Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Choosing to Live in the Past

Linked to today’s publication, in Britain, of Historical Noir (Pocket Essentials), author Barry Forshaw has posted a piece on the Web site Historia featuring remarks from five acclaimed historical mystery writers on the subject of how they became interested in this popular subgenre. In his introduction to the post, Forshaw provides a précis of his new book, which follows last year’s American Noir:
The historical crime genre might be said to have begun in earnest with Ellis Peters’ crime-solving monk Brother Cadfael in the 1970s, and Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose in 1980 (with another monkish detective), but it has now taken readers to virtually every era and locale. When I wrote Historical Noir, I tried to deal with the phenomenon right from its inception, with such writers as Josephine Tey, examining the work of such multi-prize-winning authors as C.J. Sansom (with his Elizabethan-set mysteries) to Robert Harris (whose books span the centuries), the late Philip Kerr (wartime Berlin) and such writers as Boris Akunin, Antonia Hodgson, Rory Clements, Martin Cruz Smith and Andrew Taylor (who has tackled everything from Edgar Allan Poe’s 19th-century America to the Great Fire of London), along with virtually every other important writer in this still-burgeoning genre.
Historical Noir is due out in the States in September.

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