Wednesday, 19 April 2017

The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books - the cover and the first review...


 

It really is a great thrill for me to be able to give advance notice of the publication (in July in the UK, August in the US) of my new book, The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books, published by the British Library.

The first thing for me to say is that although the book covers some of the same ground as The Golden Age of Murder, it's very different in approach, and in almost every other respect. It's not a list, not even a collection of personal favourites. The clue is in the title - I wanted here to tell a story.

I've invested a lot of time and effort in this book, so naturally I'm anxious about how it will be received. The Golden Age of Murder is perhaps, quite a hard act for me to follow. 

So you will appreciate that I was excited (and relieved, let's be honest) when Publishers' Weekly in the US gave the book one of its prized "starred reviews" the other day. It's a great way for the story of this particular book to begin. 

And it's such a nice review, perhaps I'll be forgiven for quoting it in full:

Written as a companion to the British Library’s Crime Classics series of reprints, this descriptive critical catalogue of 100 crime and mystery novels (mostly British) published in the first half of the 20th century is irresistible for aficionados and a reliable reading list for newcomers. Edwards’ picks, most published during detective fiction’s golden age between the two world wars, range chronologically from Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902) to Julian Symons’s The 31st of February (1950) and include, in addition to many of the usual suspects, a few outliers sure to enliven debates among diehard fans. He groups his selections into 24 chapters that cover numerous aspects of the literature—the great detectives, the fair-play mystery (epitomized by Ronald Knox’s The Body in the Silo), the miraculous or locked-room mystery (a specialty of John Dickson Carr), country house and manor murder mysteries, and so on—and whose ordering shows classic tropes giving way to newer approaches more resonant with modern times. A crime novelist in his own right, Edwards (The Golden Age of Murder) brings a specialist’s discerning eye to discussions of each book’s significance, and without giving away key plot points. This is an exemplary reference book sure to lead readers to gems of mystery and detective fiction. 

18 comments:

J. Kingston Pierce said...

Very nice, Martin. I look forward to reading your new book.

Cheers,
Jeff

Sergio (Tipping My Fedora) said...

Well done Martin - can't wait!

Clothes In Books said...

A great idea, Martin, and one we all know you will have done to perfection!
Cue some arguments about what you include and what you miss out, but that's part of the fun isn't it?

Martin Edwards said...

Thanks, Jeff, and I hope to see you in Toronto later this year.

Martin Edwards said...

Thanks, Sergio, and hope you may be able to get to the BL on 17 June.

Martin Edwards said...

Thanks very much, Moira. It is part of the fun. Mind you, for reasons I explain in the intro, the chosen books aren't put forward as 'the best' but rather I've picked them to illustrate the story I try to tell.

Mauro Boncompagni said...

Great news, Martin! Another milestone, I'm sure

Tony Medawar said...

Another valuable study I'm sure, and an excellent review.

Jonathan O said...

Looks like a great read - but why does the pre-order page on Amazon name you as "Chief Scientist Martin Edwards"?

Jose Ignacio Escribano said...

I'm looking foward to reading your new book, Martin. Cheers!

Martin Edwards said...

Mauro, Tony, thanks very much. Jonathan - it's a mystery why Amazon keeps promoting me like that! Since I barely know a neutron from a proton, it's hardly deserved!

Martin Edwards said...

Thanks, Jose Ignacio!

JJ @The Invisible Event said...

Been looking forward to this since you announced it at Bodies from the Library last year -- very interested to see how you chart the development of the genre, and excited to see the books you choose to do that.

Pam.Michael Cross said...

Can't wait to get my hands on this one! I'm sure it will add to my already toppling pile of books to read. The British Library publications have been so much fun.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Sounds terrific. Look forward to reading it.

Martin Edwards said...

Thanks for these kind comments. Yes, I'm hoping that even readers who are very well versed in Classic Crime will find plenty of books they haven't encountered before.

lyn said...

Looking forward to this one!

Die Vorleser said...

Dear Martin
Look forward to read your new book.
There are also new translation of classic crime stories in German now. For example I just read from Rex Stout "Es klingelt an der Tür" with Nero Wolf (Pendragon Verlag). Great story, great translation!
Best regards from Gisela (AIEP)