Synopses & Reviews
Who populates the pages of crime and mystery writing? Who are the characters we willingly follow into the mystery genre's uneasy imaginative territory? And who created those characters in the first place? What life experience and expertise informs their work? What are the sources of their themes, regional accents, and even the axes that some grind? Why do some wish to give us a good laugh, while others seem hell-bent on making us shudder?
Whodunit? answers these questions and more. Here mystery expert Rosemary Herbert brings together enlightening and entertaining information on hundreds of classic and contemporary characters and authors. Some--such as P.D. James, Ian Rankin, Sherlock Holmes, and Kinsey Millhone--appear in individual entries. Still more keep company in articles about characters we admire, such as the Clerical Sleuth, and in pieces about those we love to hate, including the Femme Fatale and Con Artist. There is even an article on a figure that haunts so many great works of mystery--The Corpse.
Drawing on the Edgar Award-nominated volume The Oxford Companion to Crime and Mystery Writing, Herbert adds 101 new entries on the hottest new names in works ranging from puzzling whodunits to chilling crime novels.
A mystery expert investigates how the giants of the genre pull off all those crimes and keep the twists coming page after page, then shows readers how they can do it too.
About the Author
is book review editor and mystery book review columnist for the Boston Herald
. She edited The Oxford Companion to Crime and Mystery Writing, The Oxford Book of American Detective Stories
(with Tony Hillerman), Murder on Deck! Shipboard and Shoreline Mystery Stories
, and Twelve American Crime Stories
. She is also the author of The Fatal Art of Entertainment: Interviews with Mystery Writers
. A former reference librarian at Harvard University, she created a course on detective fiction at Tufts University.