Murder by the Book

Posted by Speakeasy News > Wednesday 17 April 2024 > Shine Bright Collège Shine Bright Lycée What's On

If you happen to be in Cambridge between now and the end of the summer, don't miss the University Library's exhibition about 20th century crime fiction with artefacts and first editions from the likes of Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle and Wilkie Collins.

Crime fiction is by far the most popular form of fiction in the U.K. It's the country's most read, bought and borrowed genre. And Britain has produced some outstanding crime-fiction writers and characters from Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes to Christie's Poirot and Miss Marple. Lynda La Plante's Jane Tennison and Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse.

Some of the first editions on display.The exhibition is curated by by Nicola Upson, herself a bestselling crime writer. In an interesting double take, Upson's principal character is Josephine Tey,  one of the Golden Age British detective writers from the 30s and 40s. Tey's historical detective novel about Richard III and the Princes in the Tower, The Daughter of Time, was voted the best detective novel of all time by the Crime Writer's Association in 1990.


Agatha Christie

The exhibition features many first editions including Wilkie Collins' The Moonstone (1868), one of the first detective novels. Collins' writing desk is also on display. There are also many exhibits about or from Agatha Christie, the unchallenged  queen of crime fiction, whose novels and short stories have sold more than 2 billion copies around the world.

In this video, Nicola Upson describes the fascinating story behnind the typescript of her final Poirot Novel, Curtain, published in 1975, thirty years after it was written.

Murder By the Book: A Celebration of 20th Century British Crime Fiction Cambridge University Library
Free. Till 24 August 2024
This article gives more information and lots of pictures of the exhibition.

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