The Crime Readers' Association

Kate Jackson


Classic crime fiction in its vibrant variations is my passion and I am keen to promote how diverse crime writing was from the mid-2oth century. This is reflected in the articles I have written for Crime and Detection Magazine (CADs), as well as in the many posts I have put up on my blog: Furthermore, I contributed a chapter on Juanita Sheridan’s female sleuth Lily Wu to the book 100 Greatest Literary Detectives (2018). Give yourself a pat on the back if you have heard of her!

If you are a fan of the British Library Crime Classics series then you might have noticed the two puzzle books I created to accompany the series: Pocket Detective and Pocket Detective 2.

My latest publication is How to Survive a Classic Crime Novel (2023), which is a spoof how-to guide which provides fun handy hints on how to make the most of your experience, if you ever found yourself inside a classic crime novel, with a key aim being to make it out alive! In doing so I reference well-known and obscure classic crime novels and I utilise different types of texts such as quizzes and flow charts to make the read more engaging. Topics include: Dangers in the Home, The Perils of Romance, Holiday Dilemmas and What to do if you come across a Corpse.

Writing about classic crime fiction has been a real lifeline for me, as although my university background is in English Literature and Teaching, multiple health conditions have prevented me from pursuing this career path. Reading and writing about what I have read in the genre, started out as a reason for getting out of bed in the morning, but has grown into something much more and has introduced me to a host of wonderful people who enjoy classic crime.

I am based in the North of England and would really love to see more classic crime events being set up here. Another big interest in my life is animals and I have a cat (suitably named Agatha) and specialty breed chickens.

In 2019 I gave a talk at the Bodies from the Library Conference on the Australian crime author, June Wright. In 2021 I gave a talk at the International Agatha Christie Festival on how animals are used in classic crime fiction as well as looking at the pets real authors from the time had. In 2023 I gave another talk at the IACF which was a choose your adventure styled talk entitled: How to Survive an Agatha Christie Novel. In addition in 2023 I also spoke at the Dorothy L. Sayers Convention, giving a talk called Dorothy L. Sayers’ Guide to Amateur Sleuthing. All the talks are available to read on my blog, except How to Survive an Agatha Christie Novel, which I have continued to deliver at local library events.

On Instagram (@armchair_sleuth1920) and Twitter I run a book cover photo sharing meme called #MurderEveryMonday. Each week there is a theme and readers and writers share a crime fiction cover on the Monday of that week which meets that criteria. More information can be found on my blog.


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