100 Greatest Literary Detectives by Eric Sandberg (Hardcover)
This anthology of 100 critical profiles of fictional detectives rounds up the usual suspects and introduces some less familiar figures who will surely provoke discussion among crime connoisseurs. Warning that it would be impossible to include every reader’s favorite gumshoe, editor Sandberg includes essays on an eclectic selection of crime-solvers from the past two centuries. Along with Poe’s C. Auguste Dupin and Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, there is coverage of Brother William of Baskerville, the 14th-century monk sleuth in Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose. In addition to Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe and Dashiell Hammett’s Sam Spade, both iconic hardboiled detectives, there are Philip K. Dick’s Bob Arctor (from A Scanner Darkly) and China Miéville’s Inspector Tyador Borlú (from The City and the City), both crossovers from speculative fiction. Among essays on Walter Mosley’s Easy Rawlins, Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone, and Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta, there is also one on Daniel Quinn, the failed detective of Paul Auster’s metafictional New York Trilogy. The book’s contributors, mostly academics, cite chapter and verse from novels and stories to provide cogent and involving studies, driving home Sandberg’s central point that crime fiction favors character as much as plot.
About the Author
Eric Sandberg is an assistant professor at City University of Hong Kong and has published and presented extensively on twentieth and twenty-first century literature Sandburg is the coeditor of Adaptation, Awards Culture, and the Value of Prestige (2017) and the author of Virginia Woolf: Experiments in Character (2014).