• Collins Crime Club
  • Published: 26th May 2022
  • Agent: James Wills

The Life of Crime: Detecting the History of Mysteries and their Creators

Martin Edwards

In the first major history of crime fiction in fifty years, The Life of Crime: Detecting the History of Mysteries and their Creators traces the evolution of the genre from the eighteenth century to the present, offering brand-new perspective on the world’s most popular form of fiction.

The Life of Crime is the result of a lifetime of reading and enjoying all types of crime fiction, old and new, from around the world. In what will surely be regarded as his magnum opus, Martin Edwards has thrown himself undaunted into the breadth and complexity of the genre to write an authoritative – and readable – study of its development and evolution.

“There is plenty here for mystery readers, whether well-versed in the genre’s history or not - and mystery writers will welcome this book as a resource.”
The New York Times
“Magisterial but wickedly entertaining … reliably readable and frequently amusing. It also inspires awe: Edwards combines wide reading with a good memory, meticulous control over his unruly material, critical acumen and sheer bloody persistence.”
Andrew Taylor
“Impressively scholarly and joyfully anecdotal… it’s hard to imagine this book being superseded for many years to come.”
Morning Star


  • "Best Mystery Critical/Biographical -The Macavity Award 2023 "
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