Giannis Maris, Crime In Kolonaki, Pechlivanidis, 1955
By Nikos Filippaios (PhD candidate, University of Ioannina, Greece)
Crime fiction in Greece is characterized, on the one hand, by the strong influence of American and European classics and standards, and on the other by a constant search for a more localized expression. This initial reception of a new literary genre and its final assimilation is an idiosyncratic characteristic of Modern Greek culture, which was shaped by accepting both eastern and western influences. Thus, when crime fiction was introduced as a new genre to Greece, during the first decades of the 20th century, readers were already familiar with its main elements, because one of its precursors, the “roman feuilleton” (or serial) was very popular in Greece during the 19th century, as in other European countries. Continue reading
The Man in the Brown Suit, Grosset & Dunlap (1924)
The Secret of Chimneys, Grosset & Dunlap (1925) Continue reading
(Raymond Chandler, Trouble Is My Business, Pocket Books 823, 1951 : Cover Art by Herman Geisen)
Compiling a list of chandlerisms is possibly not the most reverent way to assess how the golden age of Crime Fiction was perceived outside from the self-selected happy few of members in the famous “Detection club”. But it is certainly a fun way to start. Here are a few excerpts from Chandler’s seminal essay (1950) : “The Simple art of murder”.
Every detective story writer makes mistakes, and none will ever know as much as he should. Conan Doyle made mistakes which completely invalidated some of his stories, but he was a pioneer, and Sherlock Holmes after all is mostly an attitude and a few dozen lines of unforgettable dialogue.
R. Austin Freeman, The Mystery of 31 New Inn, Dodd, Mead & Company, New York, 1930
R. Austin Freeman, The Singing Bone, Dodd, Mead & Company, New York, 1923 Continue reading
UK edition: Agatha Christie, Poirot Investigates, London, John Lane, The Bodley Head,1924, 2/6 reprint Continue reading
Agatha Christie,The Hound of Death and Other Stories, Odhams Press, 1933
Murder, death, and mystery… Well, who would have guessed? Here is the count of the top six words used in the titles of the 66 mystery novels by Agatha Christie, between 1920 and 1976 Continue reading
What is your favourite book by Agatha Christie? Which are the most popular amongst readers worldwide? Here are a few titles to choose from, as presented on the website http://worldsfavouritechristie.com/books : This website asked fans to vote for the World’s Favourite Christie book and will release the results in September.
For more information on the vote
Raymond Chandler once wrote “The English may not always be the best writers in the world, but they are incomparably the best dull writers”. Himself a British subject for most of his life and career, one of his most obvious targets, conversely, was eminent author of “British-style” mysteries, John Dickson Carr (alias Carter Dickson), who was in fact an American. This is of course not strictly about nations, rather it is about sub-genres of crime fiction and the different forms and interpretations of its evolution. It is also against a well-recognized literary coterie; “the famous Detection Club, which is a Parnassus of English writers of mystery”. The statement helps to build an opposition, mostly between 1920s English mystery novels (and their authors and their readers), and American Pulp magazines of the same decade (and their authors and their readers). Continue reading
Images and bibliography courtesy of Ilari Haapasalo
Agatha Christie’s books have been translated into more than 100 languages. The world’s bestselling author, she has sold, according to the Guinness Book of Records, 2 billion copies of her mysteries. Initial sales were slow, however. The first edition of her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920) sold 2 000 copies. Published six years later, her seventh book, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Collins, 1926) sold 5 000, and it would be more than 20 books and more than 15 years later before the first edition of her Three-Act Tragedy (1935) would pass the mark of the 10 000. The French translation of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd was the first book in the famous and perennially successful “Le Masque” series, launched by the Librairie des Champs Elysées in 1927. There too, success came slowly. It took all of three years to sell 3000 copies. In the same year, the same book was translated in Finland. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd was actually published there under three different titles and by 3 different publishing houses : Odottamaton Ratkaisu (Satakunnan kirjateollisuus, 1927); Kello 9,10 (Otava, 1929) and Roger Acroydin murha (WSOY, 1959)
Agatha Christie, Odottamaton Ratkaisu (Satakunnan kirjateollisuus, 1927) Continue reading