6. Supreme organisational skills. A crime novel is like a house of cards: make a last-minute alteration, move one thing, and the whole edifice can come tumbling down. PD James, whose Talking About Detective Fiction will be published next month, has come to the following conclusion: “The crime novel should have a compelling and credible plot, characters who are more than stereotypes, good writing and the creative integration of setting, narrative, characterisation and theme. To put it simply, a good detective story should be a good novel.”
He died accidentally by choking at a dinner party, and each of the people in court subsequently finds the body and believes they were responsible for the death.
The genre is also international, As well as the Persian-Arabian tales of Scheheredzade, we have the long Chinese tradition of the Gong’an, of court reports, starting with the 14th century Yuan dynasty, and continuing through the Bao Gong’an of the Ming dynasty and the well-known Judge Dee stories of the 18th century, which spawned their own western versions.
Crime fiction is certainly popular, but analysts have trouble in defining it.
THE TWELVE BEST ESSAYS ON CRIME FICTION, by Josef …