Cracking the Hard-boiled Detective: A Critical History from the 1920s to the Present
The hard-boiled private detective is among the most recognizable characters in popular fiction since the 1920s--a tough product of a violent world, in which police forces are inadequate and people with money can choose private help when facing threatening circumstances. Though a relatively recent arrival, the hard-boiled detective has undergone steady development and assumed diverse forms.
This critical study analyzes the character of the hard-boiled detective, from literary antecedents through the early 21st century. It follows change in the novels through three main periods: the Early (roughly 1927-1955), during which the character was defined by such writers as Carroll John Daly, Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler; the Transitional, evident by 1964 in the works of John D. MacDonald and Michael Collins, and continuing to around 1977 via Joseph Hansen, Bill Pronzini and others; and the Modern, since the late 1970s, during which such writers as Loren D. Estleman, Liza Cody, Sara Paretsky, Sue Grafton and many others have expanded the genre and the detective character. Themes such as violence, love and sexuality, friendship, space and place, and work are examined throughout the text.
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Poe Conan Doyle and the HardBoiled Detective Novel
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actions Albert Samson Amos Walker Asch Big Sleep boiled detective Bradshaw Brandstetter Brigid Carmen character client Conan Doyle corrupt danger Dashiell Hammett's daughter death Deep Blue Good-by detective fiction detective's Dupin early hard-boiled detective Early Period emotional Estleman's father female fiction friendship genre genre's Hammett's Continental hard-boiled detective novel hard-boiled private detective hires Holmes idea involvement Jacovich kill Kinsey Millhone later Lew Archer lives lover Macdonald's Lew Archer MacDonald's Travis McGee Maltese Falcon Marlowe's Matthew Scudder McCone Michael Shayne Mickey Spillane's Millhone modern hard-boiled detective Modern Period moral murder Nudger Paretsky's Parker's Spenser past Philip Marlowe police private eye private investigator Rawlins Raymond Chandler's Red Harvest relationship role Ross Macdonald's Lew Scudder sense sexual Sharman shoots Sixsmith social someone Spade Spillane's Mike Hammer Stephen Dobyns Sternwood theme tives Transitional Period V.I. Warshawski violence Walker Warshawski women writers