on 20 January 2009
This is a very comprehensive reference work on all types of fiction within the crime and detective story genre to the end of the 20th century.
All individual detailed subject and topic entries are arranged alphabetically and include entries for individual authors. There are very detailed cross-references to other connected topics for each entry.
My only criticism is that reference to many individual detective and crime stories are not indexed in the back-of-book index so one can only stumble upon such references by accident.
Otherwise, this is a very useful and enjoyable reference book which I refer to often.
Well worth buying for any regular crime fiction reader.
on 2 April 2016
Difficult to rely on an book as large as this that doesn't include full entries for big sellers like Sexton Blake, Nelson Lee, Hank Janson (but while giving space to Carter Brown and Nick Carter) and many others. The entry on paperbacks hardly gives a mention to Green Penguins who dominated the market with titles essential to any collection. The Thriller Book Club which sustained the genre during the 50s doesn't deserve its own entry. Have they never seen PAN books and their cover art in Oxford? I suppose not. Lorac? Wasn't that a huge name in 30s/40s? On the plus side, nice to see some articles by Bob Adey (no longer with us). Overall, a book that is ok, though irritating, to browse through but it falls very, very short of what I was expecting from this publisher. Come on, someone, the definitive guide is yet to written!