Collins Crime Club has scooped a new book by Martin Edwards, billed as the first major history of crime fiction in 50 years.
Publisher of estates David Brawn acquired world English language rights to The Life of Crime: Detecting the History of Mysteries and their Creators from James Wills at Watson, Little in 2015 knowing it would take more than five years to research and write. The book will publish in hardback in May 2022.
The book traces the evolution of the crime fiction genre from the 18th century to the present, offering a brand new perspective on the world’s most popular form of fiction.
Edwards is a crime novelist, the president of the Detection Club, archivist of the Crime Writers’ Association and series consultant to the British Library’s series of crime classics. He has been a widely respected genre commentator for more than 30 years, winning the CWA Diamond Dagger for making a significant contribution to crime writing in 2020.
Edwards said: "The Life of Crime is the result of a lifetime of reading and enjoying all types of crime fiction, old and new, from around the world. The book has been many years in the making and I’m thrilled to be working with David Brawn and his colleagues again after they did such a fantastic job with The Golden Age of Murder and Howdunit."
Brawn added: "In what will surely be regarded as his magnum opus, Martin Edwards has thrown himself undaunted into the breadth and complexity of the genre to write an authoritative – and readable – study of its development and evolution. With crime fiction being read more widely than ever around the world, and with individual authors increasingly the subject of extensive academic study, his expert distillation of more than two centuries of extraordinary books and authors – from the tales of E T A Hoffmann to the novels of Patricia Cornwell – into one coherent history is an extraordinary feat and makes for compelling reading."