The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books

34136879Michael Dirda at The Washington Post:

In 2015, Martin Edwards brought out “The Golden Age of Murder,” a history of Britain’s Detection Club that went on to sweep nearly all of crime writing’s nonfiction awards. Little wonder. It is an irresistible book, packed with insider anecdotes about a secretive association boasting such celebrated members as G.K. Chesterton and R. Austin Freeman (creators of Father Brown and Dr. Thorndyke); the crime queens Dorothy L. Sayers and Agatha Christie; that master of the locked-room puzzle, John Dickson Carr; and, not least, co-founder A.B. Cox, equally accomplished whether writing as the witty Anthony Berkeley (“The Poisoned Chocolates Case”) or the bone-chilling Francis Iles ­(“Before the Fact”).

Since “The Golden Age of Murder” appeared, Edwards — himself a gifted and prolific writer of mysteries, as well as a scholar of the field — has emerged as a driving force behind the republication of older detective fiction, contributing introductions to many of the titles in the series British Library Crime Classics. All that reading lies behind his new work of critical appreciation and rediscovery, “The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books.”

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