Masters of the “Humdrum” Mystery: Cecil John Charles Street, Freeman Wills Crofts, Alfred Walter Stewart and the British Detective Novel, 1920-1961, by Curt Evans

Publisher: McFarland

Print ISBN: 978-0-7864-7024-2
EBook ISBN: 978-0-7864-9089-9
ca. 35 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
softcover (7 x 10) 2012

Price: $49.95

Not Yet Published, Available Spring/Summer 2012

About the Book:

In 1972, in an attempt to elevate the stature of the “crime novel,” influential crime writer and critic Julian Symons cast numerous Golden Age detective fiction writers into literary perdition as “Humdrums,” condemning their focus on puzzle plots over stylish writing and explorations of character, setting and theme. This volume explores the works of three prominent British “Humdrums” — Cecil John Charles Street, Freeman Wills Crofts, and Alfred Walter Stewart — revealing their work to be more complex, as puzzles and as social documents, than Symonds allowed. By championing the intrinsic merit of these mystery writers, the study demonstrates that reintegrating the “Humdrums” into mystery genre studies provides a fuller understanding of the Golden Age of detective fiction and its aftermath.

About the Author:

Curt Evans, an independent scholar and book dealer, is the author of one book and numerous articles and essays on detective fiction.