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Attention All Challengers! I have returned from the Wild West and have posted review sites where needed. I am working on the Check-in Posts for the Just the Facts & Mount TBR challenges. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books: Review

I currently have a love/hate relationship with Martin Edwards. I absolutely love him for all his work on Golden Age detective classics--from his work with the British Library series introducing classic detective novels to new generations to his The Golden Age of Murder which gives all kinds of information about the Detection Club to this newest gem, The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books, which highlights the rise and duration of the Golden Age novels, gives synopses and background for 100 of them, and name-drops scads of others. I naturally love any resource that will tell me more about my favorite genre and period--especially if it tells me about books I didn't know existed. BUT that leads to the hate part of this relationship. I hate him for bringing to my attention all sorts of tantalizing novels that he then tells us have sadly disappeared from print. Some the British Library doesn't even have a copy of. Which means that I probably will never be able to read those oh-so-interesting-sounding little mysteries. Curses! Of course, that didn't prevent me from promptly adding every single tantalizing title to my "TBF" (To Be Found) list in the forlorn hope that might get my greedy little bibliophile hands on them one of these days....

Martin Edwards has forgotten more than I will ever know about vintage crime classics. And he presents his knowledge in a most accessible way. A whole book full of novel synopses could easily have been dry-as-dust, but Edwards, as the title indicates, weaves his synopses into a story about the development of the classic crime novel from the turn-of-the century to 1950. I thoroughly enjoyed discovering new authors and new novels, as well as being delighted to see some of my favorites make the list. ★★★★


~Thanks to one of my 2017 Secret Santas, Terri Sigmon Quinn, for this terrific book!

4 comments:

Margaret Jones said...

Agh! Sorry to hear that even the BL doesn't have copied of some of the nivels. I work at another Legal Deposit library and know how frustrating it can be when something you really want slips through the net. Still.....Martin Edwards must, presumably, have found them somewhere...

Margaret Jones said...

Damnit. Apologies for bizarre spellings - still getting used to the eccentric spell check on tablet.

Bev Hankins said...

No problem with the spelling--electronics do weird things sometimes. :-)

It's possible that Martin found references to some of these books in other works--I've found books listed (sometimes with short synopses) in the back of books I'm reading from the period and then I have the hardest time finding them..

Clothes In Books said...

You sum up exactly how I felt about this book! Martin did a tremendous job, but he has left us all wishing we could find these books - and the time to read them all...