The Golden Age of Murder
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A splendidly pleasing work of literary detection that sometimes reads as fast as a novel as it unveils the real world behind the pages of mystery fiction. Himself an esteemed practitioner of the English school of crime, Edwards is also the archivist of the famed Detection Club, and pouring through its archives he has reconstructed its history and the lives of all the famous writers who joined it and participated in it for decades (it is still active to this day but if I were to reveal details of its events, I would be committing a crime...). If you thought crime writing was sometimes far-fetched, you should read about the secret lives and personalities rersponsible for some of your favourite novels! Feminists, gay and lesbians, Socialists, Marxists, solicitors and rakes, clerks and adventurers: the social strata behind what is now considered the Golden Age of British Crime proves fascinating and Edwards' detective work is invaluable. It will make you want to read Christie, Chesterton, A.A. Milne and so many others all over again. Which is a good thing in my book. ~ Maxim Jakubowski
The Golden Age of Murder by Martin Edwards
A real-life detective story, investigating how Agatha Christie and colleagues in a mysterious literary club transformed crime fiction, writing books casting new light on unsolved murders whilst hiding clues to their authors' darkest secrets. Winner of both the Edgar Award and Agatha Award for best non fiction 2016! This is the first book about the Detection Club, the world's most famous and most mysterious social network of crime writers. Drawing on years of in-depth research, it reveals the astonishing story of how members such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers reinvented detective fiction. Detective stories from the so-called Golden Age between the wars are often dismissed as cosily conventional. Nothing could be further from the truth: some explore forensic pathology and shocking serial murders, others delve into police brutality and miscarriages of justice; occasionally the innocent are hanged, or murderers get away scot-free. Their authors faced up to the Slump and the rise of Hitler during years of economic misery and political upheaval, and wrote books agonising over guilt and innocence, good and evil, and explored whether killing a fellow human being was ever justified. Though the stories included no graphic sex scenes, sexual passions of all kinds seethed just beneath the surface. Attracting feminists, gay and lesbian writers, Socialists and Marxist sympathisers, the Detection Club authors were young, ambitious and at the cutting edge of popular culture - some had sex lives as bizarre as their mystery plots. Fascinated by real life crimes, they cracked unsolved cases and threw down challenges to Scotland Yard, using their fiction to take revenge on people who hurt them, to conduct covert relationships, and even as an outlet for homicidal fantasy. Their books anticipated not only CSI, Jack Reacher and Gone Girl, but also Lord of the Flies. The Club occupies a unique place in Britain's cultural history, and its influence on storytelling in fiction, film and television throughout the world continues to this day. The Golden Age of Murder rewrites the story of crime fiction with unique authority, transforming our understanding of detective stories and the brilliant but tormented men and women who wrote them.
'Martin is increasingly recognised as one of Britain's most exciting crime writers.'
Liverpool Daily Post
'Edwards knows his business. He understands how to parcel out the clues and red herrings so as to feed the reader enough information to keep a variety of possibilities open, while making sure to prepare for a satisfying solution.'
About the Author
Publication date9th February 2017
More books by Martin Edwards
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PublisherCollins Crime Club an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
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