Palgrave MacMillan’s Key Concepts series is a provocative and enlightening contribution to academic publishing, but like so much of the publisher’s output remains accessible to the general reader. Certainly, anyone with an interest in the crime fiction field will find this a particularly stimulating and insightful read, as Wellington throws fresh light on such standard themes in the genre as Golden Age crime fiction, American hard-boiled and the standard police procedural. One of the most useful sections of the book is the section on genre criticism, sporting a particularly intriguing essay on postmodernism (Worthington’s analysis of Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose will send readers afresh to the novel).

Key Concepts in Crime Fiction by Heather Worthington is published by Palgrave MacMillan’s

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