Edited by John Connolly & Declan Burke.
Atria/Emily Bestler Books.
2012. 560 pages.
For a book that includes essays on so many books, its overall coverage of the mystery genre is seriously truncated, leaving gaping holes of neglect in its coverage of older books, as well as its coverage of writers, often women, working outside the hard-boiled/noir/procedural traditions.
Mysteries are defended not on the ground that they can be good tales, as the late critic Jacques Barzun long argued, but rather on the ground that they can be great literature.
. . . from my perspective as a classic mystery lover, I find BTDF a disappointment because to me it represents a lost opportunity.Evans's assessment generally agrees with Patrick's on Amazon:
. . . [this is] a highly biased and highly problematic book. Some of the individual contributions are brilliant, but just as many (if not more) are very bad indeed and it only gets worse the further you read.
Category: Detective fiction