Month: February 2015

British Library crime classics


John Bude aka, Ernest Elmore (1901 – 1957), a co-founder of the Crime Writers’ Association

Our AHRC project Visualising European Crime Fiction aims at rendering visible not only metadata from archives, but the materiality of the Crime Fiction books contained in Libraries Holdings.  Restoring visually the original appearance of the books provides often important elements of context. It helps explaining their appeal and their circulation. This focus on the books as material objects, and on the graphic art which accompanies them, complements the compilation,  analysis and  cleaning of lists of bibliographical records, which forms the other side of  our project. Metadata  from Libraries, title from Publishers’s catalogues allow to locate and select the books, data regarding their print run and numbers of reprints help identifying the most successful. Continue reading

The Mystery Critics Award 2015


The Mystery Critics Award (Prix Mystère de la critique)  is one of France’s most prestigious Crime Fiction Awards. Launched in 1972 by  Georges Rieben for Mystère Magazine, the now defunct  Crime Fiction journal  created in 1948, it is awarded yearly by a jury of 32 critics specialised in crime Fiction, including authors, publishers and Librarians. The Awards ceremony takes place in the BILIPO, the Parisian library specialised in Crime literature and our partner in the AHRC project visualising European Crime Fiction . Continue reading

From Italy to Denmark, with Giorgia Cantini and Sarah Lund


All are warmly invited to attend the next seminar in the  University of Glasgow SMLC Research Seminar Series, organised with the Centre for Gender History, at 4pm on Monday 23 February in Room 209, 2 University Gardens.

Dr Alessia Risi, University College Cork

‘From Italy to Denmark. Do Female Features Really Change Under Bleak Skies?’ Continue reading

Movie Stars and Crime Fiction


Jean-Paul Belmondo on the cover of the Italian translation of Meurs pas, on a du monde !,

Milano, Mondadori, 1981

The intermedia nature of Crime Fiction facilitates its international circulation. Crime Books benefit from the aura of Crime Films. Publishers are understandably tempted to figuratively suggest such links between printed works and moving images. It is frequent to find references to cinema on book covers.  In the case of translated books, this reference to familiar icons helps to reduce the “strangeness”  of a foreign work, by  highlighting the quasi-universal nature of its narrative. Audiences are thus reassured that the particular object of a given translation is part of a global cultural form. The  iconic images of Movie Stars are a pragmatic and economical way to put the stamp of a dominant cultural industry on exogenous books.  Their perceived national particularism, which  might otherwise be seen as a deterrent for the mass market is thus watered down. The celebrity of the actors represented serves as an international currency. Continue reading

Detection Series in France in the 1920’s

International Crime Fiction Research Group


In France, the 1920’s saw  a decisive evolution in the critical recognition of the crime genre (with, notably, the 1929 publication of Régis Messac’s thesis on the detective novel)  and in the organisation of the publishing industry towards the promotion of crime fiction. The most notable series created at the time was certainly the perennial “Le Masque”. It was by no means the only significant one.  Neither was it the first. Here are a few landmarks

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