The Life of Crime: Detecting the History of Mysteries and Their Creators

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Winner of the 2023 Edgar Award for Best Critical/Biographical book, and the H.R.F. Keating Award for best biography or critical book related to crime fiction.

In the first major history of crime fiction in fifty years, The Life of Crime: Detecting the History of Mysteries and their Creators traces the evolution of the genre from the eighteenth century to the present, offering brand-new perspective on the world's most popular form of fiction.

Author Martin Edwards is a multi-award-winning crime novelist, the President of the Detection Club, archivist of the Crime Writers' Association and series consultant to the British Library's highly successful series of crime classics, and therefore uniquely qualified to write this book. He has been a widely respected genre commentator for more than thirty years, winning the CWA Diamond Dagger for making a significant contribution to crime writing in 2020, when he also compiled and published Howdunit: A Masterclass in Crime Writing by Members of the Detection Club and the novel Mortmain Hall. His critically acclaimed The Golden Age of Murder (Collins Crime Club, 2015) was a landmark study of Detective Fiction between the wars.

The Life of Crime is the result of a lifetime of reading and enjoying all types of crime fiction, old and new, from around the world. In what will surely be regarded as his magnum opus, Martin Edwards has thrown himself undaunted into the breadth and complexity of the genre to write an authoritative - and readable - study of its development and evolution. With crime fiction being read more widely than ever around the world, and with individual authors increasingly the subject of extensive academic study, his expert distillation of more than two centuries of extraordinary books and authors - from the tales of E.T.A. Hoffmann to the novels of Patricia Cornwell - into one coherent history is an extraordinary feat and makes for compelling reading.

Author: Martin Edwards
Binding Type: Hardcover
Publisher: Collins Crime Club
Published: 08/30/2022
Pages: 736
Weight: 2.46lbs
Size: 9.31h x 6.20w x 2.33d
ISBN: 9780008192426

Award: Edgar Allan Poe Awards - Winner
Award: Agatha Awards - Finalist

Review Citation(s):
Publishers Weekly 04/25/2022
Kirkus Reviews 06/01/2022
Library Journal 07/01/2022 pg. 65

About the Author

Martin Edwards has published twenty crime novels, including series set in Liverpool and the Lake District. He has won the CWA Short Story Dagger and CWA Margery Allingham Prize, and his book The Golden Age of Murder won the Edgar, Agatha, Macavity and H.R.F.Keating awards. Martin is consultant for the British Library's Classic Crime series, archivist of the CWA and President of the Detection Club. He has edited 30 anthologies, published about 60 short stories, and written seven other non-fiction books.