By John Sutherland
The Literary Detective is an omnibus edition of John Sutherland's three best-selling collections of literary puzzles, Is Heathcliffe a Murderer?, Can Jane Eyre be Happy?, and Who Betrays Elizabeth Bennet? Investigating a variety of anomalies, enigmas, and conundrums such as 'Why does Robinson Crusoe find only one footprint?' and 'Where does Fanny Hill keep her contraceptives?', Professor Sutherland explores the questions readers often ask and critics rarely discuss. His forensic skills focus on authors from Defoe and Fielding to Wells and Woolf, relishing in particular thenineteenth-century novelists, Austen, Collins, Dickens, and the Brontes. By addressing 'real world' questions John Sutherland has brought lit. crit. Down from the rarefied heights of academe and into the everyday discourse of ordinary readers, who bring their own expertise to bear on these novels. In his introduction he quotes from some of the many letters he hasreceived, which demonstrate that we can all be astute and entertaining critics. The 'Sherlock Holmes of Literature', as he has been called, John Sutherland reminds us of the sheer pleasure and excitement that good books inspire, and of their endless ability to surprise and delight us.