A thunderstorm over Galway cathedral.
Do we read crime novels because we know what is right and wrong, or for guidance through a world that appears ‘all grey’? The books of lawyer-turned-writer Dervla McTiernan prompt such questions.
Spanish authors (from left), Agustin Martinez, Jorge Diaz and Antonio Mercero, who have been writing bestsellers as Carmen Mola.
A true hoax provokes. It questions cultural biases, shattering conventions. But the curious case of the three men writing as a female author Carmen Mola does none of this.
Criminal reads to warm your autumn nights.
Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train has sold 23 million copies, and the film adaptation was a box office smash.
DreamWorks Pictures/Universal Pictures via AP
There’s something disturbing about a story tracking a character’s mental decline for thrills. Happily, Paula Hawkins’ new novel, A Slow Fire Burning, joins a genre of books bucking this trend.
Just when you think you’ve had enough of detectives behaving badly, along comes Claire DeWitt. She is, frankly, a beautifully written mess.
Created by a prolific French author, Inspector Jules Maigret observes without judgement and moves like a chameleon between social classes.
David Suchet as Hercule Poirot.
Christie used her Belgian sleuth to unpick ideas of England and Englishness.
Sure, she has quirks. But TV detective Vera is no amateur. And Brenda Blethyn’s embodiment of her evokes a strong sense of place.
Shaun Evans as Endeavour (2012).
The Inspector Morse prequel series reveals a less certain younger detective, finding his feet but not yet set in his ways.
Kevin Brophy’s favourite detective — Kurt Wallander — has aged just ahead of him, made mistakes and lived vividly.
Alexis Huguet/AFP/Getty Images
Crime fiction is the second most popular literary genre in Africa after romance. A reading of Kenyan author Mũkoma wa Ngũgĩ’s Black Star Nairobi reveals how it has disrupted the genre.
A group of leading black, queer and feminist academics held a colloquium to reconsider a seminal blackness studies text – offering new ways of thinking about the decolonial project.
Hard-boiled detective: Elliott Gould in The Long Goodbye (1973).
Whether they are set in a country house or on the mean streets, detective novels tell us so much about human nature.
University of Sydney Library
Green is lethal: the colour of radioluminescent paint, arsenic and chlorine gas. It is also the colour of crime fiction paperbacks.
Post traumatic stress is a common theme for female crime writers with a law enforcement background.
Sem Van Der Wal/AAP
A new batch of female crime writers are bringing their real life experiences of law enforcement to their work in a way that rings true for readers.
A drawing of Philip Marlowe, an icon of hard-boiled detective fiction created by author Raymond Chandler.
The archetype can be traced back to 1920s detective fiction, when gruff, gun-toting, cigarette-smoking mavericks became heroic figures.
Australian crime fiction author Peter Corris published 102 novels in lifetimes, including 52 centred on the private investigator Cliff Hardy.
ALLEN AND UNWIN
With The Dying Trade, Peter Corris introduced Australia to one of its most successful crime heroes, Cliff Hardy.
Food can serve many functions in crime fiction, from being used directly as a weapon to expressing cultural belonging, gender or class.
Food is an increasingly popular ingredient in crime fiction, serving up insights into the character of the detective hero and adding spice to the mystery.
Guy Pearce as the Chandleresque private investigator Jack Irish: in the early years of Australian crime fiction, convicts and bushrangers featured prominently.
Australia’s rich tradition of crime fiction is little known – early tales told of bushrangers and convicts, one hero was a mining engineer turned amateur detective – but it reveals a range of national myths and fantasies.
Agatha Christie Trust
How 4,000-year-old papyrus letters prompted the queen of crime fiction to write Death Comes as the End.