Bruce F. Murphy's Encyclopedia of Murder and Mystery is an A-Z of whodunit and how it was done. From Edward Sidney Aarons to "Zorak," The Encyclopedia of Murder and Mystery moves beyond the names and characters every mystery fan knows by heart and expands our understanding of this most popular form of popular fiction. Murphy discusses not only classic practitioners such as Raymond Chandler, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Dashiell Hammett, but also newer talents such as Patricia Cornwell, James Ellroy, and Jonathan Valin and authors ordinarily considered outside the mystery genre: Do you remember Daniel Defoe's criminal biographies or E. L. Doctorow's mystery, The Waterworks? Did you know that F. Scott Fitzgerald tried to imitate Sherlock Holmes in his early fiction? Have you ever read Paul Auster's pseudonymous baseball mystery? Murphy catalogues methods, weapons, poisons, subgenres, famous devices (like the locked room or the snowbound house), movie adaptations, and great series characters like the Continental Op, Hercule Poirot, Kinsey Millhone, and Dr. Kay Scarpetta. He analyzes particular works and writers, from epoch-making originals (such as The Big Sleep and Last Seen Wearing...), to lost classics (Wylder's Hand), to interesting and disturbing examples of work at the fringes of the genre (Devil Take the Blue-Tail Fly). The Encyclopedia of Murder and Mystery is the place to turn for answers to a myriad of puzzling questions: In which P. D. James mystery did Adam Dalgleish first appear? What mysteries have been based on the careers of Lizzie Borden and Jack the Ripper? Why does the case of Oscar Slater deserve to be called the "trial of the century"? What's a "berk"? Which mysteries hinge on amnesia? Which mysteries feature golf as a theme? More than a reference book, The Encyclopedia of Murder and Mystery provides a colorful and comprehensive map of the mystery genre constructed under the gaze of Bruce F. Murphy's own critical eye, making it an indispensable and lively guide for every mystery lover.
Literature-Fiction, History-Criticism, Movements-Periods,