CRIME VIZ

Punctuating Crime Fiction: a Comparison of 6886 Titles

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 (Total number  of titles with exclamation marks, by series)

The following pie charts represent the  varied use of three types of punctuation signs in the titles of  all the novels published in the three longest series of Crime Fiction in France : Le Masque (Librairie des Champs-Elysées), La Série Noire (Gallimard), and Spécial-Police (Fleuve Noir).  While the amount of books published in all three series is roughly comparable (all three series have published more than 2000 books each), there are manifest discrepancies in their use of punctuation marks. Continue reading

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From the Manor Mystery to Global Circulation : introducing the Detection Club

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Starting in 1930,  The Detection Club is more than just a literary society of authors, writing  detective stories in  English. Its founding members,  Agatha Christie, Anthony Berkeley, Dorothy L. Sayers, Freeman Wills Crofts and many others all had an immense influence on the perception, establishment and dissemination of the Crime Genre worldwide.  Continue reading

Mysterious Novels

Tallandier

(With thanks to Philippe Aurousseau, & Courtesy of Oncle-Archibald.blogspot.fr)

Starting more than hundred years ago, in 1910, this series of “mysterious novels” is one of the great ancestors of Modern Crime Fiction Series. At a time when the booklet format was very widespread, these books were instead large volumes  of 250 to 300 pages. They were  beautifully illustrated by Félix-Pol Jobbé-Duval (1879-1961) and Robert Salles (1871-1929).   Continue reading

7 x Vic St Val

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Vic St Val is both the main character in the eponymous series narrating his adventures, and the pseudonym under which authors Patrice Dard and Gilles Morris-Dumoulin published them. This excellent and very documented series was well-liked by its readers. The books were informed and informative, politically and scientifically.  Vic Saint-Val is still familiar to many, as it probably influenced a famous Belmondo movie (Bob Saint-Clair, in Philippe de Broca’s Le Magnifique, 1973). St Val’s considerable output formed an important part of  the Series “Espiomatic” (Fleuve Noir). Author  Morris-Dumoulin claimed that  his hero’s Adventures are a plea in 64 volumes for the protection of the environment, of  the planet, and of human rights. The following  is a visual story of Vic St Val in 7 illustrations. Continue reading

Forensics: The Anatomy of Crime

Wellcome

Exhibition

26 February 2015 – 21 June 2015

183 Euston Road, Bloomsbury,  London NW1 2BE

http://wellcomecollection.org/forensics

Forensics: The Anatomy of Crime is the Wellcome’s Collection new exhibition.  The display of original evidence, archival material, photographic documentation, film footage and forensic instruments is destined to challenge the familiar views of forensic medicine shaped by crime fiction. Crime writer Val McDermid will, on this occasion, present her book, also titled Forensics: The anatomy of Crime, tomorrow ( the 26th) at 19 :00.

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Mapping the Urban Landscape of a Cult Movie : Bullitt’s San-Francisco

International Crime Fiction Research Group

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Bullitt, the movie with Steve McQueen features a scene often seen as the mother of  filmic car chases. Certainly, cars speeding at full force of their engines, as an ambivalent proxy for escape and death, industrial perfection and doomed individual freedom  are a token of many classic film noirs. There are memorable ones in Fritz Lang, Becker, Jules Dassin, Melville, to name but a few.  Among what sets Bullitt’s chase apart from the preceding ones and makes it so influential for subsequent directors (and striking for us), is certainly the sense of time and location it is embued with. It was filmed in  San Francisco and close surroundings  in the spring of 1968.

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Covering so much space through its streets, the movie maps in effect San Francisco. But of course, and this is one of the sources for its fascination now, it is a San Francisco which does no longer exist. Mapping the film, in return, is akin…

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