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Crime Fiction in the City

Capital Crimes

Crime Fiction in the City: Capital Crimes expands upon previous studies of urban space and crime by reflecting on the treatment of the capital city—a repository of authority, national identity, and culture—within crime fiction. The essays examine a broad array of crime writing set in capital cities, from the nineteenth-century gothic city mysteries of Paris, London, and Rome, to contemporary fiction located in newly devolved centers of power like Cardiff, Dublin, Edinburgh, and Stockholm. The collection brings together academics and creative writers, including an opening reflective essay by Ian Rankin.

208 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2013

International Crime Fictions

Literature and Literary Criticism: General Criticism and Critical Theory

Sociology: Urban and Rural Sociology

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“This exciting new collection reconsiders and rereads the significance of location in crime fiction. Cities and crime have always been inextricably connected: city living engenders crime in its juxtaposition of wealth and poverty, and in the anonymity and alienation of the individual in the mass. Crime Fiction in the City takes this as its beginning, and goes on to consider the national and identity politics inherent in locating crime fiction in cities. Importantly, the focus is not just on the capital cities of London, Paris, and Rome, which have long been associated with the genre, but on cities such as Cardiff and Edinburgh, Dublin and Stockholm, which are more immediately concerned with emerging national identities. Opening with crime writer Ian Rankin’s exposition on Edinburgh and closing with Professor Stephen Knight’s exploration of the nineteenth-century crime-inflected The Mysteries of the Cities, the collection has both academic rigor and popular appeal.”

Heather Worthington, Cardiff University

Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors

1. Introduction
      Lucy Andrew and Catherine Phelps
2. Edinburgh
      Ian Rankin
3. ‘The map that engenders the territory’? Rethinking Ian Rankin’s Edinburgh
      Gill Plain
4. Corralling Crime in Cardiff’s Tiger Bay
      Catherine Phelps
5. Crimes and Contradictions: the Fictional City of Dublin
      Cormac Ó Cuilleanáin
6. From National Authority to Urban Underbelly: Negotiations of Power in Stockholm Crime Fiction
      Kerstin Bergman
7. Streets and Squares, Quartiers and Arrondissements: Paris Crime Scenes and the Poetics of Contestation in the Novels of Jean-François Vilar
      Margaret Atack
8. The Mysteries of the Vatican: from Nineteenth-century Anti-clerical Propaganda to Dan Brown’s Religious Thrillers
      Maurizio Ascari
9. A Tale of Three Cities: Megalopolitan Mysteries of the 1840s
      Stephen Knight
      Lucy Andrew and Catherine Phelps


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