DETECt – Horizon 2020

The International Crime Fiction Research Group is delighted to share the good news about the European funding secured for our project “DETECt -Detecting Transcultural Identity in European Popular Crime Narrative-“, as part of the Horizon 2020 – Societal Challenge 6: “Understanding Europe: Promoting the European Public and Cultural Space” framework. The project is led by the University of Bologna and involves 18 institutions from 11 European Countries.  DETECt addresses the formation of European cultural identity as continuing process of transformation fostered by the mobility of people, products and representations across the continent. Because of the extraordinary mobility of its products, popular culture plays a decisive role in circulating representations that constitute a shared cultural asset for large sectors of the European society. The project examines examples of crime fiction, film and TV dramas from 1989 to present, to learn how mobility strategies such as co-production, serialization, translation, adaptation, distribution, and more, have influenced the transnational dissemination of European popular culture. It also investigates how the treatment of specific ‘mobile signifiers’ – including representations of gender, ethnic and class identities – affect the ability of European narratives to migrate outside their place of origin, and be appropriated elsewhere in different and variegated ways. Researching the contemporary history of the crime genre in Europe, DETECt aims to identify the practices of production, distribution and consumption that are best suited to facilitate the emergence of engaging representations of Europe’s enormously rich, plural and cross-cultural identity. The knowledge acquired through a detailed research programme will be used in cultural, learning and public engagement initiatives designed to prompt the elaboration of new transnational formats for the European creative industries. These activities will profit from a set of experimental research and learning resources and innovative collaborative tools, aggregated and organized on DETECt Web portal which will be introduced here. A range of activities will be addressed to the general public and announced here. In particular, the development of a Web mobile app tools will allow users to contribute to the creation of a collaborative atlas of European crime narratives. Watch this space for updates.

Please visit The DETECt website



“In a global world, a detective story can take place almost literally anywhere” : in Homage to Henning Mankell (1948 – 2015)


Mankell1Henning Mankell died today. A celebrated playwright and author, journalist and activist, he had been for the past 25 years one of the most influential  authors of crime fiction worldwide. Slavoj Zizek, in an often quoted article read his Inspector Wallander police procedurals as “the exemplary case of the fate of the detective novel in our era of global capitalism”.

Mankell(click to enlarge) 

Here is an excerpt from Zizek’s article ( Continue reading

Dark street


(Courtesy of Didier Poiret)

Peter Cheyney. Ombres dans la rue [Dark street], Translation Serge Denis,  Paris, Presses de la Cité, 1949 (Un mystère, 79)

As the blurb below indicates, 3 million books by Peter Cheyney were sold every year, not including translations. In France, and in many European countries, he was one of the post-war biggest sellers. While Cheyney was the first author published in the Série Noire, lending the latter some of its tone and humour, it is in the series’ major competitor, the Presses de la Cité’s, “Un mystère” series that his books had the most alluring covers.

A Crime Classic a day (11)


Georges Simenon, The Rules of the Game (La Boule noire,  Presses de la Cité, 1955)

The Rules of the Game (La Boule noire) is the first novel Simenon wrote in France upon his return from his decade-long stay in America. Written in April 1955 and set in Connecticut, it drmatizes issues of belonging and membership, and the small-town mentality. It is apparent that, in writing it, Simenon had just come to terms with the realisation that he had never truly belonged in American society.


Original edition,  Presses de la Cité, 1955