Detective Fiction and Ideas

  • Martin Priestman


It is often said that British detective fiction deals in certainties whereas American detective fiction deals in uncertainties, and that therefore the English branch of the genre is socially uncritical while the American is critical.1 Where Christie and Sayers are taken to epitomise the English school, and Hammett and Chandler the American, it is hard to disagree with this assessment, and indeed it does seem to hold for the ‘Golden Age’ between the World Wars and, often, since.


Creative Artist Detective Story Detective Fiction Love Interest Piano Accompaniment 
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  1. 8.
    G. K. Chesterton, ‘The Yellow Bird’, in The Poet and the Lunatics (London, 1929).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Martin Priestman 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Priestman
    • 1
  1. 1.Roehampton Institute of Higher EducationUK

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