Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Martin Edwards on The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books

It's my honor to kick off Martin Edwards' blog tour as he discusses his new book, The Story of  Classic Crime in 100 Books. I can already see the award nominations for this title. I think it's a book to be treasured by those of us who love crime fiction. Thank you, Martin.


The astonishing popularity of the British Library’s Crime Classics series has taken most people by surprise. Including me, to be honest, even though I’m the series consultant! Over the past four years, hundreds of thousands of readers have discovered not only new authors and new books but also the wonderful storytelling qualities that are the hallmark of Golden Age detective fiction.

Readers who take a liking to a particular book or author are very keen to sample similar titles. So the British Library commissioned me to write The Story of Classic
Crime in 100 Books, which tells the story of the evolution of classic crime fiction – from The Hound of the Baskervilles to Strangers on a Train (yes, even though the main focus is on British books, I’ve found space for some American titles!) One hundred titles are discussed in depth, and in total, about seven hundred books are referenced – enough to keep the most avid reader occupied for a long time to come...

My book is as a companion to the Crime Classics series, but it’s not a mere guide to the novels and short story collections in that series – far from it. The clue is in the title – I have set out to tell a story, exploring the way in which classic crime fiction changed over the course of the first half of the last century. My hope is that the book will not only give readers fresh insight into the writers and their stories, but also introduce them to plenty of titles with which they were previously unfamiliar.  

I’m grateful to Lesa for hosting this guest post, and over the course of the next few days, I’ll be travelling around the blogosphere, talking about different aspects of the book, and of classic crime. Here’s a list of all the stops on my blog tour – which will wind up with a list of the top 30 sellers in the Classic Crime series during the past twelve months.

Wed 28 June – Lesa’ Book Critiques -
Thurs 29 June – The Rap Sheet -
Fri 30 June – Pretty Sinister Books -
Sat 1 Jul – Confessions of a Mystery Novelist (interview) -
Sun 2 Jul –Eurocrime -
Mon 3 Jul – Tipping My Fedora -
Tue 4 Jul – Desperate Reader -
Wed 5 Jul –Clothes in Books -
Thu 6 Jul – Emma’s Bookish Corner -
Fri 7 Jul - Random Jottings -

The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books is published in the UK on 7 July by the British Library, and in the US on 1 August by Poisoned Pen Press.

Martin Edwards' website is


Jeffrey Meyerson said...

This is going on my list too. The "impossible crime" collection is on there too.

Lesa said...

I knew it would go on your list, Jeff. In fact, when Martin asked if he could write a guest post, I thought of you.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

I am also a big fan of his Lake District series with Daniel Kind and Hannah Scarlett.

Lesa said...

I haven't yet read those, Jeff.