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Talking About Detective Fiction

P. D. James: Talking About Detective Fiction (USA 2011)

From the Publisher:
P. D. James, the undisputed queen of mystery, gives us an intriguing, inspiring and idiosyncratic look at the genre she has spent her life perfecting.

Examining mystery from top to bottom, beginning with such classics as Charles Dickens's Bleak House and Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White, and then looking at such contemporary masters as Colin Dexter and Henning Mankell, P. D. James goes right to the heart of the genre. Along the way she traces the lives and writing styles of Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, Dashiell Hammett, and many more. Here is P.D. James discussing detective fiction as social history, explaining its stylistic components, revealing her own writing process, and commenting on the recent resurgence of detective fiction in modern culture. It is a must have for the mystery connoisseur and casual fan alike.

P. D. James: Talking About Detective Fiction. Vintage, ISBN: 9780307743138 (May, 2011), 208 p., $14.00.

 

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Talking About Detective Fiction

P. D. James: Talking About Detective Fiction (UK 2010)

From the Publisher:
P. D. James brings a lifetime of reading and writing crime fiction to bear on this personal history of the genre, from the birth of the detective story, through Wilkie Collins and Conan Doyle, to the golden age of crime and the rise of Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, Ngaio Marsh and Margery Allingham. There is a chapter on great American crime writers such as Raymond Chandler and Dashiel Hammett, and P. D. James also discusses many of her favourite detectives, from Sherlock Holmes to Kurt Wallender.

P. D. James: Talking About Detective Fiction. Faber & Faber, ISBN: 9780571253586 (October, 2010), 160 p., £7.99.

 

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Talking About Detective Fiction

P. D. James: Talking About Detective Fiction (USA 2009)

From the Publisher:
In a perfect marriage of author and subject, P. D. James -- one of the most widely admired writers of detective fiction at work today -- gives us a personal, lively, illuminating exploration of the human appetite for mystery and mayhem, and of those writers who have satisfied it.

P. D. James examines the genre from top to bottom, beginning with the mysteries at the hearts of such novels as Charles Dickens's Bleak House and Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White, and bringing us into the present with such writers as Colin Dexter and Henning Mankell. Along the way she writes about Arthur Conan Doyle, Dorothy L. Sayers, Agatha Christie ("arch-breaker of rules"), Josephine Tey, Dashiell Hammett, and Peter Lovesey, among many others. She traces their lives into and out of their fiction, clarifies their individual styles, and gives us indelible portraits of the characters they've created, from Sherlock Holmes to Sara Paretsky's sexually liberated female investigator, V. I. Warshawski. She compares British and American Golden Age mystery writing. She discusses detective fiction as social history, the stylistic components of the genre, her own process of writing, how critics have reacted over the years, and what she sees as a renewal of detective fiction -- and of the detective hero -- in recent years.

There is perhaps no one who could write about this enduring genre of storytelling with equal authority and flair: it is essential reading for every lover of detective fiction.

P. D. James: Talking About Detective Fiction. Alfred A. Knopf, ISBN: 9780307592828 (December, 2009), 198 p., $22.00.

 

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Talking About Detective Fiction

P. D. James: Talking About Detective Fiction (UK 2009)

From the Publisher:
To judge by the worldwide success of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie's Poirot, it is not only the Anglo-Saxons who have an appetite for mystery and mayhem. Talking about the craft of detective writing and sharing her personal thoughts and observations on one of the most popular and enduring forms of literature, P.D. James examines the challenges, achievements and potential of a genre which has fascinated her for nearly fifty years as a novelist. From the tenant of 221b Baker Street to the Village Priest from Cubhole in Essex, from the Golden Age of detective writing between the wars to the achievements of the present and a glimpse at the future, P.D. James explores the metamorphosis of a genre which has gripped and entertained the popular imagination like no other type of novel. Written by the author widely regarded as the queen of the detective novel, this book is sure to appeal to all aficionados of crime fiction.

P. D. James: Talking About Detective Fiction. Bodleian Library, ISBN: 9781851243099 (September, 2009), 160 p., £12.99.

 

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