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Mystery and Crime Fiction: Authors

A guide to printed and Internet sources of information on mystery and crime fiction, writers, organizations, and more.

Interviews with Authors

You can often gain a more intimate perspective of someone through the give and take conversation in an interview. Here are some interviews to help you know your favorite writers better.

Block, Lawrence. After Hours: Conversations with Lawrence Block. PS3552 L63 Z462 1995.

Carr, John C. The Craft of Crime: Conversations with Crime Writers. PN452 C29 1983

Cooper-Clark, Diana. Designs of Darkness: Interviews with Detective Novelists. PR888 D4 C6 1983.

Glassman, Steve, ed. Florida Crime Writers: 24 Interviews. PS374 D4 F63 2008.

Herbert, Rosemary. The Fatal Art of Entertainment; Interviews with Mystery Writers. PR888 D4 H47 1994.

Hillerman, Tony. Talking Mysteries: A Conversation with Tony Hillerman. PS3558 I45 Z476 1991.

Winks, Robin W., ed. Colloquium on Crime: Eleven Renowned Mystery Writers Discuss Their Work. PS648 D4 C64 1986. Not strictly interviews, but insightful.

Information about Mystery and Crime Fiction Writers

Information about mystery and crime fiction writers and their books can be found in many places. Listed below are some examples of book length sources. You can also find lots of good information in periodical databases. Have a look at the sources on the Library Guide to Literature for some suggestions on locating information in magazines and journals.

Books About One Writer; Some Examples

There are entire books written about some authors and their works. These can be found by doing a subject search for the author in the ASU Library's online catalog, WorldCat (a guide to books in libraries around the world), or even Google. For example, to find a book about author Ross MacDonald, do an author search for macdonald, ross. There are also author-specific web sites on Google. Some are quite good, others out of date and spotty at best. Use a critical eye when examining these sites.

Some examples in the ASU Library collection are listed here. There are many others.

Sherlockian.Net. Web portal with hundreds of links to sites about Sherlock Holmes.

Devlin, James E. Elmore Leonard. PS3562 E55 Z64 1999.

Dove, George N. The Boys from Grover Avenue: Ed McBain's 87th Precinct Novels. PS3515 U585 Z58 1985.

Kotker, Joan G. James Patterson: A Critical Companion. PS3566 A822 Z75 2004.

Sugden, Stephen. A Dick Francis Companion: Characters, Horses, Plots, Settings and Themes. PR6056 R27 Z67 2008.

Widdicombe, Toby. A Reader's Guide to Raymond Chandler. PS3505 H3224 Z885 2001.

Collections of Brief Biographies

There are also a number of collections of shorter biographical and/or critical analyses of writers and their works, such as the titles listed below.

American Hard-Boiled Crime Writers. Dictionary of Literary Biography, vol. 226. PS21 D48 v.226.

Bailey, Frankie Y. African American Mystery Writers: A Historical and Thematic Study. PS374 N4 B27 2008. Bibliographical essays accompanied by appendices of biographical information sources, a list of books of post-1987 authors covered, nominees and award winners, and author and subject indices.

Baker, Robert A., and Michael T. Nietzel. Private Eyes: One Hundred and One Knights: A Survey of American Detective Fiction 1922-1984. PS3784 D4 B34 1985x.

Boken, Julia B. Carolyn G. Heilbrun. PS3558 E4226 Z58 1996.

British Mystery and Thriller Writers Since 1940. First Series. Dictionary of Literary Biography. PS21 D48 v.87.

British Mystery Writers, 1860-1919. Dictionary of Literary Biography. PS21 D48 v.70.

British Mystery Writers, 1920-1939. Dictionary of Literary Biography. PS21 D48 v.77.

DuBose, Martha Hailey. Women of Mystery: The Lives and Works of Notable Women Crime Novelists. PR830 D4 D83 2000. Substantial essays on 18 major writers plus brief entries on a number of others. Appendices indluce a chronology of major publications and a bibliography of reference sources. Index.

Great Women Mystery Writers. Ref PR830 D4 G74. Two volumes. Profiles of English-speaking women authors, with lists of works and a critical bibliography for each. The 1994 volume contains information on mystery fiction awards, Sisters in Crime, the DorothyL listserv, speciality booksellers, and a reading list for fourteen genres of mystery fiction. The 2007 volume  includes indexes to characters, setting, type of detective, series, and award winners.

Hadley, Mary. British Women Mystery Writers. PR888 D4 H33 2002.

Herbert, Rosemary. Whodunit? A Who's Who in Crime & Mystery Writing. PN3448 D4 H37 2003.

List of Mystery Writers. Wikipedia list with links to other Wikipedia articles.

List of Thriller Writers. Wikipedia list with links to other Wikipedia articles.

Lockhart, Darrell B., ed. Latin American Mystery Writers: An A-to-Z Guide. Profiles of 54 writers, from Jorge Louis Borges to Monica Ploese. Each entry includes a list of works and usually a brief list of critical sources. Also included is a bibliograhy of literary anthologies and criticism arranged by country. 

Marling, William. The American Roman Noir: Hammett, Cain and Chandler. PS374 D4 M33 1995.

Reynolds, Moira Davison. Women Authors of Detective Series; Twenty-One American and British Writers, 1900-2000. PS374 D4 R49 2001.

Rollyson, Carl, ed. Critical Survey of Mystery and Detective Fiction. rev. ed. 5 vols. Ref PN3448 D4 C75 2008. Volumes 1-4 contain biographical and critical profiles of authors and their work.

Sotelo, Susan Baker. Chicano Detective Fiction: A Critical Study of Five Novelists. PS374 D4 S69 2005. Covers Rudolfo Anaya, Rolando Hinojosa, Lucha Corpi, Manuel Ramos, and Michael Nava.

Twentieth-Century Crime and Mystery Writers. 3rd ed. ed. by Lesley Henderson. PR888 D4 T8 1991 c.2.

Winks, Robin W., ed. Mystery and Suspense Writers: The Literature of Crime, Detection, and Espionage. 2 vols. Ref PR830 M97 1998.

The Detection Club

The Golden Age of Murder by Martin Edwards (PR830 D4 E39 2015) tells the story of Agatha Christie and her British mystery writer colleagues formed the Detection Club and tackled unsolved cases, ultimately transforming crime fiction. A fascinating read.


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Suzanne Wise
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Appalachian State University
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