For the last century crime fiction has been by far the most popular and lucrative of literary sub genres .But this commercial success belies  a formal inventiveness and experiment, a constant drive to ‘make it new’, which has long been central to the genre.

This course will chart the development of crime fiction through seven novels published in the twentieth and twenty- first  centuries.,beginning with a ‘Golden Age’ detective novel ,Agatha Christie’s ‘The Murder of Roger Ackroyd'(1926),through Raymond Chandler’s hard -boiled detective novel ‘The Big Sleep'(1939) Josephine Tey’s historiographic mystery ‘The Daughter of Time (1951)and Patricia Highsmith’s psychological thriller’ The Talented Mr Ripley'(1955) to Ted Lewis’s ‘Get Carter’ (1970).Donna Tart’s ‘The Secret History'(1992),and ending with the ‘cosy’ crime novel ‘The Thursday Murder Club'(2020).

As well as considering each of  these novels in isolation from week to week,we will also use the ten week course to ask ourselves how crime fiction has changed  over the years and how it has remained the same?

Note:  change of starting date:  this course will start on 27 September, a week later than previously advertised.  Apologies for any confusion.