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The Sleuth and the Scholar

Is the detective novel popular fiction or serious literature? This collection of essays examines the historical, literary, and critical aspects of the genre. Three interrelated aspects of detective fiction are addressed: the mystery story as a vehicle for social criticism, women crime writers, and the American hard-boiled detective story--its origins in cowboy fiction, recent trends, and whether the mean streets still belong exclusively to men. Contributors span the ranks of well-known crime writers, popular critics of detective fiction, and academic scholars. This unusual volume aptly illustrates the nature and attractions of a style of fiction that was once dismissed as merely sensational and is now seen as mainstream.
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Table of Contents

Foreword by Robin W. Winks Keynote Address: Gender and Detective Fiction: by Carolyn Heilbrun Mysteries as Social Criticism Detection and Ethics: The Case of P. D. James by Dennis Porter Chandler Comes to Harlem: Racial Politics in the Thrillers of Chester Himes by Peter J. Rabinowitz The Social-Domestic World of June Thomson's Detective Chief Inspector Jack Finch-Rudd by John McAleer Women in Crime Writing Seeley Regester: America's First Detective Novelist by B. J. Rahn Let's Hear It for Agatha Christie: A Feminist Appreciation by Michele Slung A Sweep Throught the Subgenres by Marilyn Stasio Down These Mean Streets Hard-Boiled Virgil: Nineteenth-Century Beginnings of a Popular Literary Formula by William W. Stowe The Hard-Boiled Detective Story: From the Open Range to the Mean Streets by Richard Slotkin Elmore Leonard: Splitting Images by Glenn W. Most Annotated Bibliography by Susan Steinberg Poisoned Pens: Book Discussion List

About the Author

BARBARA A. RADER is a Scholar/Consultant to the Southern Connecticut Library Council.HOWARD G. ZETTLER, retired Professor of English, Central Connecticut State University, is a freelance writer and editor.

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