bottom Line: This is the most comprehensive overview available of British crime writing. While other works provide longer articles and include international authors-two examples come to mind, Scribner's Mystery & Suspense Writers and Gale's massive Dictionary of Literary Biography-their focus isn't contemporary British writing, as is the case here." - Library Journal "This encyclopedia should be an attractive, useful addition to public and academic libraries. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers." - Choice "...a remarkably comprehensive book of reference...A preliminary Guide to Related Topics (such as Golden Age Crime Fiction and Television), many portraits and other illustrations, a substantial Bibliography (including journals and web sites) and an excellent index make this an indispensable work of reference." - Reference Reviews

About the Author

Barry Forshaw is the editor of Crime Time magazine; he is the crime fiction reviewer for The Independent, The Express, Publishing News, and The Times and author of The Rough Guide to Crime Fiction.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Guide to UK Crime Writers 24 Feb 2009
Format:Hardcover
Barry Forshaw's two-volume British Crime Writing: An Encyclopedia runs to two volumes and a total of 867 pages. Rather than the usual cold lists of titles (after all, the Crime Fiction Bibliography compiled by Allen Hubin already lists just about everything you could possibly describe as a crime novel), this new encyclopedia opts for some 500 or so essays, some short, some long, on the highlights of British crime fiction.

The book is bang up to date with entries for a number of authors who have made a name for themselves in the past decade plus a number of literary writers, some of whose key work falls into the crime category (Peter Ackroyd, Martin Amis, Iain Sinclair). You will find all the names you associate with the Golden Age of crime writing (Christie, Sayers, Marsh, Allingham), spy and espionage (Ambler, Le Carre, even Stella Rimington), thrillers (MacLean, Badley, Lyall, but sadly no Duncan Kyle), and detective--from the days of Conan Doyle to the gritty modern Rebus police procedurals of Ian Rankin.

But it doesn't stop there. The book also includes a number of themed essays taking in everything from the gothic and penny dreadful to the British connections of Raymond Chandler. A random dipping into the pages of book reveals essays on "The Godfathers of British Crime Fiction", an essay of Jane Marple, a lengthy piece on G. K. Chesterton and an entry for Martyn Waites and his burned-out journalist Stephen Larkin. The book is littered with reviews of magazines, films and TV shows, overviews of the works of anthologists and true crime writers... it's a book that can be picked up and browsed or read from cover to cover.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars JUST THE THING THE BRITISH CRIME FICTION FAN NEEDS! 18 April 2009
By M. BARNES - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This excellent and monumental work fills a real gap for fans of crime fiction,because for the first time British crime fiction is separately addressed and, again for the first time, we have a work that covers the field right up to the present day rather than tailing off in the mid twentieth century. While it is expensive, I consider it an essential addition to the library of anyone who is keen to explore the history and development of crime fiction in the UK.
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