The Oxford Book of English Detective Stories

The Oxford Book of English Detective Stories

Book - 1990
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The detective story, with its roots in Poe's Chevalier Dupin mysteries and Wilkie Collins's The Moonstone, first achieved mass popularity in the 1890s with The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Its success has a good deal to do with its pungency, and with its power to intrigue and absorb thereader while abiding by the rules of the genre (however flexible these have become). Every age has produced a kind of detective fiction which exemplifies its distinctive manners and customs, from the sedate tales which began to appear in the wake of Sherlock Holmes to the debonair detection of the1920s and after.The sleuth short story took off in many directions, with such writers as Anthony Berkeley, Freeman Wills Crofts, Carter Dickson, and Edmund Crispin bringing the upmost expertise and ingenuity to bear on the detective theme. An increasing realism is apparent in the post-war era, though with nodiminution in entertainment value, and as we come up to the present, the detective story has been adapted further to accommodate sexual comedy and other facets of modern life.This collection of 33 stories shows the scope, vigour, and enduring fascination of the detective story, as well as indicating its importance as a barometer of social attitudes and literary practices. It gathers together a wide range of stories, many unfamiliar by writers of the calibre of AgathaChristie, Julian Symons, Ngaio Marsh, G. K. Chesterton, P. D. James, Ruth Rendell, Dorothy L. Sayers, Margery Allingham, Nicholas Blake, Michael Innes, and H. R. F. Keating.
Publisher: Oxford, England ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1990
ISBN: 9780192141873
Characteristics: 554 p. ; 23 cm
Additional Contributors: Craig, Patricia


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EuSei Jun 04, 2015

I am not a huge fan of short stories. I think characters are not as well developed as in a novel, for example. But this is not the main reason why I didn’t finish this book. The more modern stories are horrid, quite negative and the writers’ view of human beings is excessively cynical. Some stories are unreadable, written in a “modern” style with too many words and very little substance. Nevertheless it gave me a taste of authors I never read before and am looking forward to read—like Arthur Morrison, A. Berkeley, Clarence Rook, and R. Freeman. I’ll pass far from books by Simon Brett, Cyril Hare and Julian Symons—the latter seems to think people who don’t use filth in their daily language are sexually repressed… ye gods!


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