Annal: 2000 Edgar Allan Poe Award® for Best Critical/Biographical Work

Results of the Edgar Allan Poe Award® in the year 2000.

Book:Teller of Tales

Teller of Tales: The Life of Arthur Conan Doyle

Daniel Stashower

This fresh, compelling biography examines the extraordinary life and strange contrasts of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the struggling provincial doctor who became the most popular storyteller of his age. From his youthful exploits aboard a whaling ship to his often stormy friendships with such figures as Harry Houdini and George Bernard Shaw, Conan Doyle lived a life as gripping as one of his adventures. Exhaustively researched and elegantly written, Teller of Tales sets aside many myths and misconceptions to present a vivid portrait of the man behind the leg of Baker Street, with a particular emphasis on the Psychic Crusade that dominated his final years-the work that Conan Doyle himself felt to be “the most important thing in the world.

Book:The Oxford Companion to Crime and Mystery Writing

The Oxford Companion to Crime and Mystery Writing

Rosemary Herbert, Catherine Aird, John M. Reilly, Susan Oleksiw

From the penny dreadful, which challenges seekers of sensation to discover the truth in a pattern of gory details; to the twentieth-century detective novel, which offers an intricate puzzle solved through the application of the intellect; to the crime novel, which probes the psyches of the characters, the crime and mystery genre offers readers an intellectual excitement unsurpassed by other forms of fiction. Now The Oxford Companion to Crime and Mystery Writing provides scholars and fans of this genre with an authoritative yet playful compendium of knowledge about a literature known for its highly entertaining treatment of deadly serious puzzles.

Editor Rosemary Herbert has brought together 666 articles—written by such authorities as Edward D. Hoch, Sara Paretsky, and the late Julian Symons—that will accompany readers in their armchair investigations. Here can be found informative biographies…[more]

Book:Ross Macdonald

Ross Macdonald: A Biography

Tom Nolan

When he died in 1983, Ross Macdonald was the best-known and most highly regarded crime-fiction writer in America. Long considered the rightful successor to the mantles of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, Ross Macdonald and his Lew Archer-novels were hailed by The New York Times as “the finest series of detective novels ever written by an American.”

Now, in the first full-length biography of this extraordinary and influential writer, a much fuller picture emerges of a man to whom hiding things came as second nature. While it was no secret that Ross Macdonald was the pseudonym of Kenneth Millar—a Santa Barbara man married to another good mystery writer, Margaret Millar—his official biography was spare. Drawing on unrestricted access to the Kenneth and Margaret Millar Archives, on more than forty years of correspondence, and on hundreds of interviews with those who knew Millar well, author Tom Nolan has done a masterful job of filling in the blanks between the psychologically…[more]

Book:A Suitable Job for a Woman

A Suitable Job for a Woman: Inside the World of Women Private Eyes

Val McDermid

But down these mean streets must go a man who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished or afraid..” When Raymond Chandler wrote these words in his classic The Simple Art of Murder, he drew a blueprint for the male private eyes who descend from Philip Marlowe to populate the world of crime fiction.

But what if the private eye is a woman? And what if she is not a character in a novel but a real, working investigator testing not only the meanness but the absurdity of life on seamy streets? Who will tell her story?

Enter Manchester’s Val McDermid, herself a skilled writer of the P.I. novel but for years a professional journalist. In an effort to plumb the real world of working women - and throw new light on her own craft - she has interviewed women private eyes from both sides of the Atlantic and assembled their stories with an eye for the absurd and a keen grasp of the gritty nuts and…[more]

Book:The Web of Iniquity

The Web of Iniquity: Early Detective Fiction by American Women

Catherine Ross Nickerson

The Web of Iniquity is a study of detective fiction written by American women between the Civil War and World War II. Refuting the idea that no American detective fiction of substance was produced between the times of Edgar Allan Poe and Dashiell Hammett, Catherine Ross Nickerson shows how these women writers blended Gothic elements into domestic fiction to create a unique and all-but-ignored subgenre that she labels “domestic detective fiction.”

This subgenre allowed women writers to participate in postbellum culture and to critique other aspects of a rapidly changing society. Domestic detective fiction combined elements of sensationalist papers, popular nonfiction crime stories, and the domestic novel. Nickerson shows how it also incorporated the gothic tropes found in the work of Harriet Beecher Stowe, Louisa May Alcott, and Charlotte Bront and influenced the work of Pauline Hopkins. Mid-nineteenth-century writer Metta Fuller Victor, who represented…[more]

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