Essay Collection on Detective and Mystery Fiction (Abstract 8/31/12)

full name / name of organization: 
Casey Cothran and Mercy Cannon
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"The murder novel," declares Raymond Chandler, "has a depressing way of minding its own business, solving its own problems and answering its own questions. There is nothing left to discuss. . ." Or is there? Does detective and mystery fiction provide such seamless closure as to render critical voices irrelevant? What does the metafictional quality of this genre offer the careful reader? What happens when we turn our attention from defining and classifying mysteries to analyzing the formal properties of the texts and the cultural work performed by them? In this proposed volume, we seek nuanced readings that will open up discussion on modern works of fiction (such as P.D. James, Elizabeth George), classic texts (Agatha Christie, Wilkie Collins), and film or television (BBC's Sherlock). Essays that address issues of narrative structure, intertextuality, and metafiction are especially sought, although any theoretically informed analysis is welcome. The scope is inclusive, as we hope to offer compelling new ways of understanding these popular narratives.

Please send abstracts of 500 words to Dr. Casey Cothran at or Dr. Mercy Cannon at by August 31, 2012. Submissions should be accompanied by contact information and a brief paragraph bio.

Completed essays of approximately 5000-6000 words in MLA format will be due in Spring 2013. We look forward to reading your work.

Casey and Mercy