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Murder Will Out

Page history last edited by Juergen Lull 15 years, 4 months ago

T. J. Binyon - Murder Will Out (1989)


From the sleeve of the 1989 edition by Oxford University Press:

What is it that has always made the detective such a popular figure in fiction? Why are we invariably seduced by the search to discover 'whodunit'? And how far back does this fascination go?

T. J. Binyon follows the trail of the detective in fiction from Edgar Allan Foe's Chevalier Dupin to the present day; yet this book is a history not of a type of fiction, but of a type of character: the fictional detective in all his guises, ranging from brilliant, eccentric amateur to plodding, imperceptive policeman. This unusual approach reflects two unusual aspects of the genre: not only did it grow out of the character, rather than vice versa, but also the characters — such as Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot — have frequently overshadowed their authors.

For anyone who has ever been gripped by a good crime novel and wants to investigate further, or for those who have never tried but are tempted, this will be an indispensable guide to who did what to whom, and how.




1 In the Beginning: Dupin and Lecoq


2 The Professional Amateur

Sherlock Holmes and the Magazine Short Story

Holmes's First Successors

Dr Thorndyke






The Schism of the 1920s

The Private Detective: 1920 to the Present

The Private Eye from Williams to Warshawski



3 The Amateur Amateur

The Amateur Predicament


Philip Trent

Priests, Missionaries, and Rabbis

The Theatre

Husbands and Wives


Miscellaneous Female Amateurs

Miscellaneous Male Amateurs


4 The Police

Inspector French

Younger Policemen

More Cultured Policemen

Peripheral Policemen

The Amateur Professional

Foreign Policemen

The Police Procedural

Other American Policemen

Other British Policemen

Provincial Policemen


5 A Few Oddities



Crooks and Villains

Gentleman-burglars and Robin Hoods


6 Conclusion


Further Reading



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