The Crime Readers' Association

100 Golden Crime Classics

20th July 2017

The British Library Crime Classics have been wildly popular in the last few years and have brought many neglected writers from the golden age back into print. The advice and expertise of Martin Edwards has been crucial at every stage of our journey in publishing these books, not least through his championing of short crime fiction by editing half a dozen well-received anthologies. I’d wager that nobody knows the world of Golden Age crime better than Martin, and I’m thrilled that we’re publishing The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books this summer – a book he is uniquely qualified to write. It is designed as a companion volume to our series, and is sure to provoke lively debate.

The title refers to ‘100 books’ and there are indeed 100 concise, elegantly written reviews here – some of which offer unusual angles on familiar classics, while others make a provocative case for less popular (sometimes deeply obscure) books that deserve to be included in the canon. The introductions to each chapter expand the coverage far beyond the 100 books of the title; looking at the index I see that he refers in fact to some 700 classic works in appetite-whetting comments that will inspire even the most widely read fan to try something new.

Much more than a straightforward history, or a reference work, this book is an exuberant invitation to jot a reading list, hunt down copies of the books discussed (plenty of which are available in our own handsome paperback editions), and get to know this genre in all its fascinating variety.

The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books by Martin Edwards, out now.

Article by Rob Davies, British Library Publishing

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