Master crime fiction writer P. D. James explores the development of the detective, both amateur and professional in Talking About Detective Fiction. She does not slight the American authors who contributed so much to development of this genre, but she also uses many British examples.
Dame James gives the reader valuable insight into the famous characters of yesteryear who have become household names and continue to delight readers of the genre. She shows us her way of looking at Lord Peter and Miss Marple, while introducing fans to other more obscure characters to expand our appreciation of the field. My "to be read" list has expanded by a page.
If you are an author taking the time to read a professional book during any given year is mandatory for keeping abreast of your field. For crime fiction authors a good history of the genre that is not heavily weighed toward an academic style is provided by Talking About Detective Fiction. She does not try to lift the genre into the realms of literature or degraded it as unworthy of regard, which is a refreshing attitude to this reader.
If you are a mystery fans, Dame James gives you some hints as to why you keep reading and asking for more from your favorite author.
Nash Black, author of Sins of the Fathers.