The private investigator is one of the most enduring characters within crime fiction. From Dashiell Hammett’s Sam Spade— the hard-boiled loner trawling the mean streets—to Agatha Christie’s Captain Hastings—the genteel companion in greener surrounds—the P. I. has taken on any number of guises. In Crime Uncovered: Private Investigator, editors Alistair Rolls and Rachel Franks dive deep into crime literature and culture, challenging many of the assumptions we make about the hardy P. I.
Assembling a cast of notable crime fiction experts, including Stephen Knight and Carolyn Beasley, the book covers characters from the whole world of international noir—Giorgio Scerbanenco’s Duca Lambert, Léo Malet’s Nestor Burma, and many more. Including essays on the genealogy and emergence of the protagonist in nineteenth-century fiction; interviews with crime writers Leigh Redhead, Nick Quantrill, and Fernando Lalana; and analyses of the transatlantic exchanges that helped to develop public perception of a literary icon, Crime Uncovered: Private Investigator will redefine what we think we know about the figure of the P. I.
Rolls and Franks have engaged here the tension between the popular and scholarly that is inherent in any critical examination of a literary type, along the way unraveling the mystery of the alluring, enigmatic private investigator. Crime Uncovered: Private Investigator will be a handy companion for any crime fiction fan.