Crime Writers: A Research Guide

Crime Writers: A Research Guide

Crime Writers: A Research Guide

Crime Writers: A Research Guide


This invaluable resource provides information about and sources for researching 50 of the top crime genre writers, including websites and other online resources.

• A timeline of major authors and events in the development of the crime fiction genre

• Read-alike sections listing other authors whose works are similar in style or theme to those of ten major authors included in the book

• Lists of major organizations and awards in the field of crime literature

• A bibliography of online and print sources for biographical and critical information about crime genre authors


One of the most popular genres, crime fiction, with its many permutations and subgenres, encompasses many of the authors who are perennial bestsellers. Mike Ashley, in The Mammoth Encyclopedia of Modern Crime Fiction, defines crime fiction as that about “the breaking and enforcement of the law” (xi), and that is as good a definition as any. Crime fiction is frequently synonymous with mystery fiction but is more encompassing than just the traditional mystery format. It deals not only with stories of crime and law enforcement but also with the deeper motivations of the human mind and heart.

In some respects, the crime narrative reaches back as far as the biblical story of Cain and Abel. Humans have always been fascinated with crime and transgression. the eighteenth century was marked by cynicism on the part of the populace about law and justice being only for the rich—an attitude that later found some expression in the hard-boiled crime works of the twentieth century. But the first modern crime author is thought to be Edgar Allan Poe who used many of the characteristics of the crime novel. His amateur detective C. Auguste Dupin had a profound effect on later authors although he appeared in only three stories, the best known of which is “The Murders in the Rue Morgue.”

Besides Poe, other nineteenth-century authors who contributed to the development of the crime novel include Dickens (Bleak House, the Mystery of Edwin Drood) and Wilkie Collins (The Woman in White, the Moonstone). Female authors were also making their mark, with authors Katherine Green . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.