Twentieth-Century Crime Fiction is an illuminating and challenging critical study of this ever popular genre.
In the book Gill Plain uses contemporary theories of gender and sexuality to challenge the dominant perception of crime fiction as a conservative genre.
The rise of lesbian detection and the impact of serial killing are considered alongside detailed analyses of works by popular writers such as Agatha Christie, Raymond Chandler, Dick Francis and Sara Paretsky.
Beginning with a radical reconceptualisation of genre categories, the book goes on to consider recent revisions and reappropriations of the form.
The final section focuses on textual pleasure and the destabilising of genre boundaries, raising the timely question of whether the queering of crime fiction represents a revitalising paradigm shift or the conceptual collapse of the genre. * The first substantial critical work on twentieth-century crime from a gender perspective * Provides in-depth textual analysis often missing from studies of popular fiction * Reappraises the framework within which crime fiction might be studied and taught * Sets key 'canonical' crime writers alongside both radical innovators and best-selling populists of the genre