From the execution sermons of the Colonial era to television programs like The Wire and The Sopras, crime writing has played an important role in American culture. Its ability to register fear, desire and anxiety has made it a popular genre with a wide audience. These new essays, written for students as well as readers of crime fiction, demonstrate the very best in contemporary scholarship and challenge long-established tions of the development of the detective vel. Each chapter covers a sub-genre, from 'true crime' to hard-boiled vels, illustrating the ways in which 'popular' and 'high' literary genres influence and shape each other. With a chrology and guide to further reading, this Companion is a helpful guide for students of American literature and readers of crime fiction.
Catherine Ross Nickerson is Associate Professor of American Studies at Emory University, Atlanta. She is the author of The Web of Iniquity: Early Women Writers of Detective Fiction (1998) and she has edited two volumes of reprinted novels from early detective fiction: Anna Katharine Green, Lost Man's Lane and that Affair Next Door and Metta Victor, The Dead Letter and the Figure Eight (both 2003). She has also received the 2011 George N. Dove Award for Contributions to the Study of Crime Fiction.