Annal: 2001 Edgar Allan Poe Award® for Best Critical/Biographical Work

Results of the Edgar Allan Poe Award® in the year 2001.

Book:Conundrums for the Long Week-End

Conundrums for the Long Week-End: England, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Lord Peter Wimsey

Robert Kuhn McGregor, Ethan Lewis

Lord Peter Wimsey’s enduring presence and popularity are a tribute to his creator, Dorothy L. Sayers. In this book, McGregor and Lewis explore how Sayers used her fictional hero to comment on, and come to terms with, the social upheaval of the time: world wars, the crumbling of the privileged aristocracy, the rise of democracy, and the expanding struggle of women for equality. Scholars of the Modern Age, fans of the mystery genre, and admirers of Sayers’s fiction are sure to appreciate this incisive examination of the literary, social, and historical context of the author’s most popular work.

Book:The Doctor and the Detective

The Doctor and the Detective: A Biography of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Martin Booth

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote in his autobiography: “I have had a life which, for variety and romance, could, I think, hardly be exceeded.” In the years since his death, Doyle has been almost uniquely identified with his most famous character, Sherlock Holmes, who remains among the world’s most identifiable figures, fictional or real. Doyle was much more than the author of the Holmes stories, but his very success with the series has clouded nearly every attempt to address his life. Martin Booth’s The Doctor and the Detective redresses the balance. It’s the…

Book:The Red Hot Typewriter

The Red Hot Typewriter: The Life and Times of John D. MacDonald

Hugh Merrill

Although John D. MacDonald published seventy novels and more than five hundred short stories in his lifetime, he is remembered best for his Travis McGee series. He introduced McGee in 1964 with The Deep Blue Goodbye. With Travis McGee, MacDonald changed the pattern of the hardboiled private detectives who preceeded him. McGee has a social conscience, holds thoughtful conversations with his retired economist buddy Meyer, and worries about corporate greed, racism and the Florida ecolgoy in a long series whose brand recognition for the series the author cleverly advanced by inserting a color in every title. Merrill carefully builds a picture of a man who in unexpected ways epitomized the Horatio Alger sagas that comprised his strict father’s secular bible. From a financially struggling childhood and a succession of drab nine-to-five occupations, MacDonald settled down to writing for a living (a lifestyle that would have horrified his father). He worked very hard and was rewarded with a more than decent livelihood. But unlike Alger’s heroes, MacDonald had a lot of fun doing it.

Book:Women of Mystery

Women of Mystery: The Lives and Works of Notable Women Crime Novelists

Martha Hailey Dubose, Margaret C. Thomas

In this remarkable book, Martha Hailey DuBose has given those multitudes of readers who love the mystery novel an indispensable addition to their libraries. Unlike other works on the subject, Women of Mystery is not merely a directory of the novelists and their publications with a few biographical details. DuBose combines extensive research into the lives of significant women mystery writers from Anna Katherine Green and Mary Roberts Rinehart with critical essays on their work, anecdotes, contemporary reviews and opinions and some of the women’s own comments. She takes us through the Golden Age of the British women mystery writers, Christie, Sayers, Marsh, Allingham and Tey, to the leading crime novelists of today, focused on the women who have become legends of the genre. And though she laments, “so many mysteries, so little time,” she makes a good effort a mentioning “some of the best of the rest.” …[more]

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